Arriving fashionably late to the party, Peugeot finally launches its 108 and it has been worth the wait.
In the Metal:
To this extent, it is the Peugeot that looks the smartest of the three, wearing a less divisive face and one that is more in keeping with the rest of its model range. The greater attention to style is continued by the good range of exterior hues offered by the French brand that also includes a number of means by which to personalise the car's exterior.
Inside it's a more familiar affair, with the same interior architecture and design being applied as the Citroen and Toyota. The swathes of hard black plastic are broken up by some contrasting trim panels, which do help to brighten up the cabin slightly. The dashboard is a simple affair consisting of a large, single unit that houses the speedometer with a digital display inset. To the side of this is a small digital tachometer, although given the nature of the 1.2-litre engine you won't need to rely on the rev counter too much to know when to change up or down a gear.
The centre console is just as straightforward but with a gloss black finish, it stands out a touch more from the rest of the car. The seven-inch colour touchscreen features as standard on the Allure specification and incorporates a rear view camera as well as the Mirrorlink infotainment system. The latter synchronises the car's infotainment system with the user's smartphone, although it remains a platform that is both temperamental in operation and limited in the variety of compatible handsets. One other downside to the 108 is the 196-litre boot capacity, which falls well short of what is offered by many of its rivals.
Around town the 108 is quite a reasonable car to drive, offering both a well-rounded ride and steering that is well weighted given how light this car is. Peugeot's engine offering is two-pronged, starting with a 68hp 1.0-litre unit and an 82hp 1.2-litre, the second of which powered our test car. The difference between the two engines is noticeable, and considering there is just a €300 premium for the more powerful version, we think it is money well spent.
On more open roads and motorways the performance limitations of the engine rings true, a fact that isn't helped by a five-speed transmission. However, it's worth remembering that this is a car designed for urban use, not long-distance commuting. With this in mind, the 108 is a pleasant car to drive and with the wheels pushed out to the extremities of the car it can be fun to drive while still proving more than capable when it comes to squeezing into those tighter parking spaces.
The Allure Top model tested here includes the retractable fabric roof, which does result in a slightly noisier cabin but fans of convertibles won't mind, and it retains the car's original roofline meaning there isn't the same amount of wind buffeting with it fully open.
What you get for your Money:
Comparing the 108 in its 68hp guise with the offerings from Citroen and Toyota shows the Peugeot as having the better product offerings over the different trim levels. In the case of the range-topping Allure trim, it offers more standard equipment than its closest rival, the Aygo, yet still undercuts it by €200. Further afield though it remains a touch more expensive than the Hyundai i10, which remains easily the best car in the segment.
With the 108 Peugeot has shown how it can bring plenty of style to the small car market. The overall package is a strong and competitive one, which consumers that are keen on equipment will get some good value for money from.