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Peugeot 208

Ahead of the September deadline for the switch to engines that comply with Euro-6 emissions regulations, Peugeot has revised its 208 supermini with a range of 1.6-litre BlueHDi units in 74, 98 and 118bhp power outputs. At the same time, it has treated its Fiesta-rival to a new front bumper, larger grille and revised headlights, together with a fresh design for the rear light clusters.
But greater personalisation is key to the upgrades for the baby Peugeot, with a Menthol White or Lime Green pack delivering extra colourful enhancements, and a new textured paint surface - a world-first on a volume produced car. It's achieved by adding fine particles of silica and micro-balloons of polyamide to give a textured, matte finish, and costs £645 - £150 more than metallic paint. Additional technology includes the availability of autonomous emergency braking for the first time.
Peugeot has also taken the opportunity to slim down the diesel range to just four equipment levels this time around, with a new sportier GT Line model topping the diesel line-up. Our test car was a bit of a Heinz 57, as the wheels and enhanced aerodynamics of the eco pack won't be available on UK cars. Our test car was fitted with the 98bhp 1.6-litre BlueHDi engine and this made for perky performance away from the lights, and plenty of overtaking muscle, should you need it. And while there's a bit of a racket at higher revs, around town and at motorway speeds, the sounds from the engine merges into the background.
There's a touch of wind noise around the mirrors, but road and tyre noise is impressively low. Thanks to the small diameter wheel, the 208 feels nimble through the bends, reacting quickly to inputs. There's tight body control, neat handling and more than sufficient grip. The suspension setup is pretty good, too, soaking up potholes and speed humps well. It's easy to forget how nicely laid out the cabin of the 208 is. The infotainment and navigation screen is ideally placed at the top of the dashboard, just within your eyeline, and all of the controls are neatly arranged. The instruments are a model of clarity, with a smart white on black affair, and though the high-set cowling and small steering wheel can be an acquired taste, it's an arrangement that suits drivers of average height particularly well.
A soft band across the dashboard gives a plusher feel, though some of the plastics are still unremittingly hard. But the overall impression of the dashboard is one of classiness, which is aided by the smart piano black surfaces. The driving position is spot on, with lots of opportunity to adjust both the seat and the steering wheel, and space up front is well up to class standards. Move to the back seats and knee and leg space is actually pretty generous, though taller passengers may wish for a little more head room.
Over the shoulder vision is hindered by bulky rear pillars and thick windscreen posts make manoeuvring out of more awkward side junctions a challenge. Boot space is better than most rivals, including the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, with a well shaped 311 litres of space with the seats up and a generous 1,152 litres with the chairs tumbled down.

Model tested Allure 1.6 BlueHDi 100
Price £17,045
Made in Poissy, France
Configuration 5-door hatchback, 5-seats, front-wheel-drive
Drivetrain 1560cc, 4-cylinder, 8-valve, turbocharged diesel with stop-start and selective catalyst reduction
Transmission 5-speed manual
Power output 98bhp @ 3,750rpm
Maximum torque 187lb ft @ 1,750rpm
Top speed/0-62mph 116mph/10.7 secs
CO2 emissions (tax band) 87g/km (A) Euro 6
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) 74.3/88.3/83.1mpg
Fuel tank size/range 50 litres/914 miles
Insurance group/BIK rate tba/16%
Size (length/width with mirrors) 3,973/2,004mm
Boot space (minimum/maximum) 311/1,152 litres
Kerb/max towing weight 1,090/1,150kg

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