Peugeot South Africa has launched a thoroughly updated version of its popular 208 subcompact hatchback.

The new range combines re-energised, assertive styling with new, highly efficient PureTech engines and an advanced automatic gearbox, while a new GT Line model adds sporty appeal. Peugeot’s innovative i-Cockpit has also undergone further refinement.

This latest Peugeot 208 line-up consists of three models, offering a choice of three high-efficiency Euro6-compliant PureTech engines, two transmissions and two trim levels.

However, consistent across all models is the 208’s dynamic, engaging character, thanks to its compact dimensions and supple suspension, while the PureTech three-cylinder engines deliver dynamic sparkle linked to superior fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions.

The 208’s exceptional efficiency doesn’t only benefit the environment by reducing CO2 emissions, but also translates into lower running costs, and an overall lower cost of ownership.

“The 208 has been a stalwart performer in the Peugeot stable, both here and abroad,” says Francis Harnie, managing director of Peugeot Citroën South Africa. However, with demand for more compact, but also more sophisticated cars continuing to grow, it was time to update the current model.”

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Harnie points out that the changes and improvements amount to much more than just a facelift.

“All 208 models are now powered by Euro6-compliant engines featuring our award-winning PureTech technology, which deliver ample zip and impressive economy. The advanced automatic gearbox offered in the new GT Line model sets new benchmarks for efficiency and shift speed. And the exterior and interior updates have added lustre to an already popular package,” Harnie concluded.

EXTERIOR: A MAGNETIC ATTRACTION

Compact, chic and dynamic, the Peugeot 208 is a distinctive head-turner in a segment better known for its pragmatism than its style. The new 208 improves further on an already attractive package by adding stronger visual impact.

Key changes include new headlights with black and chrome elements, creating a sharper, more assertive expression, while LED daytime running lights are included on the Active and GT Line models.

A new bumper with crisper, cleaner lines is linked to a smoothly integrated grille that’s wider and gains a more pronounced chrome surround. Higher trim levels (GT Line) get a distinctive black and chrome grille treatment that creates a three-dimensional effect.

These changes, together with repositioned fog lamps, endow the new 208 with a wider, more emphatic look that also emphasises the hatchback’s dynamic character.

In profile, the short overhangs and sculpted flanks remain a 208 hallmark, but new wheels, varying in size and design depending on model, have been introduced. The rear view is dominated by the striking, deep red 3D LED ‘’claw’’ design of the tail lights.

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The new Peugeot 208 acknowledges the growing demand for personalisation by offering a choice of 12 colours, some of which are completely new. These include an arresting Orange Power hue.

In addition, Peugeot has added an innovative textured paint to its existing solid, metallic and pearlescent paint finishes. Exceptionally durable and resistant to micro-scratches, textured paint has a pleasing, tactile appeal and emphasises the contours and colours of the car to great effect, especially in various light conditions.

A world first on a production model, the textured paint requires no special treatment (except NO WAX) or washing instructions. It is available in Ice Silver and Ice Grey.

INTERIOR: EXCITING AND DISTINCTIVE

The exterior enhancements to the updated Peugeot 208 are accompanied by an even greater emphasis on quality and refinement inside the car.

The innovative i-Cockpit concept, which arranges instruments in the driver’s line of sight, and places instruments within easy reach, has become a Peugeot hallmark. It also includes a small, sporty steering wheel, which contributes to the 208’s dynamic appeal, and promotes closer, intuitive interaction between car and driver.

A large seven-inch touchscreen becomes the user-friendly interface for many of the 208’s infotainment functions and features, while USB and Bluetooth connectivity are also included.

In the new 208, close attention to detail and the use of premium-quality materials translate into a cabin that looks and feels inviting. Lighting plays a particularly important role in creating the 208’s special interior ambience, including mood lighting, and white backlighting for the instruments and controls.

SAFETY AND SECURITY: LOOKING AFTER NUMBER ONE

Safety remains a core attribute of the new Peugeot 208. Its five-star Euro-NCAP safety rating is the result of a comprehensive array of active and passive systems across the entire model range.

Active safety systems include ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA), while passive features include dual front airbags, inertia reel seat belts, and front and rear head restraints.

The hazard lights activate automatically under emergency braking, while the central locking system automatically locks the doors when driving off. Electric child locks for the rear doors are standard, as are IsoFix child seat tethers. The 208 also comes equipped with an anti-theft alarm.

In addition to these safety and security features, the Active model gets side airbags and ESP (electronic stability control) as standard, while the GT Line versions also benefit from curtain  airbags.

DRIVETRAINS: POWER MEETS EFFICIENCY

The entire new Peugeot 208 range is equipped with Euro6-compliant three-cylinder engines featuring PureTech technology.

Hallmarks of the PureTech engines include direct injection, low-friction materials and reduced mass, linked to Peugeot’s intelligent engineering. The result is a line-up of engines that achieves a level of performance usually associated with larger engines, but with significantly reduced fuel consumption and CO2 exhaust emissions.

Peugeot is one of the leading manufacturers of low-emissions vehicles, with more than half of its global sales made up of vehicles with an emission rating of less than 140 g/km. It has also played a pioneering role in technologies such as Stop/Start systems, and new-generation high-efficiency engines.

The normally aspirated 1,2-litre engine employed in the 208 1.2 Active is even more frugal, recording a combined-cycle fuel consumption figure of 4,3 litres/100 km, while the CO2 emissions dip to just 99 g/km. The three-cylinder is credited with 60 kW of power at 5 5750 r/min, and 118 Nm at 2 750 r/min.

A turbocharged version of the same 1 199 cc PureTech engine is at the heart of the new 208 1.2 GT Line. It won the coveted Engine of the Year Award in the 1,0-litre to 1,4-litre category, and produces 81 kW of maximum power at 5 500 r/min, together with maximum torque of 205 Nm at 1 500 r/min.

The 1.2 GT Line is offered with a choice of either five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearboxes. The automatic transmission is a new EAT6 (Efficient Automatic Transmission) that achieves levels of efficiency comparable with manual gearboxes.

Amazingly, the combined-cycle fuel consumption of the manual and auto versions is exactly the same, at only 4,5 litres/100 km, while CO2 emissions rating is almost the same, at 103 and 104 g/km respectively.

GT LINE: THE NEW FLAGSHIP

The launch of the re-energised Peugeot 208 marks the arrival of a new flagship for the range. The GT Line combines an upmarket execution with strong dynamic appeal, while retaining the 208’s five-door practicality.

With 81 kW on tap, it comes as no surprise that the new 208 flagship is also the sportiest member of the range. The manual version accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 9,6 seconds, and has a rated top speed of 190 km/h.

The 1.2 GT Line Automatic is only 0,2 sec slower for the 0-100 km/h sprint, but top speed is identical.

Exterior features unique to the two GT Line models include a special ‘Equaliser’ grille with red detailing, a gloss black finish for the grille surround, fog lamp finishers and exterior mirror housings, and 17’’ Caesium alloy wheels.

Also unique to the GT Line is the chrome-finished exhaust tailpipe, red Peugeot lettering, and privacy glass for the rear windows.

The GT Line theme is continued inside, where special GT Line sports seats, upholstered in black and red with contrasting stitching, take pride of place. Red detailing on the black seatbelts continues the sporty theme, while the multifunction steering wheel gets a full leather-trimmed rim.

Aluminium door sill finishers and aluminium pedals are another unique GT Line feature, as is the red-and-black sports theme of the touchscreen display.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT: A FULL HOUSE

While the GT Line is the undisputed flagship of the new Peugeot 208 range, all four models benefit from a comprehensive standard execution.

Even the entry-level model offers halogen headlights with daytime running lights and a follow-me-home function, LED three-claw tail lights, and15-inch wheels with full wheel covers.

Inside, the innovative i-Cockpit is equipped with an MP3-compatible CD receiver with multiple speakers, a trip computer, electric power steering, air-conditioning, electric front windows, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, and a refrigerated glove compartment.

The 208 Active gets alloy wheels, colour-coded door handles, and colour-coded mirrors that fold in electrically when the car is locked. The standard halogen headlights are exchanged for two-tone halogen headlights with an elliptic mode and LED daytime running lights, while front fog lamps are included.

Inside, the most notable addition is the seven-inch colour touchscreen display which centralises key functions and features via an intuitive user interface, while the steering wheel gains multifunction controls. The sound system includes both Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Both front and rear windows are electrically controlled, as are the exterior mirrors. Programmable cruise control with a speed limiter is standard, too.

The GT Line’s equipment list is truly full house. It includes everything the Active offers, but the fog lamps feature a cornering function, while the interior features half-leather upholstery and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Also standard on the GT Line are an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, auto-activating headlights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. Manual air-conditioning makes way for an automatic bi-zone climate control system.

PRICING AND WARRANTY

The newly updated four-model Peugeot 208 range is priced as follows:

208 Active 1.2 PureTech                                             R209 900

208 GT Line 1.2 PureTech Turbo                                R269 900

208 GT Line 1.2 PureTech Turbo Auto                       R289 900

Pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty. Active and GT Line models also benefit from a five-year/60 000 km Premium Plan (Full Maintenance Plan).