Christmas may come early this year!

Peugeot 208 I can tell from the fairy lights in people’s porches where I live that Christmas will soon be upon us.

o, if you are reading this at Christmas then ‘Merry Christmas’ and if you are reading this in the New Year then ‘Happy New Year’.

I love all there is about the festivities of Christmas. The massive Christmas day dinner, the gifts you never really wanted, or even expected for that matter. I also like the family time, which is really quite special for a lot of us. I also spare a thought at Christmas time for all those people who cannot be with their family for many other reasons that we sometimes forget.

To be honest, I find it good to know that at this time of year we can still find the time in our busy lives to be with our loved ones. I for one will of course put on twenty pounds in weight over the festive period, and I will also be a lot poorer for the rest of 2013 as well, because I will be paying for all those gifts that actually no one ever really wanted. Plus my children will be bored of the gifts I bought them by the time January comes.

So, if anyone is thinking of buying a new car for a loved one at this special time of year, might I point you in the direction of this month’s road test of the Peugeot 208.

Firstly, what a wonderful little Pug this is, and to be honest it looks great and it’s packed with features that make many other cars seem quite dull. The 208 has been around since June, and is a brand new car for Peugeot and will compete in the ‘B’ (Supermini) segment, which is the second largest car sector of the UK market.
Exterior: The contours of the 208 are free-flowing from the bonnet to the boot, with lots of flush fitting surfaces that also optimises the aerodynamics and weight of the 208. I like the use of the floating style grill with chrome surround and the introduction of LED’s to emphasise both day and night. The 17” Oxygen technical grey alloy wheels are also a nice touch, as is the electric, heated and folding mirrors.

Peugeot 208 Inside: The 208 is well laid out – and the cabin looks like it has been designed specifically with relaxation in mind. There's a huge amount of space inside, and there's bags of storage space for all sorts of items. The dashboard does resemble the Ford Fiesta a little, but that’s not a bad thing.

The finishing touches inside that Peugeot are very good and the seating position is spot on. I also like the use of the black ice leather trim for the inside; this puts the 208 at the very top of passenger compartment comfort in its class. The 208 is also keeping in time with modern ways of motoring with its large 7” colour touch screen display that allows access to various functions such as radio, Bluetooth hands-free and playing of music files via USB or audio streaming.

On the road: Under the bonnet is a brilliant 1.6 turbo diesel power plant offering 115bhp and 270Nm of torque @ 1750rpm, which, if I am honest, is more than enough for any driver. 0-60 time is around the 10.8 seconds, and it has a top speed of 118mph. The 208 is also supported by Pseudo-MacPherson front suspension, deformable crossmember rear suspension that ensures the 208 holds the road in both a dynamic form as well as comfort. It also comes with adaptive braking and ESP as standard.
On the open road, it drove like a top of the range sports hatch, if not a little better. The 1.6 litre engine is an absolute gem to use, with plenty of low down torque and minimal turbo lag. It’s also an incredibly willing engine even if you take it to the max.

Peugeot 208 Space: Peugeot has always been good at getting the most space out of their cars, and the 208 is no exception, because Peugeot has proven itself to be a popular choice amongst the family community - both in its design and size - which is perfect for those weekends away - or just doing the morning school run.

To sum up: I like the 208 a lot, it’s a great performer, and I think it easily beats its competitors. So, if you are looking for a small reliable supermini, then give the 208 a shakedown.

Peugeot 208 1.6e-HDi Feline Stop/Start
Price: From £17,445
Engine: 1.6 Turbo Diesel
Power: 115bhp @ 4,000rpm
0-62: 10.8sec
Max Speed: 118mph
MPG combined: 74.3 mpg
Warranty: 3 years
Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars   By Anthony Yates 

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