French brands such as Peugeot and Citroen have long been known for their compact city cars, especially over in Europe. The problem in South Africa is that the Peugeot brand has not had the greatest reputation when it comes to sourcing parts or when it comes to reliability. But fear not, because Peugeot South Africa is under new leadership and with two new products hitting the market, things are looking up.
One of these products is the Peugeot 108 and it is coming in to the budget-buy segment with a bang. At only R179 900 brand new, it will hopefully be an affordable option for many. Peugeot have tried to give it a feline appearance with its three-claw design in the rear light cluster. It features LED daytime running lights as standard and there is no mistaking it as anything but a Peugeot with its Lion emblem placed proudly between the two swage lines on the chunky bonnet.
Step inside and you are met with a modern interior. There is a large touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard which can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth of by Mirror Screen. The latter operates using MirrorLinkTM technology for phones running on Android, RIM and Windows, and by AppInCar for those running on IOS.
In basic terms, the touchscreen becomes a mirror of your smartphone and so you operate it as you would your phone. Depending on the phone connected, some apps can be operated via voice commands using a voice recognition system. Thankfully, safety has been taken in to account, and access to apps is managed differently according to whether the car is stationary or not. For example, you can use your navigation or infotainment apps when the car is moving.
It is all about city driving in this Peugeot 108 and so the turning circle is at just 4.80m which allows you to maneuver around most obstacles with ease. With a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, Peugeot claims a very low fuel consumption of just 4.1l/100km.
Don’t expect too much in terms of space, but that should go without saying really, it is, after all, a city car. The boot capacity sits at just 227-litres. If you put the 50:50-split rear seats down you’ll open it up to 868-litres.
Where Peugeot is really stepping it up is in terms of customer care and after sales service. What is being called “Peugeot Pride” might just have the edge over some competitors.
The five pillars of Peugeot pride are:
A 5 year / 100 000km comprehensive warranty.
A 5 year / 100 000km comprehensive service plan.
Customer support: roadside assistance, 24-hour Customer contact centre, Licence renewal reminder, Service plan and warranty expiry notifications.
Customer experience: Courtesy transport for all warranty repairs for 48 hours. Peugeot Parts basket that will always be competitively priced.
As Peugeot 108’s Product Manager, Xavier Nicolas, says, “For the buyer, the new Peugeot 108 is the guarantee of the brand’s up-market move. Style, quality, equipment, engines…everything has been taken into account to satisfy the customer who will have the impression of driving in a higher segment vehicle.”