THIS week I encountered a lion cub. No, I haven’t been to Africa, or even Chester Zoo, as this little cat had four wheels and a hatch rather than four legs and a tail.
I’m talking about the new wee Peugeot, a marque that has a rather heraldic-looking lion as a badge. So, by my reckoning, that makes the smallest car in the range a cub.
This baby is the 108, a chic and versatile city car that has a raft of enhancements over its predecessor, the 107.
The Flush Magazine test car, an Allure 1.2 three-door, was a bijou motor, with its two-tone paint and check-style body trim. The attractive finishes are all part of a palette of paints, roof colours, dashboards, exterior decals, ‘theme’ kits and accessories.
Some people might find them gimmicky, but I reckon such an approach is attractive and cheery. Personalisation rules, OK? Certainly, heading for the car on the drive each morning during the week’s loan put a smile on my face.
The motor has some clever, practical features, not the least of which is the pin-sharp reversing camera, while the bright, easy-to-read main instrument binnacle is attached to the top of the rake- adjustable steering wheel housing, moving with it for an unobscured view. Hard plastics are the order of the day inside but, coupled with high-gloss trim panels, they look fine.
The boot is larger then its predecessor’s, at 196 litres rather than 139 litres. It’s hardly capacious but I think it is large enough for the weekly supermarket shop or for weekend-away baggage. For larger loads, the rear seat-backs split-fold 50/50.
The 108’s cabin is comfortable. I found my best driving position quickly and easily, and all the controls fall readily to hand and foot. The top of the centre console bears an integrated 7in touchscreen for digital radio, audio system, smart phone connectivity, clock, and more. It’s simple to use and works a treat.
There’s a safety tech-fest too, with features including airbags aplenty, stability control, hill-hold electronic parking brakes and LED daytime running lights.
The 1.2 litre, 82bhp, three-cylinder engine is mated to a positive-changing five-speed manual gearbox with 99g/km emissions which means a zero-rating for road tax.
The engine has a lusty thrumming note under acceleration, with enough power to make for a perky driving package, and a tight turning-circle makes in-town manoeuvring and parking a cinch.
This is one accomplished cub.
Price: £10,995 OTR (inc options).
For more info visit www.peugeot.co.uk