Peugeot is an automotive country with a very interesting history. Ever since the company was set up, they have produced everything from pepper grinders to ammunition, dresses to cars. Buit for now, they have decided to stick to cars.

Peugeot will soon re-enter India. This will be their third attempt to enter the country. The French company first entered India in the 1990s with the 309, which was offered with petrol engine and a diesel engine. They had partnered with Standard but unfortunately, they had to exit the Indian market as Standard closed down. Earlier this decade, they tried to re-enter India and brought the 208 hatchback and the 508 sedan for testing. But it ddin’t worked out for them due to a slump in the European economy. For their third attempt on the desi market, Peugeot will launch the new 2015 Peugeot hatchback. As PSA sales have picked up, it looks good for the French guys to return.

The Peugeot 208 is a premium compact hatchback that was launched at the 2012, Geneva Motor Show. The car went on to become the brand’s best-selling model. The hatchback got a facelift earlier this year. The 208 is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines. A warmer GT line of cars and a hotter GTI variant are also available.

Recently it was spotted testing on our Indian roads which gave us a hint that Peugeot might launch this hatch in India soon. So here is the complete review of the hatch and the things you should know.

Click past jump to read more about the Peugeot 208 hatchback

EXTERIOR

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In its segment, the 208 is easily the best looking hatchback. It sticks to Peugeot’s design language but the new new lines gives the car a chic and sporty look.

At the front, the 2015 car gets a new radiator grille and new two-tone black and chrome headlamps. Above the radiator grille and below the company’s symbol, there is a chrome bar with the company’s name embossed on it. This is also found at the rear above the Peugeot symbol below the rear screen. The rear has been sloped forward, like in a Fiat 500, to give the car a compact look. The tail lights get 3D LED lights.

The hatchback is available in metallic and textured paint. The textured paint gives it a matt and satin look. A new colour called the Orange Power has been added to the metallic paints.

Peugeot offers two personalisation packs to make the car more unique. You also have choice between different designs for the alloy wheels.The equipment list includes chrome door mirrors which are electrically operated and heated, auto headlamps and wipers, cornering assist fog lamps, LED lights and ‘Follow me home’ lighting.

The exterior design of the 208 reeks with character. Compared to the other premium hatchbacks on the market currently, I would buy the 208 for its looks alone.

Dimensions and weight

Length (mm)3973
Width (mm)2004
Height (mm)1460
Wheelbase (mm)2538
Boot capacity (litres)311
Fuel tank capacity (litres)50
Gross vehicle weight (kg) (Petrol / Diesel)1553 / 1680
Turning circle (m) (between walls / between pavements)11.2 / 10.4

INTERIOR

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The exterior charm is continued on the inside as well. The defining features of the hatchback’s interior are the compact leather wrapped steering wheel and the 7 inch touch screen system that dominates the centre console. The instrument panel has a LCD screen display with sharp white display over a black background. This makes it very easy to read.

The interior equipment list includes satellite navigation, USB, Bluetooth, music streaming, Peugeot Connect Apps, cruise control, 4 speakers and 2 tweeters, dual zone automatic air conditioning, external temperature gauge and heated seats.

The personalisation pack adds satin chrome air vents, sports seats and other small touches.

DRIVETRAIN

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The regular 208 is powered by a range of PURE TECH petrol engines and a BLUE HDi diesel engine in two states of tune.

The base petrol engine will be a 1.0 litre petrol engine producing 68 hp of power and 95 Nm of torque and is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The more powerful 1.2 litre engine will be producing 82 hp of power and 118 Nm of torque and it will mated to a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed EAT automatic gearbox.

The diesel engine is a 1.6 litre engine producing 75 hp of power and 230 Nm of torque or 99 hp of power and 254 Nm of torque. It will be mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The car rides on 15 inch or 16 inch wheels. The more powerful diesel engined car has an option of a 17 inch wheel. The car has excellent fuel efficiency figures.

More powerful engines with different gearboxes are available in the GT line and the GTi. We will be covering them once it is confirmed that Peugeot will bring them to India.

Specifications

Variants1.0 PureTech 681.2 PureTech 821.6 BlueHDi 751.6 BlueHDi 100
FuelPetrolPetrolDieselDiesel
Engine cubic capacity (cc)999119915601560
Maximum power output (Hp @ rpm)68 @ 600082 @ 575075 @ 350099 @ 3750
Maximum torque (Nm @ rpm)95 @ 3000118 @ 2750230 @ 1750254 @ 1750
Transmission5-speed MT5-speed MT or 5-speed EAT automatic transmission5-speed MT5-speed MT
0-100 kmph acceleration (s)1412.2 with manual and 14.5 with automatic13.310.7
Top speed (kmph)162.5179170.6186.7
Fuel efficiency (kmpl)19.2318.18 with manual and 21.74 with automatic27.7826.31
Carbon dioxide emissions (g/km)102104 with manual and 97 with automatic7987

SAFETY FEATURES

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The Peugeot 208 comes equipped with a host of safety features, some of which are first in the segment. The car has a 5-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP tests safety tests.

It comes equipped with Park Assist with reversing camera. The camera is standard but Park Assist is an optional extra. It automatically parallel parks the car in a parking space using ultrasonic sensors. This is first in the segment. The hatchback also gets Active City Brakes that automatically applies brakes below 32 kmph, 6 airbags as standard, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Hill Assist, Speed limiter, Tyre pressure sensors and ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distributor (EBFD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).

PRICE

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Peugeot will look to locally assemble or produce the 208 in India to help price the premium hatchback competitively.

COMPETITION

Fiat Punto Evo

1. Fiat Punto Evo

The Fiat Punto Evo is exactly as old as I am. Fiat announced the car in September 1993 to replace the aging Uno. The third generation of the car was unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. Later, Fiat launched in India. In 2014, it received a facelift which is known as the Punto Evo.

The Italian hatchback is powered by two F.I.R.E petrol engines. The base petrol is powered by a 1.2 litre engine producing 66 hp and 96 Nm of torque. The more powerful power plant is a 1.4 litre engine producing 88.7 hp and 115 Nm of torque. The diesel is the popular 1.3 litre Multijet engine in two states of tune. The base engine produces 75 hp and 200 Nm of torque while the other produces 92 hp and 210 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Fuel economy figures range between 14.4 kmpl to 15.8 kmpl for the petrol and 20.5 kmpl to 21.2 kmpl for the diesel.

The Fiat Punto Evo starts at INR 4.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) and goes up to INR 7.33 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) for the petrol car. The diesel car starts at INR 5.95 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) and goes up to INR 7.71 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi).

Honda Jazz

1. Honda Jazz

The Jazz, also known as the Honda Fit, was initially launched in 2001. Honda brought the second generation of the car but it failed due to a lack of diesel engine and its high price. The third generation of the car was launched in India earlier this year. Honda increased localization to reduce costs.

The Japanese hatchback is powered by a 1.2 litre i-VTEC petrol engine producing 88.7 hp and 110 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency is rated at 18.7 kmpl for the manual and 19.0 kmpl for the automatic. Honda offers the car with a diesel engine also. It is a 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine producing 98.6 hp and 200 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. Fuel efficiency is rated at 27.3 kmpl.

The Honda Jazz starts at INR 5.31 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) and goes up to INR 7.85 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) for the petrol. The diesel starts at INR 6.5 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) and goes up to INR 8.59 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi).

Volkswagen Polo

1. Volkswagen Polo

The Polo has been around since 1975. The fifth generation of the car was launched at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. In 2010, the car won the European Car of the Year and the World Car of the Year awards. This hatchback made its way into India. It received a mild facelift in 2014. Airbags are sold as standard and it is currently the safest compact hatchback you can buy.

The German hatchback is powered by a 1.2 litre, three cylinder MPI petrol engine producing 74 hp and 110 Nm of torque. Fuel efficiency is rated at 16.47 kmpl. The diesel on offer is a 4 cylinder, 1.5 litre TDI engine producing 88.7 hp and 230 Nm of torque. Fuel efficiency is rated at 20.14 kmpl. Both the engines are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

The Volkswagen Polo starts at INR 5.33 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) and goes up to INR 6.47 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) for the petrol. The diesel starts at INR 6.68 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi) and goes up to 7.82 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi).

CONCLUSION

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The French hatchback is the perfect car for the Indian market. Its good charming looks will draw in a lot of customers. As a plus point, it also has a lot of equipment on offer. As safety is taking a major step forward, the 208s high standards of safety will be noted. The varied fuel efficient engine options will help tap into a wider network of customers. The only problems is Peugeots are known for their dull drive. The company now has to concentrate on developing a dealer network and on localisation to keep costs down. We hope they bring in the GT line now and the GTi at a later stage. We may also see Citroen following Peugeot into the country.

The French are here. Renault is the only French car company operating in India currently.