JOHANNESBURG – Finally, Peugeot’s stunning 208 compact hatchback has gone on sale in South Africa and we’re excited to see this chic French vehicle take the fight to the recently introduced Opel Corsa as well as its sister company’s car, the Citroën C3.
All three of these cars use the same Stellantis-source platforms and the same propulsion systems in terms of engines and transmissions, but it’s the Peugeot that arguably brings the slickest styling to the segment of them all.
Peugeot says the new face of the 208 has been contoured and sharpened for stronger definition, the effect enhanced by an eye-catching grille now fully integrated into the bodywork. GT models receive gloss black mirrors covers and gloss black wheel arches as well as 17-inch rims.
The latest incarnations of the 208 are powered by state-of-the-art PureTech 1.2 engines in naturally aspirated and turbocharged formats. The engines are mated to a variety of manual or automatic gearboxes, guaranteeing you pure driving adrenaline.
The 208 Active is fitted with a PureTech 3-cylinder engine available in a naturally aspirated 1.2l – 55 kW version.
The PureTech 3-cylinder is also available in a turbocharged 1.2l – 74 kW version on the Allure Manual, and in 96 kW guise for the Allure Automatic and range-topping GT.
The 74-kW engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, whereas the 96 kW is combined with an EAT 6 automatic gearbox (Efficient Automatic Transmission 6-speed) which uses Quick Shift technology for faster changing.
The vehicle is packed with technology, including an i-Cockpit 3D instrument cluster; something we got used to after spending some time in the recently introduced 2008 and 3008.
You can also expect full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility in the 208, which will ensure you can still use your favourite smartphones apps in the car while driving. Depending on the model, you’ll get either an 18cm touch-screen interface to interact with the system or a larger 26cm in the GT model.
Best-in-class advanced driving aids
Away from ultra-luxury cars and the premium segment, the 208 is one of the most feature-rich compact hatchbacks you can buy in South Africa in terms of safety.
In addition to recognition of speed limit and end of speed limit, the vehicle’s system recognises the following signs: stop, one way street, no overtaking, end of no overtaking.
Moreover, if a driver departs from their trajectory, changes lanes without indicating, a warning light will pop up on the dashboard along with an audible signal. The system will then gradually correct the trajectory.
Added to this, by identifying deviations relative to road markings and inputs to the steering wheel, the 208 determines whether the vehicle's behaviour reflects driver drowsiness or inattention. If so, a visual and audible alert occurs. If more than three instances occur, the driver will be advised to take a break.
Depending on lighting and traffic conditions, the system will also automatically switch between high and low beam headlights.
Standard-fit hill start assist prevents the 208 rolling on a hill when the brake pedal is released. Hill start assist acts by holding the vehicle stationary for around two seconds. In this time the driver can calmly move from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal.
You also get an active safety brake; when a driver fails to react to an impending forward collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian or an animal, automatic emergency braking is triggered, limiting, or avoiding any damage.
Finally, perhaps one of the coolest features in the compact segment, is Visiopark. The system features a 180-degree video camera on the boot hatch, while Park Assist sensors provide information including an overhead view of the vehicle. The system makes it easier to align your vehicle while parking and displays any obstacles.
Here’s the South African model line-up and pricing:
Peugeot 208 Active – R289 900
Peugeot 208 Allure MT – R349 900
Peugeot 208 Allure AT – R379 900
Peugeot 208 GT – R424 900