We’ve had Peugeot’s little 108 City Car in sporty GT Line trim in for review and road test, complete with the 1.2 litre 82bhp three-cylinder petrol engine.
It’s three years since the little Peugeot 108 City Car arrived as the Peugeot take on the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo trio of City Cars, and with prices from a bit over £8k it offered quite a lot for sensible money.
Key to making the 108 a sensible earner for Peugeot was plenty of customisation options and different trim levels to up-sell the 108 once potential buyers had been interested with the headline price, and Peugeot soon realised they could push things even further with all-singing, all-dancing range-topping Roland Garros models and a sporty 108 GT Line too.
They arrived last year, and with prices starting from around £13k, they were quite a step up from the entry-level 108, but they seem to have sold well, with downsizers and urban dwellers buying in to the idea of a well-specced City Car, seemingly considering the extra money no problem for the added toys and trim.
So we’ve grabbed the sporty take on the 108 – the 108 GT Line – complete with its titivated sport additions and Peugeot’s 1.2 litre 81bhp three-pot engine – to see if it really is a sensible buy.
108 GT Line Inside & Out
The Peugeot 108 is a bit of a cheeky chap City Car, arguably more individual than Citroen’s C1 or Toyota’s Aygo, and this 108 GT Line is made more individual by its sporty makeover.
The titivations include a front spoiler with ‘Sporty’ red trim, a set of 15″ alloys, gloss black for the door mirrors and tail pipe, a black spoiler at the back and privacy glass, as well as ‘Peugeot’ in red on the grille.
Inside follows a similar theme, with gloss black trim on the dash, bright red bits surrounding the air vents, black leather upholstery and mats with red stitching.
On top of the already decent spec for the 108 – 7″ touchscreen, DAB, Bluetooth, auto lights and LED running lights – the 108 GT Line also gets Climate, Active City Brake and Sat Nav.
It’s all pretty well bolted together, although at this level there are some slightly less pleasant plastics around, but it’s a pleasing place to be, especially in the front.
Up front there’s more than enough space for a City Car, and the leather seats are comfy and decently supportive. But it’s a bit less so in the back.
You could, if you have to, put grown-ups in, but they wouldn’t want to travel too far, especially if there’s proper-sized people in the front. It’s great for kids though, so if your life is local errands and kids to school, the 108 – even with its modest boot, could fit the bill.
108 GT Line 1.2 – Performance
Diesel engines and City Cars is never really the best choice, and even those who bought in to ‘Diesel is Best’ regardless of mileage and usage are starting to see that too. So the 1.2 litre three-pot petrol in this 108 GT Line is a good choice.
It’s a good little engine, with a pleasing three-pot soundtrack and enough torque – 87lb/ft – to make it a pleasing drive most of the time.
Just like all three-pots, it’s at its best when you’ve got a few revs on the go, and if you keep it in the sweet spot it’s lively and quite fun.
Around town it poodles around convincingly, on back roads – once you’ve got the hang of a bit more roll than you’d maybe expect – you can get a good flow on and make sensible progress, with the torque on offer meaning you don’t have to be changing down to second all the time to make progress.
For a City Car it does okay on motorways too, although the ride does get a bit upset at high-speed lumps and bumps, and although it is responsive enough to recover from baulking this isn’t its natural home.
But blatting around town it does come in to its own, giving you that almost go-kart feel as it darts through small openings and side streets, putting a smile on your face in the process.
That adventure is helped by steering which is both light and accurate, but the gearbox – a five speed manual – isn’t the most convincing; it does its job, but it doesn’t have a particularly pleasing throw or feel.
But, nitpicking apart, the 108 GT Line is a convincing City Car.
108 GT Line 1.2 – Verdict
As we’ve already said, the Peugeot 108 is a good little City Car, and the GT Line does add to its appeal.
The, relatively minor, titivations inside and out do make the 108 more appealing, its additional spec delivers stuff – like Sat Nav and Climate – which is genuinely useful, and it’s fun to drive.
Yes, it’s rather tight on room in the back, it’s not at its best on motorways, and you’d be hard-pushed to get a week’s shopping for a family in the boot. But then you don’t buy a City Car for its commodious boot and back seats.
Where we start to find the GT Line hard to recommend objectively is on price, with this car – with just metallic paint added on – costing over £14k. Which is a lot.
The 108 range starts at £9k, and even the 1.2 litre Allure is a couple of grand cheaper. So the 108 GT Line isn’t a cheap option.
In fact, for £14k, you could almost grab a 208, a car which offers quite a lot more appeal than the 108 – and considerably more room in the back and in the boot.
But, that said, buying a car is not just about the head, but the heart too.
So if you have your heart set on a City Car, and price isn’t the primary concern, then the 108 GT line is an appealing option, offering improved looks and specs, a good drive (where it needs to be) and plenty of character to keep you smiling.
Peugeot 108 GT Line 1.2 Quick Specs
- Engine: 1199cc, 81bhp
- Performance: 0-62mph 10.9 seconds / Top Speed 106mph
- Economy: 66.7mpg – Official / 49.3mpg – Test
- Emissions: 99g/km
- Price: £13,610 / Price as tested £14,105
- Test car supplied by Peugeot UK