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.
There are two petrol engines to choose from in the Peugeot 108 range – a 1.0-litre that’s carried over from the old model and a new 1.2-litre version. The latter is worth going for if you expect to use the 108 for long trips. With 81hp it’s 14hp more powerful than the smaller engine and that modest increase is enough to drop the car’s 0-62mph time from 14.3 seconds to a relatively brisk 11.0 seconds dead. An extra 14b ft of torque is also on offer and makes the car feel like it has more go, more often.
Cheap running costs are these engines’ forte and neither disappoints in this respect – the 1.0-litre model can return 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 95g/km. Spend an extra £350 on the standard Active model and you can also get engine stop/start, which increases fuel economy to 74.3mpg and lowers CO2 emissions by 6g/km.
The 108 suffers from quite a lot of body roll, but it’s buzzy engine and tiny size mean it’s still fun to drive in the city
Opting for the more powerful 1.2-litre engine barely makes a dent in running costs – fuel economy is a thoroughly respectable 65.7mpg. A £1,250 premium over the less-well-equipped, 1.0-litre car is the only thing that might put some people off.
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.
Compared to the old model, the suspension also does a decent job of smoothing out bumps, although it can get bouncy over a succession of undulations.
Town driving was never a problem for the old 108 – its weaknesses became apparent during motorway driving, where it could be a little too noisy. That problem has been addressed to some extent in the new car, but it still can’t live with the VW Up or the Hyundai i10 when it comes to interior refinement. Reviewers advise going for the more powerful 1.2-litre model if you plan to do a lot of motorway driving.