Read the updated first look review of the Peugeot 208 and watch all our car launch videos from the Geneva Motor Show 2012.
Described as the French firm’s ‘most ambitious specification overhaul ever’, the new Peugeot 208 is lighter, roomier and more efficient – and said to represent ‘a true generation leap’.
Peugeot 208: setting new standards
The new Peugeot 208 is certainly ambitious.
It will go on sale in three- and five-door body styles and, in keeping with recent trends, the two will feature distinct visual appearances – the three-door’s tapering roof countered by the five-door’s extended window line. Nonetheless, both are the best expression yet of the French firm’s latest design direction.
Key elements here are the ‘floating’ front grille, ‘boomerang’ rear lights and visible ‘spine’ that runs up the bonnet and over the roof. Sculpted sides and sharp crease complete the look.
More significantly, Peugeot has managed to make the 208 lighter and smaller while also improving passenger room and boot space.
Smaller on the outside, smarter on the inside
Unusually, the 208 is 7cm shorter and 1cm lower than the 207 it replaces.
It also weighs from just 975kg, resulting in a range that is between 110kg and 173kg lighter than before. Despite this, rear passenger knee room increases by 5cm, while the boot expands 15 litres – which, based on the 207’s luggage capacity, means it must now accommodate 285 litres of stuff.
The driver, meanwhile, benefits from an ergonomics overhaul that sees the instrument cluster raised upwards, and joined by a conveniently located touch screen display. It looks exciting and modern inside as a result.
The steering wheel is also of noticeably modest dimensions, a deliberate clue to what Peugeot hopes will be a class-leading blend of comfort and agility when it comes to the driving experience.
Three-cylinder petrols, 83mpg diesel
Peugeot has also focused on the aerodynamics, which together with the low weight and efficient engine line-up makes for an impressively frugal little car.
‘e-HDI’ start-stop is standard on four out of the five launch models, meaning that no diesel emits more than 99g/km while the best of the bunch achieves 87g/km, and a claimed 83.1mpg.
New three-cylinder 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre engines take care of petrol requirements, with CO2 emissions starting at 99g/km and a claimed 65.7mpg.
As if that wasn’t enough, 25% of the ‘polymers’ (that’s plastics) are either recycled or sourced from natural materials – including the entire rear bumper. This is not only a world first, it will also save 1,600 tonnes of fuel in manufacturing per year.
On sale summer 2012
The new Peugeot 208 supermini will debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2012 in March.
UK sales are set to start next summer. Full pricing and specification details will be announced nearer to this time.