Quick car review – 2013 Peugeot 208 1.4 HDi

I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to drive some different cars since November, so I decided to write about what I thought of them. Bear in mind these weren’t chosen in any way by me, they were randomly “thrown my way” so to speak. I’ll be spouting out what I think of them in the next few posts, and we begin with the 2013 Peugeot 208 1.4 hDi.

Peugeot 208I’ve had a lot of time behind the wheel of this particular car. I wasn’t expecting much from it as it was an entry-level super-mini, but I have to admit I was surprised by the little French car.

Pros
– Extremely well-equipped for such a basic car. Cruise control, air-con, usb input and Bluetooth phone & streaming in a cheap, entry-level supermini. Outstanding.
– Great little engine. You’ll struggle at any speed above 100km/h (60mph), but to highlight that as a negative is missing the point. It’s a small, frugal engine for moderate use, and it delivers. It gets impressive mileage especially out on country roads (I got 3.1l/100km or 90mpg once, and without trying much). Yes, it’s gutless and useless for overtaking anything except tractors, but if you’re looking for performance, you’d never look here in the first place.
– Pleasant inner design. Not superbly finished, but practical and well-thought in terms of storage. Though not functionality, but we’ll get to that later.

Cons
– Refinement is pretty bad. Lots of engine noise, and any rough surface will make you hear every single little pebble that strikes the inside of the wheel arches. Lots of other outside noises also get in through the cracks in the doors and boot.
– The f**king touchscreen. I’ve harped on before on how bloody dangerous touchscreens are, and it seems to be worsening. Trip computer and all audio options are touchscreen-only, which means changing a radio station is risky in this car. And by the way, the radio is switched on whenever you start the car up, even if you were listening to USB or Bluetooth-streamed music before.
– Other stupid interface options. Cruise control is a stalk behind the wheel you can’t see while driving, which means you have to have studied the instructions before using it. Not cool. Then the buttons on the steering wheel are hard to fathom and finnicky, because they’re stupid scroll wheels that are so sensitive you end up jumping 3 tracks instead of one. The instrument binnacle is partially obscured by the steering wheel in my driving position, and Peugeot think it’s a good idea to waste display space both an analogue and digital speedometer. Why? Are drivers deemed to stupid to read speed from just one of those options?

In conclusion, it’s definitely a solid offering from Peugeot, but let down by it’s lack of refinement and stupid touchscreen.

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