Peugeot 208 now a serious contender for your money

The Peugeot 208 is a good looking car.

Readers have probably read the review of this car some two years ago and seen many units running around major cities, so why the need for another review now?

Well, its launch price in early 2017 was RM86,888 which put it side by side with the Mazda2 and Honda Jazz. It sold reasonably well despite being the only European compact hatch at this price point.

Then came the 2019 Hari Raya and this car was given a healthy discount bringing its price down to RM68,888! Hence the need to review it again.

This new price point puts the 208 below its Japanese rivals, including the just launched Toyota Yaris and closer to the Malaysian favourite, the Perodua Myvi at RM54,090 for the top version.

Yes, there is just a RM14,000 price difference with the Myvi 1.5 and this suddenly makes the 208 Puretech worth another look.

The 208’s interior is surprisingly roomy.

Cabin review

The Peugeot engineers have executed the 208 interior quite well. Black simple plastics are tightly mounted and pleasantly surfaced.

A user friendly in-car entertainment is used to increase its showroom appeal together with an attractive hard wearing seat material.

Step inside and the cabin is quite roomy with a sleek roof line. Switchgear and controls click and glide and work with precision.

The standard audio system allows for connectivity with your smart phone. There is a decent sized boot in the rear and family excursions over a long weekend will be no problem.

The 208 seats four in comfort; five if none are sumo contestants.

There’s connectivity for smart phones.

Drive review

The 208 comes with good sound-damping material to ensure a quiet drive in the city, which only starts to show its lack of padding once you drive it beyond 140km/h.

Under the hood, the 208 is fitted with a 1.2-liter turbocharged engine. This 3-cylinder engine has won ‘engine of the year’ twice and it produces a decent 112 bhp of power and an impressive 205 Nm of torque.

Mated to a 6-speed quickshift automatic it shifts smoothly and responsively when you test-drive it and the handling and balance is firm and communicative for its class.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the 208 has EEV status because it clocks in a respectable 4.2 litres per 100km, which should be noted as being the most frugal among its rivals.

Driving it in the city, it feels faster than it really is and this is because the torque rushes in at an early 1,500rpm allowing the driver to keep up with more powerful cars until 3rd gear is reached.

Caption: The car is comfortable even after hours of driving.

It handles Petaling Jaya’s legendary potholes and speed bumps with a nice pliant feel which is typical Peugeot comfort. The seats are still comfy after a few hours of driving as with all Peugeots.

Driving in traffic is easy with its communicative steering and nimble handling ability. It is definitely a fun little car with premium interior and safety features.

With the five year manufacturers warranty and Nasim’s new commitment with PSA (Peugeot’s parent company in France) to make sure the ownership experience in Malaysia encourages repeat purchase, this RM68,000 compact hatch should definitely be given another look.

Do take the rivals Toyota Yaris and Honda Jazz for a test drive on the very same day you test drive the 208 and then sit down and have dinner to decide which car you will be booking.

Peugeot 208 Puretech specifications
Engine: 3-cylinder turbocharged DOHC
Capacity: 1199cc
Transmission: 6-speed Quickshift automatic
Max Power: 112 PS @ 5,500rpm
Max Torque: 205Nm @ 1,500rpm
0-100km/h: 9.8 seconds
Max Speed: 190km/h
Price: RM68,888.00 limited units

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