Peugeot 208 takes on the Ford Fiesta

Slight redemption comes in the form of practicality. The 208 might have the smaller boot, by 10 litres, but it's deeper than the Fiesta's, which gains its extra space by being 2cm taller. So the Peugeot's boot is actually more useful, especially as it's a considerably wider car, so the aperture is broader. Rear legroom is good enough for sub-six-footers in each car, but the 208 has a longer wheelbase by nearly 5cm, so there's a bit more freedom for legs and knees. And because of that greater width, there's also more elbow room.

Is that enough to save the 208? Probably not. This is a respectable comeback by Peugeot and - despite being on essentially the same platform as the 207 - the 208 feels like a significant reinvention. Many people will go for it on looks alone. Perhaps its greatest success is to make the Fiesta look a bit... dated. But the Ford's mid-generation refresh, which we'll see in September, should give it more sparkle. For now, though, and for our money, it still deserves to be a chart-topper. Go tell your friends.

(Words: Dan Read, Pics: Lee Brimble)