Peugeot 108 review - can Peugeot's smallest raise a smile? - Engine and gearbox

Peugeot's 108 city hatch has stiff competition against both its own siblings and the impressive VW Up

Evo rating
Price
from £8,995
  • Easy to drive and park, tiny footprint ideal for crowded cities
  • Feels unpolished and crude, tiring at high speeds

Engine and gearbox 

Three-cylinder engines tend to have a knack of being characterful – and to a point the Peugeot's does, but it is lacking in a few key areas. To start with, the 108’s overall engine refinement is distinctly average, starting up with less of a concise thrum and more of an accidental stumble into combustion. Vibration is quite pronounced from the driver's seat, so much so that the (overly tall) gearstick vibrated against a piece of trim so loudly, it almost drowned out the stereo.

The engine is relatively smooth, but quickly runs out of puff at higher revs, straining at anywhere above around 5,000rpm. This is not an unusual trait for a city car but being naturally aspirated, the engine leaves you with a fairly narrow powerband to work with.

The gearbox is also quite vague, the sort that might have you hunting arround in search of third gear. With a bit of familiarisation you soon get used to it, but overall the drivetrain is an example of a common thread throughout the Peugeot 108 - namely that compared to rivals, it just doesn’t feel that well engineered. The VW Up (and its rebadged counterparts) feel far more sophisticated, and not just in the drivetrain department.

Most Popular

Cupra Leon 300 2021 review – VW’s GTI Clubsport usurped from within?
Cupra Leon 300 header
SEAT Leon Cupra

Cupra Leon 300 2021 review – VW’s GTI Clubsport usurped from within?

One of the sharpest hot hatchbacks money can buy right now, despite weird branding and a very long name (which we’ve simplified for you).
14 May 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals 13th May 2021
Features

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
13 May 2021
GTO Engineering's Squalo is a Ferrari 250 SWB recreation with a 10,000rpm V12
GTO Engineering Squalo
Ferrari

GTO Engineering's Squalo is a Ferrari 250 SWB recreation with a 10,000rpm V12

New-build Ferrari 250 SWB creation bridges classic style and modern technology
12 May 2021