Peugeot have just released their latest in the line of small cars, and we were invited down to Birmingham to see how good the new model is.
In 2005 Peugeot launched the previous model which was the result of the joint development between PSA Peugeot Citroen and Toyota. The Czech built cars were all very similar and shared a basic but functional feel. The car had an innovative glass hatch boot, a single wiper and simple dash, they felt very much built to a cost. Both 3 and 5 door versions of the 107 were built and this is carrying on to the new model.
The 108 is built under the same joint venture, and as such shares much with its Citroen and Toyota siblings but upon first impressions it is a million miles from those earlier generation cars.
Visually the car is much larger without actually gaining much physical bulk.
The new corporate nose has been adapted well to fit the 108s front end, chrome brightwork adds a touch of class and the claw rear light detail fits in with the ‘feline’ design language followed by the current crop of cars from the French manufacturer. There are also some new colours and personalisation options. There is no hiding from the fact that the car is aimed at the younger buyer with enough personalisation to appeal to all.
Trims and options allow for bright colours, sticker packs and even a model with a fabric sliding roof called the Top!
Those bright colours carry on into the interior with different dash colours and sticker packs available. Whilst this may at first come across as a touch on the naff side the interior quality is a massive step up from its predecessor and somewhere you wouldn’t mind spending some time.
Touch screen, reversing camera, DAB radio and keyless entry are among the toys on offer to attract those who like a few creature comforts. The climate control on the models tested was a great help for a very warm July day!
Out on the road the improvements in this car over the old are clear. The road and wind noise are reduced.
The car felt much more planted but we still wouldn’t recommend it for regular long distance driving as it is affected by crosswind quite badly and the slightly over assisted power steering made the car feel a bit fidgety at speed.
Rear seat legroom is on the tight side…as you would expect, and boot space is minimal at 196 litres but ample enough for a few small bags.
In the city the tight turning circle and punchy engines actually make driving quite fun. Along with the 68hp 1.0litre engine that can produce as little as 88g/km of CO2 with start stop, there is now a 82hp 1.2litre engine which produces up to 99g/km of CO2. Urban MPG’s across the range vary from 52.3 mpg for the 1.2 up to 62.8 mpg for the 1 litre with stop start.
Whilst this car is a massive improvement on the outgoing model we still had some slight gripes, some of the interior plastics still feel a little on the cheap side but we can forgive that considering the market and price point cars like this are built to. The road noise with the rag-top open was uncomfortable at anything above 50 mph.
We also found the clutch in the cars tested was overly assisted and difficult to accurately use, whether this is down to the cars being pre-production or a throw-back to the similar clutch in the 107 we’re not sure and we look forward to driving the car in future.
The 107 faces stiff competition from other cars in this segment but if you are considering a new small city car you could do a lot worse than trying out the new baby Peugeot.
Peugeot 108 – Great personalisation, huge improvement over old model!