By Khulekani Dumisa
First time car buyer or looking for a fuel efficient city runaround? The Peugeot 108 1,0 Active thinks it’s the solution for you. It’s not the cheapest or biggest in the segment but one of the most stylish and generously specced. Standard features include LED daytime running lights, leather multi-function steering wheel with audio controls, electric front windows and touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The cabin is on the tight side for larger occupants. More so at the back. Rear headroom and legroom are compromised particularly for larger occupants. The dashboard employs a lot of hard plastics. Not bad as they are made to last and it matches the segment. The quirky odometer is a nice touch but does not offer a rev counter although it does offer a shift indicator which helps to tell you when to shift up or down. We imagine this feature will be very useful for new drivers as they get used to their new cars.
The boot is compact coming in at 196 litres but this can be extended to 868 litres when the rear seat backrests are folded down. Unfortunately, the rear seat backrests do not fold flat in order to accommodate the deep boot.
The list of safety features is also impressive. The 108 is the only car in its segment with 6 airbags (front/side/curtain airbags). Other safety features are ABS with EBD and EBA, stability control and Isofix anchor points. These safety features are major relieve in a segment that is often dogged by shoddy safety levels.
The Peugeot 108 is powered by a naturally aspirated three-cylinder engine with 53kW/93Nm. Peugeot claims a fuel consumption of 4,1L/100km. We averaged a decent 5,5L/100km during our time with the Peugeot. We did this without even trying hard. The drive is comfortable and the Peugeot 108 takes on bumps and uneven surfaces surprisingly well. In terms of the driving experience, the 108 is optimal in the city but runs out of steam on the highway. In the city, the 108 offers decent power delivery as most driving tends to happen in lower gears with the stop start nature of traffic. The car is able to help you exploit tight gaps without any delay. It is also a dream to park due to its size. There is nothing as a tight parking bay when you are in the 108. Things change a bit on the highway. Anything up to 110 km/h is near perfect and the Peugeot 108 is able to maintain this speed even in inclines. Asking the 108 to leap to 120 km/h and maintain it (when overtaking for example) can be a bit of a toll order. You are required to time anything that requires higher speeds well or things may not go as planned.
The Peugeot 108 has a lot going for it. These include a lot of standard features, safety, low fuel consumption and safety. The issue ultimately is that at the asking price of R184,900, there is a lot of competitors that can match the Peugeot 108 USPs, offer more space and power, and come in cheaper. This makes the Peugeot 108 speak to a niche market within the segment, ie if you want a bit of style, safety and do not have space requirements, then you would be advised not to overlook the 108. If however, you are tight on budget, need something bigger, and more powerful, then you have to look at the other fish in the sea.
cThe Peugeot 108 Active 1.0 53 kW is priced from R184,900. The price is inclusive of a 5 year / 100,000 km warranty and service plan.
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