Review: Peugeot 108

Economical city car, which offers bags of character

04 Jul 16 Chris Pickering

Pros

  • Decent ride for a small car

  • Fun to drive

  • Cheap to run

Cons

  • Not as cheap to buy as some options

  • Limited rear seat accommodation

  • Boot still not huge

Our expert rating

The Peugeot 108 is a small, economical city car, which replaced the old 107. Under the skin it’s virtually identical to the Citroën C1 and the Toyota Aygo, both of which are made in the same factory in the Czech Republic.

It comes in 3-door and 5-door hatchback variants and there’s even a pseudo-convertible version known as the 108 Top! with a large fabric sunroof.

Performance

There are two petrol engines available. The smaller 1-litre unit is super economical and has more than enough urge for use around town; the larger 1.2-litre PureTech engine still returns an impressive 65.7mpg on the official test (think low 50s in the real world) and it feels much more capable on A-roads and motorways. It’s got real character too, producing a sporty three-cylinder thrum that quickly quiets down once you’re up to speed.

Both engines are VED tax exempt under the current system, producing 95g/km and 99g/km respectively. There is an automatic gearbox available on the 1-litre engine, but we’d stick to the cheaper, more economical 5-speed manual unless you have a real aversion to changing gear yourself.

Two Peugeot 108s

Ride and handling

The 108 feels fun to drive, with eager responses and direct steering. There is a touch of body roll to contend with, but the trade-off is a surprisingly comfortable ride for a small car.

We covered quite a lot of miles during our time with the 108 and, despite its compact dimensions, it felt rock solid at motorway speeds.

Peugeot 108 interior

Interior space

Space is always going to be at something of a premium in a city car. The front of the 108 is reasonably roomy and it has a decent amount of cabin storage, but grownups may struggle to get comfortable in the back.

While ISOFIX comes as standard, you’d also be wise to check for space before installing one of the new rear-facing toddler seats, particular behind a tall driver.  To be fair, the same could be said of any car in this class. The boot isn’t huge either, but at 196 litres it’s large enough for the weekly shop.

On the upside, the cabin has a really contemporary feel with a large central touchscreen standard on all apart from the lowest Access trim. It works brilliantly too, connecting seamlessly to your mobile via Bluetooth to provide access to calls, music and a whole host of streaming services.

You can also mirror the whole screen of your phone across while stationary, allowing you to browse the internet or use apps.

Peugeot 108 boot

What to know before you buy

Unless you plan to transport rear seat passengers on a regular basis you might as well save yourself £400 and go for the 3-door, which also provides easier access to the front seats thanks to its wider doors. Engine-wise, we prefer the extra urge of the 1.2-litre unit, but it’s only available on the higher spec models and it does add quite a bit to the price.

Active trim is only available with the smaller engine, but it does get you the touchscreen infotainment system plus the addition of air conditioning and a DAB radio. Not bad for £9,860 when bought new.

Allure brings the option of the larger engine, plus a leather steering wheel, alloy wheels and a reversing camera (admittedly somewhat redundant in a car this small and this easy to see out of). Meanwhile, the top-spec Feline Nav edition goes the whole hog with leather seats and satellite navigation.

The 108’s 4-star Euro NCAP rating is competitive in its class, but it lags behind the likes of the 5-star Volkswagen Up! and the Skoda Citigo. In terms of reliability, the 1-litre models share much of their mechanical components with the previous generation car, which proved solid and dependable.

Peugeot offers a standard 3-year warranty on the 108, although a number of competitors – most notably Toyota with the mechanically-identical Aygo – now offer more.

Peugeot 108 back

Alternative cars

The Peugeot 108 feels the most grown up of the Aygo-108-C1 trio, but it’s also the most expensive. Which of the three you prefer will come down to budget and personal preference.

Elsewhere, the excellent Volkswagen Up! is more spacious and refined, although higher spec models can be a little pricey. The Hyundai i10 and the Fiat Panda are also well worth a look.

Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo alternative

Overall verdict

There’s a lot to like about the Peugeot 108. It has bags of character, a great engine in the form of the 1.2-litre PureTech and a decent level of equipment from Active spec upwards. It’s not as slick as the Volkswagen Up! and neither is it as affordable as some of the other options, but it’s a worthwhile contender.

Expert rating

Performance

Reliability

Space & comfort

Running costs

Value for money

Overall