Peugeot 108 review
The Peugeot 108 city car competes in one of the most competitive classes in the automotive world. It’s a decent effort but can’t get match the all-round appeal of the Volkswagen Up.
What's not so good
Find out more about the Peugeot 108
The Peugeot 108 is undeniably one of the old ’uns in the city car segment, alongside its fellow old-stagers the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, which are basically the same car underneath.
So does the three-of-a-kind 108 represent a safe bet, or is it a gamble too far these days? Well, so far, only the Hyundai i10 – with its spacious interior and generous equipment levels – has had the measure of the Volkswagen up/Seat Mii/ Skoda Citigo (now dead) trio.
Still, from the off, the Peugeot has all the important boxes ticked: it’s cheap to buy, frugal to run, has small dimensions and cheeky looks. It also has equipment such as a touchscreen infotainment system, air-conditioning, plus automatic headlights and wipers.
If that sounds good to you, and want to get offers from our trusted Peugeot dealers, we’d recommend the 1.0-litre petrol engine with Active trim. Click the link, choose your colour, hit the Get offers button and see how much you could save: Peugeot 108 Active.
The old Peugeot 108 was always an excellent city car. Its willing little three-cylinder engine, in town at least, gave nippy performance and emitted a pleasant thrum that meant working it hard wasn’t a chore on the ears. The same wasn’t true at motorway speeds, where the engine noise soon manifested itself as a constant and annoying drone. Peugeot has looked to address this in the new model and it’s something VW managed with the Up.
The Peugeot 108 is fun little car that’s perfect for the city
Last but not least is the option to fit a fold-back fabric roof that is electrically operated and gives something of a convertible feel. It was an option fitted to the 108 Top Allure.
The new Peugeot 108 is a vast improvement over the car it replaces thanks to boosted safety and even lower running costs. It is also better equipped and enjoyable to own, especially if you choose to spec the full-length folding fabric roof that effectively transforms the car into a cut-price convertible.
All good news then, but elephants in the room come in the form of the Hyundai i10 and the Volkswagen Up – the duo are more fun to drive, have added solidity and are more practical – three advantages that are hard to ignore in this class.
To see what sort of offers you can expect on the car, visit our deals page.
The Peugeot 108 is one of the smallest cars on sale, but at least the front seats are spacious. There’s not much room for adults in the back seats and the boot is small, however.
While the comparatively spacious VW Up is an all new model, the 108 is a thorough reworking of the old car and that shows when it comes to passenger space. Room in the front is fine, but adults will feel squeezed in the back and six-footers can forget about getting comfortable if there’s someone similarly tall up front.
Headroom, in particular, is in short supply and the small doors mean accessing the rear isn’t particularly easy, either. Rear windows that clip out (rather than winding down) cement the claustrophobic feel.
With a capacity of 196 litres, the new 108 has a fair-sized luggage area, but it’s still quite a bit smaller than the 251-litre boot in the Volkswagen Up or the Hyundai i10’s 252-litre load bay.
Unfortunately, there’s quite a drop from the boot lip to the boot floor, which will make getting bags into and out of the load area more of a strain that would be ideal.
The rear seats fold down easily enough but leave a large step in the floor, hampering usability.
Small dimensions make the 108 perfect for cutting through congested city streets, it has a tight turning circle and light controls that make low-speed manoeuvring simple, but rapid it is not.
There’s just the solitary engine on offer, a 72hp q.0-litre three-cylinder affair. It’s certainly no ball of fire, getting to 62mph in around 14 seconds and topping out at 99mph.
However, searing pace is not what you buy such cars for. Cheap running costs are these engines’ forte and neither disappoints in this respect – the 1.0-litre model can return 58.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 110g/km. The fuel tank is only 35 litres but the economy means you shouldn’t have to fill it too often.
Nonetheless, a high biting point for the clutch can make for jerky progress at low speeds – not helped by the throbbing three-cylinder engine that often feels like it is about to stall.
The rest of the time, though, the 108 is a joy to use on inner streets as it squeezes through tight spaces and nips into gaps in traffic. The Allure model carwow tested also came with a reversing camera which made it super easy to shoehorn into tight parking spaces.
The suspension also does a decent job of smoothing out bumps, although it can get bouncy over a succession of undulations.
Town driving is undeniably the 108’s forte, but it has always felt much less at ease on the motorway, where it can be a little too noisy. It’s better in this respect than ever, but it still can’t live with the Hyundai i10 or VW Up for interior refinement.
Sit in the 108 and it feels pretty cheap but you get what you pay for. It’s actually pretty well put together, with a grown-up feel, but can’t match a VW Up for quality.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.