This week I was given a Peugeot 208. It’s probably one of the biggest sellers in their range and as a small European car its supposed to be an ideal all-rounder. Fun, chic, easy to drive and highly desirable. For me this car was a huge disappointment! For anyone who spends any time behind the wheel or enjoys driving knows, there are a couple of absolute essentials – the things you touch and hold.
The steering wheel, handbrake, gear lever, door trims – in fact everything you touch and hold in this car are made of utterly horrendous plastics. I’ve felt more luxurious Tupperware than the interior of this car. Both the Toyota Yaris and much more surprisingly the Hyundai i10 (some £1500 cheaper than the 208) completely out-classed it. The interior of this car is not a nice place to be. In this day and age if you can’t at least provide a leather steering wheel which is the one thing the driver is going to be holding for hours on end and thousands of miles then skimp on something else so you can!
The equipment level was ok. It had Air con, Bluetooth handsfree as well as Bluetooth audio streaming, DAB radio, USB charging and iPod connectivity. All good.
However the French have been skimping yet again. The touch screen interface is abysmal and infuriating. One example is you can see your contacts and search them, you can see your call lists, but just you try and find and bring up a keypad to dial a number, and you’ll have a crash while you’re trying! Even after a week with the car I couldn’t do it (and I have a fairly technical background!) And again, navigate the iPod and select an album you want to play is as equally confusing and likely to end in another insurance related incident. Then you come to the cruise control. An additional stalk below the indicator placed right behind the steering wheel so tightly it’s impossible to either see it (other than in a tight left turn – in which case you won’t want to be using cruise control!) nor actually read the labels of each of the buttons.
I managed to average 46mpg over 50o miles with a mixture of city and motorway driving with I must say is quite poor for a modern, small engine efficient car. (As a comparison I get over 40mpg from my 7 series BMW with a 3 litre engine! Overall, it’s not a nice place to spend any time and I couldn’t wait to hand it back! As a comparison both the Toyota Yaris and the Hyundai i10 were fantastic little cars to drive, and I would drive the i10 any day before choosing this awful Peugeot.