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Access French style with 3-door 208

Peugeot SA has slotted in a new entry-level derivative at the bottom of its 208 compact hatchback line-up - the Access 1.0 VTi, a youthful, cheeky-looking three-door version distinguished by a striking black honeycomb grille with dark-anodised aluminium trim.

While the interior is more functional than fancy, with durable fabric upholstery, standard kit includes such mod cons as electric front windows, central locking, Isofix child seat mounts, and a trip data computer, as well as a full-sized spare wheel, ABS with EBD, and front airbags for driver and passenger. Air conditioning, however, is not included.

Peugeot has kept costs down by fitting 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps.

The three-door Access 1.0 comes with a 999cc, three-cylinder petrol engine for which Peugeot quotes 50kW at 6000 revs and 95Nm 300rpm, delivered to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

BY THE NUMBERS

That's good enough, it says, for 0-100km/h in 14 seconds and 163km/h flat out, at a average cost of only 4.3 litres per 100km. In fact, Peugeot claims its feather-footed test drivers can get the it down to 3.8 litres per 100km on the open road - but regard that as a challenge, rather than a promise.

The three-door Peugeot 208 Access 1.0 VTi is covered by Peugeot's standard three-year warranty and five-year or 60 000km maintenance plan, at no extra cost.

And here's the most important number of all: R147 500, ready to go.

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