What is it like on the inside?
Peugeot’s new interior design philosophy revolves around its 'i-Cockpit', with a compact steering wheel and high-mounted instrument cluster, viewed over the top of the wheel rim. It takes some getting used to, but, as the taller members of the TG team have found, doesn’t work for all.
What we all agree on, however, is the uplift in quality over its predecessor. The denser plastics, tasteful metal and woven ‘carbon’ touches put anything up to a Mini in the shade here. Audi and VW have slightly sacrificed touchy-feely quality at the altar of ever-snazzier touchscreens. Peugeot… hasn’t.
More infotainment gripe?
Only the usual. The infotainment system isn’t the most logical to operate, while the climate controls are buried within the touchscreen. Still, the touch-sensitive shortcut keys, seated slightly below, help matters, and there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. So it’s not as if you’ll ever use the built-in nav.
And elsewhere, Peugeot’s pulled off some lovely touches. The ‘3D’ instrument cluster works superbly, projecting speed just that bit more prominently than say, revs or fuel. Peugeot reckons it saves 0.5secs of glancing time which makes taking your eyes off the road safer. It’s a pleasant touch and for configuration-happy types there are several different screen layouts and colour schemes to cycle through.
What’s passenger space like?
Plenty comfortable up top, and as all 208s have five doors – the market for three-door hatchbacks simply dried up without trace – meaning access to the rear seats is a doddle. However, they're not the roomiest pair (let alone three abreast), and while two adults will just about survive a short lift, this is a family car only if the kids are pre-teens. Passengers fare better in a VW Polo, for example.
In better news, even if you pick the e-208, there’s no sacrifice in boot space (311 litres with seats up, 1,106 with seats down) or legroom, as the batteries fill the cavities vacated by the exhaust and fuel tank.
Cabin stowage isn’t a strong suit – the glovebox is tiny, cupholders won’t support your grande latte, and the door bins aren’t carpeted, so anything in there will rattle like, well, an old Peugeot. There are regular USB and USB-C sockets too, so the 208’s future-proof without alienating most current devices.