Peugeot 208: new vs used

The new Peugeot 208 looks striking, but costs from £17,860 compared with under £10,000 for previous-generation models - which is better?

John Evans
Oct 5, 2021

The latest Peugeot 208 is just one of many small hatchbacks currently on the market, and, as with many other new small cars, this one is compact on the outside, but comes with a much larger price than the outgoing model.

So, whether the new car is worth it or if you're better off going for a sub-one-year old version of the outgoing Peugeot 208 for a greatly reduced cost, is up for debate. Read on for everything you need to know to decide whether to cash in with a nearly-new 208 or splash out on a brand new one.

New superminis like the 208 must be miracle workers, capable of packing in much of the technology, comfort and space of a bigger car within the price and size constraints of a much smaller one. The new 208, which went on sale in August 2019, is the latest in a long line of small Peugeot hatchbacks dating back to 1983.

However, the new Peugeot 208 faces a host of appealing rivals, not least the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, plus the new Vauxhall Corsa which, now Vauxhall is owned by Peugeot’s parent company, Stellantis, shares many of the new 208’s parts.

The greatest competition for the new 208, though, comes from the recently discontinued model. Not only does the previous 208 look stylish with its curvy shape, but it has a striking interior and offers a comfortable drive. Its biggest selling point, however, is the fact you can get yourself a 2019 previous-generation 208 for under £10,000 - saving you at least over £7,500 compared with the new car.

This generation of 208 was facelifted in 2015 and BuyaCar has hundreds of well priced examples that are even better value than this, as you can see below. So the new 208 has a fight on its hands. Let’s see how it measures up and which one, new or used, is the better buy for you.

All-new 2019 Peugeot 208

Unlike the outgoing 208, the new model is only available as a five-door. This is increasingly common among car makers, since five door models are more practical and generally more popular. Prices range from £17,860 to over £30,000 for the electric 208. Considering that 2018 versions of the electric BMW i3 are available for much less than this, a brand new electric 208 seems like a pricey prospect.

Furthermore, even at over £17,000 for the most basic 208, the 75hp 1.2 PureTech Active, looks expensive and gives arch-rival the all-new Renault Clio, which starts at £16,900 for the more powerful TCe 90 Play: an immediate advantage.

Following the success of its 3008 SUV, Peugeot has made the new 208 more upmarket than the outgoing 208, with an interior that’s more modern and feels higher quality to help back up those steep prices. That's great if you can afford it, but again makes the outgoing 208 seem much better value.

The new model comes with a good level of standard equipment including alloy wheels, automatic city braking, electric heated door mirrors and LED daytime running lights. It also has a multifunction steering wheel, a head-up display and a seven-inch touchscreen media system on offer.

Reinforcing its upmarket ambitions is the fact that, unlike the outgoing 208, there’s no basic Access trim. Instead, the range opens with Active before moving into Allure (with leather-effect trim, a larger touchscreen and full LED tail lights) and then GT Line (adding parking sensors, 17-inch alloys and full LED headlights). Unlike the outgoing 208, the top-of-the-range GT trim is reserved for the electric 208 - with drivers charged a premium for both the long equipment list and electric tech - which results in an over-£30,000 price tag.

The engines, a range of 1.2-litre 'PureTech' petrols in three different power outputs (75hp, 100hp and 130hp) and a 100hp 1.5-litre BlueHDI diesel, are updated units carried over from the previous model. The final option is the 136hp electric motor in the electric variant.

2015-2019 Peugeot 208

The previous 208 was originally launched in 2012, with an updated version arriving in 2015. Models from 2015 onwards are available in three and five-door forms from as little as £5,495.

It’s clear, then, that a used 208 is great value for money. It gets better since, ignoring the new electric model, it comes with a wider range of engines than the new one. In the petrol camp is the 68hp 1.0-litre VTi, a choice of 1.2-litre petrol engines, and 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre diesels. There’s even a hot hatch version, the 208 GTi, whose 1.6-litre petrol engine produces a substantial 200hp.

Meanwhile, there are more trims to choose from, starting with entry-level Access and rising through Active and Allure to GT Line. On top of these are specials including Signature, Black and Tech Edition for different budgets and tastes. In addition, in the Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey, owners report themselves pleased with the 208’s running costs and ride quality.

The downside is that while Active trim models and above are well equipped and the car itself is good looking, especially in facelifted guise, thanks to its bright LED daytime running lights and revised grille, it’s not much fun to drive while the relationship of the small steering wheel to the instrument binnacle is not to everyone’s taste.

Outgoing Peugeot 208 vs new Peugeot 208

Aside from their very different looks, price is the big differentiator between new and used 208s. The new car starts at £17,860, thousands more than a late version of the outgoing 208 in a desirable specification with a more powerful engine.

Instantly, the outgoing model looks to be the better choice, especially so since it’s still a good-looking and well-equipped car powered by a range of very efficient engines, so efficient that Peugeot has chosen to install most of them in the new model, albeit tweaked to meet current and future emissions regulations.

However, there’s no avoiding the fact that the new 208 is more upmarket and grown-up, comfier, better equipped as standard and simply more desirable.

Early driving impressions suggest it’s possibly no great advance on the previous 208 in terms of driving fun, but as Peugeot seeks to establish the new 208 as the mature and comfortable choice in the hatchback class, this is probably to be expected.

Which Peugeot 208 to buy – new or used?

With that starting price of £17,860 the new 208 is clearly more expensive than a nearly new 208 with similar power and a good equipment level. The new 208 looks sharper inside and out, feels more grown-up, and has more technology and equipment, but if all you seek is an attractive and well-equipped hatchback for around half the price, a used or even nearly new 208 will serve you well.

We recommend you avoid any nearly new versions that are still close to the new 208’s entry price since they are likely to depreciate fastest.

Nearly new Peugeot 208 deals

Peugeot 208
Nearly new Peugeot 208

BuyaCar prices from £17,995
Monthly finance from £319*

Nearly new Peugeot e-208

BuyaCar prices Limited stock


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