Monday 14 January 2013

Road - Whither Peugeot?

The A66 was shut - again - snow - again!
There was a time when Peugeots were for grandparents, They were big, solid and made from the same stuff as the Eiffel Tower, Some were used for rallying, but more East African Safari than 12 Hours in Argyll - surely one of Barrie Hinchcliffe's finest?

Then someone slipped some alka seltzer in to their Vin Rouge Ordinaire, and Peugeot's image was transformed overnight. The 205 was a revelation and the 206 confirmed it. We'll ignore the 207, but I drove down to Manchester in a 208.

Just one problem. I don't like small cars with small seats and limited leg and shoulder room. Ahead of me was a 225 mile drive. The first surprise. I liked it. The second surprise, I enjoyed the drive even though I was barely over 75 mph all the way. The third surprise, I was getting 46 mpg.

This was the new 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder job but it had 82 bhp. Not enough to be exciting but enough to enjoy the wee car when I slipped off the motorway.

Outwardly it will still appeal to the gramps and granmas, but inwardly it will appeal more to the 'connected' generation, with its touch/swipe-screen controls and command centre, one 12v socket and 2 USB sockets and its blue neon illuminated sliding roof blind runners. More disco than Strictly.

On that basis it will be difficult to define its appeal. There's little room for four six footers inside, but the oldies won't appreciate the colours and the chrome. Or maybe they will!

There's another surprise in store - apparently you can download 10 Apps for the 208 on to your phone!

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