Victory to the VW isn’t the forgone conclusion you might think, however. In fact, there are five very good reasons why the Peugeot 108 should be at the top of your small-car shopping list.
It’s cheaper to buy
With a starting price of £8,245, the Peugeot 108 is precisely £520 cheaper than the basic Volkswagen Up. That six-per-cent saving could be ‘reinvested’ in a new Apple Watch, a holiday in the sun, or a multitude of other things that would appeal to the young drivers set to make up the majority of 108 owners.
It’s better equipped
Sure, you get a VW badge on the nose of your shiny new base-spec Up, but that’s about it. You’ll have to lock all the doors manually and wind the front windows yourself. The 108 is far more considerate to the needs of the modern driver – all versions have electric front windows and remote central locking to take the strain out of day-to-day ownership.
More frugal and quicker
While the basic VW Up produces a paltry 59hp, the Peugeot 108 wades into battle with 68hp – enough to shave a tenth of a second off the Up’s 14.4-second 0-62mph time. Of more interest to most, however, will be the Peugeot’s cheaper running costs. It returns fuel economy of 68.9mpg (compared to the Up’s 62.8mpg figure) and is free to tax, while the Up costs £20 a year.
The VW is more refined at speed, however, so bear this in mind if you do lots of motorway miles.
Folding fabric roof
One of the biggest pluses of Peugeot 108 ownership is the option to fit a folding fabric roof (on all but basic Access trim levels) at a cost of £1,000. Not to be sniffed at, the fabric roof rolls back like a sardine can lid to transform the 108 into a tiny convertible. That makes it a joy to use in summer and adds another dimension that VW Up owners can only dream of.
While the boxy looks of the Volkswagen have proved popular with UK buyers, it means the Up (along with its SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo spinoffs) has become a regular sight on UK roads since it went on sale in 2011. By comparison, the 108 can claim relative rarity, it only went on sale last year, meaning we’ve had less time to get used to its chic French styling.
108 goes to the Top
Check out our full reviews of the Peugeot 108 Top and the cars it needs to beat – the Volkswagen Up and the Hyundai i10. Then head over to our car deals page to see our latest discounts, or head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next car.