Peugeot, synonymous with the slogan “Motion and Emotion”, seem incredibly adept at linking automotive offerings with emotive concepts – no less so in their revamped Peugeot 208. Mike Darrol, the appointed Dealer Principle for Peugeot Isando, firmly believes that Peugeot have not simply improved on the brilliance of the 208’s predecessor, but has literally knocked it out of the park.
In November this year, I took the opportunity to test drive my first Peugeot, the very same 208 headlined above. At Peugeot Isando, I was greeted by the incredibly attentive Forbes Makhuvela, salesman for Kempton Commercial Centre for the last 7 years. My excitement must have been obvious; a veritable fountain of knowledge, Forbes Makhuvela presents himself as a family man who evolved his passion for motoring from the commercial sector, to the passenger vehicle segment. Marrying his knowledge and his heart as a family man, Forbes seems to know what should be expected of a brilliant vehicle, and throws himself 100% into helping his clients find their perfect automotive match.
The 208, at first glance, is a delightful mix of cheeky and elegant, with the intense, bold look emphasised by its sharp lines and chrome finishes that hint at a sporty vehicle, dressed to kill. There is a very distinctive look about the new front bumper with a wider, fuller grille and two-tone headlamps that give the 208 an air of intensity that I particularly like. In revisiting my earlier review, I feel that this feisty-looking car would really be the perfect accessory for the youngsters just out of school, or students who need a reliable, economical vehicle to ferry them to class and back (and still look good doing it too).
The interior of the 208 is aptly named the “i-Cockpit”, understandably so as it is modern and technologically laced with a compact steering wheel, head-up instrument panel and crystal-clear 7-inch touch screen – perfect for the youth of today who are born with inherent technological smarts, and often need to charge variance appliances on their way to class, for example. The variant I am driving, albeit a 1.2 manual, is comfortable and gorgeous to sit in, and at start-up and take-off, is light and responsive, with no hesitation to jump into action.
With the standard PureTech 3-cylinder engine available in a naturally aspirated 60 kW version, the 208 meets the Euro 6 Emissions standards, and provides punchy, agile responses to acceleration with great gravity and feedback on the road. I loved the combination of a smooth, solid, high-quality feel with the somewhat racy look and feel beneath my fingertips (even from a 1.2 litre engine!). Forbes Makhuvela is adamant that this gorgeous vehicle is as perfect a match for the sassy, independent and classy female driver, but also a spot-on vehicle for the stylish gent of any age – in reviewing my previous observations, I must note that I feel this vehicle would be perfect for the student-type who can benefit from its economical running-costs and the pure enjoyment of driving a sexy, yet functional, vehicle such as this.
Having been suitably won over by my first Peugeot test drive, I enjoyed the experience of being submerged in a quality vehicle whose excellence is matched by the attentive, passionate service of the team at Peugeot Isando. With a starting price of R224 900, the Peugeot 208 is also supported by a 3 yea/45 000km service plan and a 100 000km/3-year warrant – all in all, the combination of emotive driving experience with high-quality services provided, Peugeot has fully bowled me over! I also feel that with fair pricing such as this, the 208 is the perfect investment into your child’s life as they embark on their new career, or take that all-important step into student-life.
Contact details for Peugeot Isando are 011 578 4600
By Desh Pillay Bechan