Peugeot 208 review - a supermini for keen drivers? - Peugeot 208 ride and handling

Not the best-driving car in the class, but GTi models prove there's a good chassis underneath Peugeot's supermini

Evo rating
Price
from £12,065
  • Neat ride and handling, strong turbocharged three-cylinder engine
  • Lacks body control in faster driving, steering light on feel

Even on the largest wheels available – 17-inch items on the GT Line models – the 208 rides with a real maturity. It’s not infallible and can still be troubled by potholes or particularly rough surfaces, but most of the time it feels smooth, and settles quite nicely on the motorway.

It also makes for a fairly unruffled experience on country roads, though keen drivers will reach the car’s limits much, much earlier than they would in the more serious GTi models. In short, basic 208s soon run out of grip and the car’s stability control system is clearly set up for safety, activating relatively early.

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There’s still nice balance to the chassis, just as there is in the GTis, and the supple ride means you can sail over B-road bumps without them thudding through the cabin. They do deflect the car more than you’d experience in the GTis though – the soft setup means body control isn’t as tight as you’d want for quick driving and bigger crests and intrusions have the car floating over the road surface.

There isn't as much steering feel in regular 208s either. While the small steering wheel lends a direct, sporty feel to proceedings, the steering is quite light and there’s not much sense of tyres biting into tarmac. Responses are consistent so you’d get used to it (just as you do the iCockpit layout in general) but there’s not much joy to be had.

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