Peugeot 208 takes on the Ford Fiesta
Will the 208 be a new Ford-worrier?
Posted: 02 Oct 2012
It's also more involving. Here's a chassis that could take a lot more power, and soon will, when the ST version arrives. There's something cheeky about the way it scampers through corners, skinny-ish tyres offering just enough grip before gently breaking away. Neither of these cars will be driven this way all the time, but were you to choose one for the dynamics alone, go for the Ford. Again, the 208 isn't miles behind, but seems generally more surprised by late braking or particularly ambitious manoeuvres. Its gearchange is slightly clunky, the steering's a bit too slow, and the brakes are jumpy. The Ford always seems to have the edge.
This is the sort of stuff we care about. Many buyers won't. Lovely steering feel? Fine. But where do I plug in my iPod? These are the people Peugeot has looked after most with the 208. The cabin is smart and minimalist, with a whacking great tablet-style touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard, standard on all but the most basic models. There's no CD player. But you get two USB slots and Bluetooth streaming. Unless you're a stubborn Luddite, this is a good thing and allows for a cleaner cabin than the Ford.