Peugeot 208 Puretech test drive review

When it was first launched some 2 years ago the asking price in Malaysia was RM86,888 which slotted this compact European hatch side by side with the segment best seller, the Honda Jazz. Then there was the Kia Rio that arrived almost RM12k lower in asking price and Volkswagen released their ageing Polo 1.6 for almost 10k cheaper. In this price sensitive segment, Malaysians were drawn to the Jazz and those who had little choice for an upgrade from a Myvi or Iriz looked at the Polo as a worthy European compact to own.

Now comes a market spoiler. The RM68,888 Peugeot 208 Puretech! Wait, the same Peugeot 208 that was launched less than a year ago at a huge discount of RM18k discount? Correct!

Nasim, the brand owner of Peugeot in Malaysia have decided to put more metal on the road by offering the fully loaded 208 Puretech at a selling price that is lower than all the obvious rivals and give buyers on a tight budget the opportunity to ‘feel’ a European drive.

Cabin Review

Peugeot engineers executed this 208 interior quite exemplary. Black simple plastics were tightly mounted and pleasantly surfaced. A user friendly in-car entertainment is used to increase it showroom appeal together with an attractive hard wearing seat material.

Step inside and the cabin is quite roomy with a sleek roofline. Switchgear and controls click and glide and work with precision. The standard audio system allows for connectivity for your smart phone. There is a decent sized boot in the rear and family excursions over a long weekend will be no problem. This 208 seats four in comfort; five if none are sumo contestants.

Drive Review

This 208 comes with good sound-deadening material to ensure a quiet drive in the city, which only started showing its lack of padding once you drove it beyond 140km/h. Under the hood, the 208 is fitted with a 1.2-liter turbocharged engine. This 3-cylinder engine has won ‘engine of the year’ twice and it produces a decent 112 bhp of power and an impressive 205 Nm of torque. Mated to a 6-speed quickshift automatic it shifts smoothly and responsively when you test-drive it and the handling and balance is firm and communicative for its class. In terms of fuel efficiency, this 208 has EEV status because it clocks in a respectable 4.2 litres per 100km, which should be noted as being the most frugal among its rivals.

Driving it in the city, it feels faster than it really is and this is because the torque rushed in at an early 1,500rpm allowing us to keep up with more powerful cars until 3rd gear is reached. It handles Petaling Jaya’s legendary potholes and speed bumps with a nice pliant feel which is typical Peugeot comfort. The seats are comfy after a few hours of driving as with all Peugeots and you will enjoy snaking in and out of traffic (if this is your thing) with its communicative steering and nimble handling ability.

It is definitely a fun little car with premium interior and safety features and with the 5-years manufacturers warranty and Nasim’s new commitment with PSA (Peugeots parent in France) to make sure the ownership experience in Malaysia encourages repeat purchase, this RM68k compact hatch should be given another look before dismissing it.

Yes, check the rivals (Toyota Yaris and Honda Jazz) for a test drive on the very same day you test drive the 208 and then sit and have dinner to decide which car you should be booking.

Peugeot 208 Puretech Specifications

Engine: 3-cylinder turbocharged DOHC

Capacity: 1199cc

Transmission: 6-speed Quickshift automatic

Max Power: 112 PS @ 5,500rpm

Max Torque 205Nm @ 1,500rpm

0-100km/h: 9.8 seconds

Max Speed 190km/h

Price: RM68,888.00 limited units

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