KUALA LUMPUR — October 16, 2017: Those who own and love the previous generation of Peugeot 208 will probably fall in love with its recent makeover.
That includes this reviewer who’s happy to report that the newly facelifted 208 comes with some extra performance and features that excite.
This model that was launched earlier this year goes for RM90,000, which is slightly more than the rival Honda Jazz top range at RM88,000++.
What’s obviously new with the 208 is the front face of the car, including the redesigned headlight and new LED tail lights with three-dimensional triple claw light guides which make it more appealing to the eyes.
Inside, changes are limited to faux carbon soft-touch dashboard trim and a new seat upholstery design.
Equipment wise, the 208 gets 16-inch Titane two-tone alloy wheels, dual-zone auto climate control, rear parking sensors and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
It also has six airbags, anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, stability control and ISOFIX rear child seat tethers.
Peugeot has finally ditched the old powertrain and replaced it with a more sophisticated 1.2 litre three-cylinder turbocharged motor with automatic start/stop and a six-speed automatic gearbox.
This translates to marginally less horsepower at 112ps (-10ps) but significantly more torque at 205Nm (+45Nm).
This means that the little lion is now quicker, accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 9.8 seconds from 10.7 seconds. More importantly, the six-speed Aisin automatic transmission in place of the old 4-speeder means that the car now has more gears to choose from.
As an owner of the previous gen 208, I always thought that the engine’s performance was somewhat limited by the archaic 4-speed gearbox.
After living with the facelifted 208 for a week, I came to a conclusion that this new powertrain is a huge step forward both in performance and refinement.
It feels faster and less strained when cruising at speeds way beyond the national speed limit. The 205Nm of torque at its disposal also meant that getting to intended destination is a breeze. The engine is also quieter at all speeds compared to the older 208.
But there is a catch, typical of a 3-cylinder engine. The engine seems to vibrate a little at lower speed and the gearbox seems to be confused in finding the right gear during traffic jams. I found the vibration to be a slight annoyance but not a deal breaker.
After a week of daily commuting back and forth from work via Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong, I managed to record a 9L/100km which is quite good considering that my daily commute consists mostly of heavy traffic jams during peak hours.
Under the right driving conditions the 4.5L/100km quoted fuel consumption looks achievable.
The automatic start/stop system temporarily switches off the engine when the car comes to a halt and switches it back on when the car is about to roll.
On paper, this feature would help with the fuel consumption but the start/stop process is not as seamless as it should be. Thankfully though, the system can be turned off with just a push of a button.
The ride of this facelifted 208 is great! It feels composed at high speed and soaks up bumps and potholes very well.
It’s more comfortable than many of its rivals including the Honda Jazz and Ford Fiesta. Handling is good, it can tackle corners at high speed relatively well but there is still some understeer if you go in too hot.
It’s a car tuned more to comfort which makes sense when it comes to Malaysian roads. Anyway, for absolute handling there is the Peugeot 208 Gti.
Interior space is decent but nowhere near the class leading Honda Jazz. It can easily accommodate two adults and three kids at the back comfortably.
Boot space is at 311 litres which can easily fit your typical weekend groceries. The back seat can also be folded down to fit longer items like a bicycle.
Storage compartment is decent all round except the glovebox which can hardly fit a pair of riding gloves. Also, the centre arm rest that was present in the previous 208 is missing here.
The Peugeot 208 Puretech also comes with a full-sized spare tyre which inspires confidence when travelling long distance, a commendable move by Peugeot when most manufacturers prefer to cut cost and include a space saving smaller spare tyre instead.
GALLERY: Peugeot 208 Puretech