The Peugeot 208 is one of the most important new cars to be unveiled here in Geneva. Not only is it the only debutant in the hugely important European B-segment, but it’s also the car Peugeot had promised would really show it was back on the right track. First impressions are that it lives up to that promise.
The most obvious thing is that it is smaller than the 207 it replaces and looks and feels so. It’s an important realignment of the traditional market segments and feels all the better for its newfound svelteness, which is reflected in its exterior form language. Ok, so there may be a few too many flicks and chrome accents to its detailing and graphics, but they successfully convey ‘premiumness’ without resorting to aping Mini (see Citroen DS3).
But the big news is inside. With the gauge pack raised to sit above the low-set, small-diameter steering wheel and into the driver’s line of sight it’s genuinely unique to sit in. We’ll reserve judgement until we experience it on the road, but initial impressions are that it will work pretty well from an ergonomics perspective as long as you taylor your seating position to match.
Perceived quality is good and there are neat touches such as the full-size center armrest and fragmented speaker grille perforations. And like all good European small cars it feels chic.
By Owen Ready