Peugeot rings the changes with new 108 city car
IT is a bit like wearing the same suit/dress to three weddings in three days – but managing to disguise it with clever accessories.
The Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo (reviewed last week) share so much the companies have worked really hard to distinguish their identities.
This week it's the turn of the Peugeot's 108. It's more classic and less flamboyant than Toyota's uncharacteristically edgy ensemble.
Critically it looks a lot different.
And Peugeot insist it is a car for women (the only segment where females are in the majority of buyers) and families.
It gets here in September but there's no indication on price. We expect Toyota to start around €12,500 for their 3dr.
The 108 is tidy, neat, modern with a cabin almost exactly the same size as the 107 it replaces. It's more demure and doesn't reach the bright lights of the Aygo.
But it has a 1.2-litre petrol in addition to a 1-litre (Toyota has stuck with the just the 1-litre). The larger engine adds real pep. Watch for it – only a few hundred more I'd say.
The smaller engine had plenty of pep; throaty 3cyl down the gears, flat mid-range and fine at cruising speed. It was fun around towns with its small turning circle and you'd park it on a plate.
Of course you can personalise to your heart's content (lots of themes and interior insert combinations) – though you can't change panels and the front nose like with the Aygo. A roof spoiler is standard.
It's 3,470mm long (up 40mm), the same width (1,630mm) and 10mm lower and there's a good deal more boot space.
The cabin has more storage areas (glove box has a cut-out slot that can take a one-litre bottle) while the rear bench seat splits 50:50.
A fabric cover replaces the old parcel shelf; pull down the boot and it pivots to hide whatever is underneath.
There are three trim levels; the top two (middle one biggest seller) has a multi-function steering wheel, air con while Level 3 gets reversing camera built into the rear bumper.
Connectivity is the keyword; Levels 2, 3 get a 7ins touch-screen; the MirrorLink technology replicates your smartphone on the screen. Ostensibly that means you can operate a phone from the car's touch screen.
They say it means no distractions. Well, the sat nav nearly drove us mad; too feckity and the signal disappeared too often. Frustrating. It would put you off.
There will be four 3cyl petrols: 1-litre e-VTi 68bhp 5spd (88g/km, Stop/Start), 1-litre VTi 68bhp 5spd (95g/km), 1-litre VTi 68bhp 5spd auto electronic (97g/km) and a new 1.2-litre PureTech VTi 82bhp 5spd (99g/km).
Standard are six airbags, LED daytime running lights, Hill Assist and five-year warranty. And a spare wheel.
There's a cabrio version too for the first time.
Wouldn't that be ideal for a wedding in this weather – no matter what mix-and-match outfit you have on?