It’s a particular pity that the pedal weights and shunt of the Peugeot 208 should afflict it so, because if you could look beyond the fact that its awkward drivetrain makes progress tiring, you’d find that the rest of the driving experience is far from unpleasant.
Again, sadly, you’ll note that we’re not saying it’s outstanding; a Fiesta has nothing to fear. At least, though, the stodge and heft that afflicted the 207 has, by and large, been banished to history.
The 208 continues, to some extent, the promising themes set out by Peugeot’s other ‘08’ models and the RCZ. It rides very well for the most part. It steers relatively accurately – albeit in an overly light fashion that’s largely devoid of feel.
Its refinement is relatively strong, too; one of the most pleasing aspects of the new 208 is that it has been made much lighter than its predecessor without giving much away when it comes to cabin noise.
Is it fun, though? Does it feel agile? Not particularly. It would seem to us that Peugeot, put simply, doesn’t think this sort of thing is important any more. We would find a Fiesta, Mazda 2 or Swift more entertaining to drive. Even a Polo, noted for its maturity rather than its brio, is a preferable steer.
All of that is fine, as long as the car you are offering is easy to rub along with. The Vauxhall Corsa and Honda Jazz, for example, are just such cars. Crucially, though, all of the aforementioned and more are easier to drive than the Peugeot because of their driveline compliance.