Petrol 208 performance – if you ignore the GTi models – ranges from sluggardly to respectably brisk. At the lower end of the scale is the 1-litre PureTech 68 which reaches 62mph in 14 seconds flat, and the 1.2-litre PureTech 82 with an automatic gearbox which adds a further half-second. Top speed is 103mph for the former and 111mph for the latter.
The manual PureTech 82 slices over two seconds from the acceleration sprint (at 12.2 seconds) and reaches 109mph. Unless you never plan to venture outside the city – and if you’re reading evo, we suspect you do – this is the bare minimum you should probably consider in your 208.
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Much more pleasant are the 1.2 PureTech 110 models, in either manual or automatic form – shift yourself, and you get a 9.6sec 0-62mph time and 118mph; let the car do the work and the figures are 9.8sec and an identical 118mph. As in other PSA products we’ve tried with this engine, the turbocharged PureTech is quite appealing to use, with a characterful thrum from the 3-pot engine and a reasonable slug of torque through the mid-range. Sounds a bit diesely at idle, but very little vibration buzzes through to the cabin.
From the diesel options, the model to go for is the BlueHDi 120, which grumbles to 62mph in 9.4sec – making it the quickest non-GTi 208 of all – and tops 118mph. The BlueHDi 100 clears the 0-62mph dash in 10.7sec, while BlueHDi 75 models take 13.3sec. Economy is the real goal with the diesels, though – we’d stick to the petrol models if you plan to have some fun.