Those first generation cars were the result of the 'B-Zero' project - to develop a small city car that meets the demands of European urbanites, that's fun to drive and affordable to buy.
There are few surprises in store in the new 108 just after you’ve sampled the near-identical second-generation Toyota Aygo and Citroën C1 city cars, which continue to be made in the same factory in the Czech Republic and have been for the past nine years.
Apart from prices, some dealer differences, your own brand prejudices and some nose-tail styling variations, this is the same car we’ve recently tested under two different badges.
Only details of the deal — perhaps PCP prices or Peugeot’s 'Just Add Fuel' deal make a real difference between this and the rest.
The 108 is now a little more sophisticated, better equipped and about 55kg heavier than the outgoing Peugeot 107. However, its drag coefficient falls from 0.34 to an impressive 0.29, and this, along with the availability of stop-start technology and a fuel-saving automated manual gearbox, means CO2 emissions drop to as low as 88g/km.
All models come in at 99g/km or below to qualify for zero road tax. That includes the new three-cylinder, normally aspirated 1.2-litre Peugeot Puretech engine now offered, in addition to the Toyota 1.0-litre triple carried over from the 107. This same option is also provided for in the Toyota Aygo and Citroën C1 versions.
The 108 itself is little changed dimensionally compared to the 107. At just 3.5 metres long, it’s now 40mm longer, slightly lower and shares an identical width, but its proportioning has changed in that it has less of a cab-forward look, with the result that it has a longer bonnet. Wearing its maker’s rather traditional corporate façade gives the 108 the most conventional face of the Peugeot/Citroën/Toyota trio.
With the Toyota-sourced 1.0-litre three cylinder motor under the hood, the 108 makes a decent little city car. The unit is smooth when spinning, and for a petrol-burner its fuel consumption is very impressive — almost in the diesel class.