It’s often said that many of today’s cars all look alike – and in the case of the new Peugeot 108 there is more than an element of truth in the claim.
For the latest baby from the French car company shares its body and underpinnings with the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo.
Having said all that, each manufacturer has gone for different features to ensure their version of the car produced in the same factory has a distinctive appeal.
While Toyota has gone for the younger motorist with more extreme styling and Citroen has opted for a cheekier image, Peugeot has clearly decided on a more up-market quality look to its car.
That’s not to say that – in Allure spec at least – the interior doesn’t have a light, youthful image to it, with check-cloth upholstery and a white dashboard.
But the exterior, with its chrome detailing, has a far more classic look than its rivals.
The 108 is the replacement for the popular 107, and while not dissimilar in size is certainly far better equipped.
On-board equipment includes the sort of features that until recently would have been reserved for much larger cars, such as a colour reversing camera to make sure you don’t catch that low bollard when backing into parking spaces, DAB radio and a seven-inch touchscreen to enable you to access the apps on your smartphone.
If you fancy open-air motoring, you can even have a generously-sized sliding fabric roof as an £850 optional extra.
And while the Toyota is limited to 1.0-litre engines, the Peugeot offers the choice off either 1.0-litre or 1.2-litre.
With 1.2 litres under the bonnet of my test car, I recorded an average of 55 mpg during a week’s motoring in a car whose lively performance made it feel more like a 1.6-litre.
Despite being a supermini, the 108 – which is slightly longer than its predecessor – offers generous space for front seat travellers and adequate room for those in the rear, thanks partly to the soft backs of the front seats giving you extra knee room.
Boot space is up on that of the 107 – from 139 litres to 196 litres – but is still designed more for the weekly shop than getting in a range of large suitcases for a holiday.
However, with the rear seats folded, you can accommodate enough luggage for a two-week cruise, and the sill is now 20mm lower for easier loading.
The 108 is ideally suited to city life.
It’s nippy enough to offer spirited performance, while still being easy on the pocket as far as running costs are concerned – you pay zero road tax – and it’s ideal when it comes to parking.
The 107 was a good seller for Peugeot and there is little doubt that its replacement will build on that success and take sales to a new high.
Model: Peugeot 108 5-dr Allure
Mechanical: 1199cc, 82bhp, 3-cyl diesel engine driving-front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox.
Max speed: 106 mph
0-62mph: 11.0 secs
Combined mpg: 65.7
CO2 emissions : 99 g/km
Insurance group: 11E
Warranty: Three years/unlimited mileage