208 motoring starts at £12,065, though the car that results – a 1-litre PureTech in entry-level Access trim wouldn’t be our pick of the range. Equipment levels aren’t bad even at this level though, with standard aircon, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and heated mirrors.
At the other end of the range you can spend as much as £18,615 on a GT Line model with the BlueHDi 120 engine, which would net you a proper hot hatchback in a few other companies’ ranges, and unless frugality is your main goal we’d be inclined to spend £900 more to get the GTi.
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The supermini class is one of the most crowded there is, which gives the 208 a huge roster of rivals. If you’re in any way interested in driving then Ford’s Fiesta should be on your list, and even non-Cooper Minis are also worth a look.
Both have a good ride and handling balance, sharp steering and responsive controls. As does our more leftfield choice in the class, the Suzuki Swift, which also has the benefit of being incredibly affordable next to most – even the Swift Sport, which is great fun, starts at only £13,999. The Mazda 2 is also fun and affordable.
For quality – if not for driving involvement – the VW Polo, Skoda Fabia and Audi A1 are worth a look.