Subjectively, the 208 lags behind its mainstream competition by a significant distance. But thanks mainly to the three-cylinder engine, Peugeot has a statistical foundation on which to plant its price flag.
Although painfully slow – 62mph requires a 14.5sec wait – the 82bhp 1.2 PureTech engien has its nose tucked under the 100g/km road tax threshold and a particularly appealing price.
Doubtless, the showroom sales staff will point out to bargain hunters that even the value-added Korean manufacturers fail to match that attractive combination. However, with the colour touchscreen gone and electric front windows listed as a comfort feature, the spec verges on destitute and is therefore unlikely to be popular in the UK.
Opt for the none start-stop version of the 82bhp 1.2-litre engine and higher-grade Active trim, and you'll very quickly ramp up the price to a point which lands it among superior offerings from virtually all of Peugeot’s major rivals.
Lower-than-average emissions keep the 208 superficially competitive, but as superminis are rarely run as company cars and all VED bands below 130g/km are comparatively cheap, there’s a definite limit to this advantage. All diesels are road tax exempt, but then as are many of its rivals’ oil-burners.