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Driven: Peugeot revamps 208 range
Value-oriented 208 range to drag new blood to Peugeot, but premium is still king
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21 Oct 2015
By TIM ROBSON
DESPITE leading out with the lowest priced car in the company’s local history, the $15,990 plus on-road costs Access, Peugeot Australia is not chasing the bottom end of the market with the facelifted 208.
The company has also finally added a six-speed automatic transmission to the line-up, as well as re-aligning the 208 spec range to mimic its 308 sibling.
Peugeot Australia general manager John Startari told GoAuto that the brand will remain a premium offering as it moves into a new chapter, both locally and overseas.
“(The brand) is considered premium, and that's where it wants to stay,” he said. “The 208, as an entry into the brand, is an exception, and hence the starting price. But you won't see that replicated through the model range.
“Australian positioning is inline with the brand’s global positioning of the future.”
The pricing brings Peugeot into the same space as the Kia Rio and Suzuki Swift, along with entry versions of the Ford Fiesta ($15,825), Holden Barina ($15,390) and Skoda Fabia ($15,990).
Peugeot will add the entry level Access and GT-Line to the Active, Allure and GTi, while eliminating the Allure Premium. The Access manual will start at $15,990 plus on-road costs in five-speed manual, 60kW 1.2-litre, three-cylinder form, rising to $18,990 in 81kW 1.2-litre, six-speed automatic guise.
The manual is rated at 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres, and the automatic combo – which is used throughout the rest of the line with the exception of the GTi – is rated at 4.5L/100km. Only the base Access and the top GTi are available with manuals.
A lack of visibility in the market’s biggest price sector has prompted the decision to feature the Access, according to Mr Startari.
“When you analyse the market itself in terms of price band, ignoring fleet and other distortions, we were missing out because we weren’t playing in that (sub-$20,000) price point,” he said.
“People would come in, see the 208 as exceptional value and recognise the value as you walk up the grade walk. When you exclude yourself from that (entry level) market you exclude yourself from that top end.”
The Access combines bare bones motoring with key spec fitments, with manual exterior mirror adjusters, rear winding windows, steel wheels and a single colour choice (Hurricane Grey).
Central locking replaces a key fob-operated locking system, and all other systems including climate, lights and wipers are manually operated.
It is fitted with six airbags, a tyre pressure warning system, cruise control, six-speaker audio, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel controls, as well as air-conditioning, an air-conditioned glovebox and a digital speedometer.
Mr Startari indicated that the Access would also be offered with driveaway pricing $16,990 for the manual and $19,990 for the automatic “(The driveaway deal) doesn’t have an expiry date,” he said.
He also indicated that he doesn’t expect Access to take any more than a five per cent share of the 208 sales pie.
“I think Active and Allure will be the top sellers. 208 has always been strong with Active,” he said.
The Series II Active at $21,990 plus on-roads is only available with the 81kW three-potter/six-speed auto combo, and adds a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen, 16-inch alloys, leather steering wheel, electric mirrors and rear parking sonar.
Stepping up to the $25,990 (plus ORCs) Allure scores you dual-zone climate-control, satellite navigation, auto lights and wipers, folding centre armrest with storage bin and additional external and internal trim pieces.
The all-new GT-Line uses the same engine and transmission combination, but adds more sports-oriented trim items, unique 17-inch alloys, sports front seats, sunroof and privacy glass. It costs $27,990 plus ORCs.
The three-door GTi remains at the top of the tree, and now uses the 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged Euro 6 engine from the 30th Anniversary Edition that makes 153kW and 300Nm. It can still only be had with a six-speed manual gearbox, and costs $30,990 plus ORCs.
A rearview camera is available only as a $300 option on Active and above, but it can be bundled with automatic emergency braking for $500 all up.
Other options include sat-nav for $1250 (Active and above), a sunroof for $1000 (Allure and GT-Line, leather/heated seats on Allure for $2000, 17-inch rims on on Allure for $1000 and premium paint (a unique textured finish in semi matte grey or white) for $1050, or metallic paint at $990.
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