The Peugeot 208 arrived in Malaysia in 2013 as a replacement for the 207, while the 2008 came a year later as a successor to the 207 SW. So both models have been around for 3 – 4 years now (the 208 was launched in Europe in 2012) and while it may be time to begin a phase-out program as a prelude to a new generation, European carmakers tend to stretch their model cycles a bit more. So at this point, the 208/2008 are in ‘mid-life’ and it’s time for upgrades to refresh them and renew interest.
For this upgrade, Peugeot has replaced the 1.6-litre ‘Prince’ engine which had been shared with BMW and MINI since 2006. It was a decent engine and even won ‘International Engine of the Year’ awards a number of times, but being a product developed in the first half of the 2000s, it had reached the point where it was difficult to improve upon the design to meet the even tougher emission control standards of today.
This led to the Peugeot PSA Group making a big investment in a new engine when this decade began. The new EB engine family – called PureTech – has a modular concept which allows for different displacements to be offered. In this case, there are 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre displacements, both derived from 3, rather than 4, cylinders. With the larger unit being a replacement for the 1.6-litre engine, it was crucial that the performance in the models it would be installed in would not be poorer. Thus, the engineers had to maximise output – and at the same time, achieve better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
This of course is contradictory or at least, it has been in the past; when you generate higher power, fuel economy usually suffers. But engine technology has come a long way and with direct fuel injection and turbocharging, it is now possible to make a smaller engine produce more power and also retain the benefits of the smaller displacement.
And this is what the compact PureTech engine is all about. From 1.2 litres comes 112 ps and 205 Nm of torque – the same amount of power but 28% more torque than the 1.6-litre non-turbocharged engine. Stop Start Technology also helps to stretch each litre, switching off the engine when idling is lengthy and then restarting it when the accelerator pedal is pressed. This technology is said to be able to save up to 15% of fuel in urban driving conditions and restarting has also been improved to be 40% quicker.
If you don’t drive on full boost all the time, you should be able to get almost 24 kms per litre. This impressive figure means that the 50-litre fuel tank can provide a range of almost 1,200 kms before you need to go back to the petrol station. That means you can go from Penang to Johor Bahru (695 kms) without refuelling and still have some more fuel left for part of the return journey. In December 2016, before the petrol prices went up, the Nasim people calculated that potential savings were in the region of RM600 if you used the new 208, compared to other cars in the same segment.
With the new engine comes a new transmission as well. Gone is the Tiptronic 4-speed automatic transmission that was once the ’in thing’. The original Tiptronic transmission developed by Porsche (and the name is still a trademark owned by the German carmaker) goes back to 1990. When first introduced, it gave drivers the option of shifting manually if they chose, albeit in a sequential manner.
Now Peugeot has mated the PureTech engine with a new and efficient 6-speed automatic transmission that is a joint development between Peugeot and Aisin AW of Japan. It has Quickshift Technology which make shifting between the 6 ratios quick and smooth with advanced torque converter technology reducing power losses inherent in fluid drives. Its output is improved by reducing internal friction and using lockable converters that prevent any slippage.
As would be expected, there are cosmetic changes too. The 208 has more assertive, robust and distinctive styling with a new bumper profile. Above it is a fully integrated wider grille and thicker chrome finisher combined with separate front foglamps and new front headlamps. At the back are 3D LED rear lamps and an LED light signature that identifies the car from a distance at night.
As for the 2008 which is a SUV, there’s a new vertical front grille which features the Lion at the centre of its multifaceted grid. The lighting units are new with LED daytime running lamps, front fog lamp with cornering assist lighting and 3D rear lamps.
The cabins are largely the same with the refinement that was evident when this new generation was launched. Both have the Peugeot i-Cockpit which includes a large 7-inch multifunction colour touchscreen with incredible clarity, thanks to its high-definition display. The i-Cockpit mimics a head-up display concept without projecting information on the windscreen but by positioning the instrument panel higher up and in the driver’s forward line of sight. This innovative layout was picked as the ‘Most Beautiful Interior’ at the 29th Annual Festival Automobile International.
Other features of the two models include an Arkhamys 3D audio system with 6 speakers, full digital connectivity with USB and Bluetooth, digital dual zone climate control via touchscreen, versatile modular seats, generous cabin storage and voluminous cargo space. A panoramic roof with blue mood LED lighting is also available in the 2008.
The European carmakers have been ahead in the field safety and the 208 and 2008 have the highest safety standards. Both models have the maximum 5-star ratings from Euro NCAP and the versions sold in Malaysia also qualify from this rating as the safety equipment is essentially the same as the models crash-tested.
With the launch of these two models, Nasim is introducing its new 5-year Peace of Mind warranty applicable to specific models launched from 2017 onwards. The warranty is valid for a total of 5 years or up to 120,000 kms, whichever comes first.
As with all other new Peugeot models sold in Malaysia, there are 3 years of complimentary 24-hour Peugeot Roadside Assistance service, exclusive access to the Peugeot Lounge at Subang Airport, and Peugeot Privilege membership.
To locate a showroom to experience the new 208 and 2008 PureTech, visit www.peugeot.com.my.