By Clive Funziwe
It was love at first drive with the Peugeot 208 Allure 1.2T. It does not take a lot for one to understand why it was a finalist in the Car of The Year contenders. We may all have different needs when it comes to what a car should be, but one thing we can all agree on is that a comfortable ride, that is quiet, and relaxing is always on the list of needs more than wants – and the 208 delivers in spades on that aspect.
When driving on different types of surfaces, at varying speeds – the car is always composed, comfortable and relaxing to drive or be a passenger in. Adding to this comfort and tranquility, is the decent specification level. Yes, we are still yearning for the keyless entry in the Allure derivative along with the rear-view camera that can have better resolution (especially at this day and age), but keyless start is available, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Automatic climate control that is operable via the 7-inch i-Cockpit, with 3D capability for the instrument panel or short cut buttons just lower than the center screen are also part of the package and elevate the user experience of the driver without being unnecessarily a tech fest which ends up complicating the driving experience.
Another nifty design is the outer vents that are angled towards the driver. These feel like they deliver their venting wares without any fuss. This may be psychosomatic but trust us – that placement is efficient. Now that we have established that the adjacent functions of the car a literally something to write home about, how does the 208 drive?
Power-train and drive
Our Allure derivative was a 6-Speed manual that was satisfying in many ways. The actual shifting along with the nicely weighted clutch was a match made in car heaven. All pedals had the right level of feedback and there was no modulation learning curve. In a world where automatic gear boxes in DCT/CVT guise – manuals seem to have regressed in poise, but not in the 208. The 6-Speed is mated to a 3-Cylinder 1.2 turbo-petrol engine that produces 74kW and 205Nm which is punchy and efficient as we managed a wallet breathing 5.4l/100kms. Pulling power in the 208 is rewarding with meaty torque from earlier on in the rev range. The engine feels more powerful than the specs suggest and sounds unexpectedly good too.
All in all, we are impressed with the quality product that is the 208 Allure with the small 2 quirks we mentioned earlier. This is definitely one for the shortlist in this segment. Entry into the range starts at R2302, 900 and you get a 5 year/100 000km warranty and a 3 year/60 000km service plan.
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