Peugeot’s New 108 Breaks Cover

What am I looking at?

This is Peugeot’s 108, soon to be replacing the 107 as the French conglomerate’s entry to the city car sector.

So what’s new?

It’s a brand new platform, so just about everything.

Peugeot has, of late, been replacing all of its older -07 models which were for the most part underwhelming given the company’s heritage and the relative competitiveness of the previous -06 cars. The -08s have been much more satisfying thus far – we didn’t find the 208 wanting in hot or basic guises and the 308 is the cat amongst the Golf/Focus pigeons – so we have high hopes for the 108.

Despite the blank-sheet nature, the 108 is almost identical in size to the 107 – just 4cm longer at 3.47m, 1cm narrower at 1.62m and weighing in at the same 840kg. Load space is up 40% over the 107 to almost 200 litres – increasing to 750 litres with the rear seats folded.

It’ll be available in five door or three door forms – with eye-catching two tone paint finishes available on the three door models – and a “TOP!” model with a full length folding fabric roof for that European feel. There’s no word yet on whether there’ll be a similar Citron sharing the platform – or even a Toyota, as with the 107/C1/Aygo – but it seems a reasonable conclusion that there will be.

What powers it?

There’s a selection of three cylinder petrol motors on offer for the 108 – a recipe that will sound familiar to 107 owners. The basic 1.0 VTi offers the same 68hp as the equivalent 107, but cuts emissions by 2-4g/km depending on your choice of transmission – 97g/km with the 5 speed EGC auto and 95g/km with the 5 speed manual. There’s now also a super-frugal 1.0 eVTi with stop-start technology, offering 88g/km CO2, equivalent to over 74mpg combined.

The 108 also gets a sporty option, in the shape of a 1.2 litre VTi producing 82hp. Performance figures aren’t available yet, but this suggests a sub-11s 0-60mph time and around 104mph flat out. There’s little fuel efficiency penalty though as this engine is rated at the same 99g/km 65.7mpg as the old car, meaning a zero-rate annual tax disc.

Anything else?

Although basic Access trim models will miss out, from Active trim and above, 108 drivers get a standard and colossal 7 inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash. It acts as the interface for the audio system, trip computer and vehicle settings, but can also connect up to a smartphone with Bluetooth. Going one step further, phone users can pair their device with the car using MirrorLink (or AppInCar for iOS users) and contol it from the 108’s own touchscreen.

How much will it cost me?

Although it’s due to go on sale on July 1st, there’s no official word on pricings yet pending the car’s official launch at Geneva on March 4th. It would seem apt that the 108 will be essentially a like-for-like replacement and prices should reflect this, indicating a starting price in the low 8,000 range.

Any alternatives?

The city car class is not exactly a desert and the prime candidate for stealing 108 sales is Hyundai’s new i10. The Volkswagen group siblings of the VW up!, SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo are worthy and well-rated alternatives – to say nothing of the probably-inevitable Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo on the 108’s platform. There’s also a new Renault Twingo in the works.

In a line…

The city car that should continue Peugeot’s return to form.

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