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History and Ownership

As stated in the header article on the PSA Group, the Peugeot brand has been around for 200 years in one form or another.  There has been a long history in cars,with Peugeot often being the innovators certainly within France and often aspiring to European ambitions.

  An entry to the USA in the 1970’s proved a financial disaster with a failure to understand the uniquely perceived needs of a quite different market, and also very importantly the inbuilt chauvinism of the American car buyer of that period.  Peugeot were also up against the early invasion of Japanese brands into that market.

Brand Equity

Different managements have changed the brand message far too many times, to the extent that a definition today looks subject to extended discussion.   We have been given the messages ‘French’ ‘sporty’ ‘luxury’ ‘fleet’ and so on, too frequently.   The current ‘take’ on this brand is possibly ‘traditional, high quality and specification at a sensible price’, but the danger is in invading DS brand territory.

Retail Network


Customer Experience


Notable Past Models

205 GTi - this is often lauded as the original common persons GT, full of brio and among the fastest super-mini GT’s.  While this is so and the car continues to have a loyal following, it is quite coarse to drive and has very limited usefulness or safety on present-day UK pot-holed roads.  One for the cafe racers and car club enthusiasts only.

607 - severely under-rated car offering a range of petrol and diesel engines, great comfort but all the stopping and turning finesse of an oil tanker.  Best with petrol V6, yet very few have escaped the crusher due to poor mechanical reliability, awful electrics and corrosion.  Some cars used ‘Gemini’ 2.7 litre diesel, good performance but poor economy and emissions.  With 2.2 litre diesel ‘4’ this car gives fair performance and economy but engine especially turbo has an unconvincing reliability record.  

406 Coupe - a simply superb example of Pininfarina styling, still looks great today.  This was based on the mass-produced (fleet) 406 models and thus suffers their reliability levels and poor longevity.  A car for tinkering enthusiasts only!

407 Coupe - superceded the 407 and was styled in-house, which accounts for its somewhat gawky looks, particularly at the front grille.  By now, mechanical, electrical and quality issues have been resolved.  Came with 4 and 6 cylinder petrol and diesels, the very last cars fitted with the Gemini 3 litre diesel were superb drivers cars offering space, pace and economy.  If you can find one, a great buy.  

RCZ - this was intended to be a styling exercise only, designed by Peugeot apprentices.  The result was lauded by the motoring press and eventually the decision to put it into production with both the 1.6 turbo petrol and the 2 litre diesel - both giving smart performance and comfort and despite the extravagant looks, also very practical.  Almost at the end of production, 250 and 270bhp petrol versions gave exciting spine-jarring performance.  This car was axed by Carlos Tavares on entry to the PSA empire as being ‘unprofitable’ - probably very true but this car alone took the reputation of the Peugeot brand to a much higher level and proved to be the ultimate showroom ‘puller’ and loss-leader every car-maker needs.  Dedicated RCZ clubs exist in the UK and Europe.  Has the distinction of being the only production Peugeot not to have a three-number model name.

208cc - a small hard-top convertible designed by Huiliez, excellent for 2-up touring but not much luggage space with roof down.  This car has sold in satisfactory numbers and has very many happy customers - yet was also axed by Carlos Tavares for the above reasons.

308cc - big sister of the 208cc, this was developed from the ugly 307cc with an overdue bodily facelift and total quality overhaul.  The result is an excellent to drive roof-down convertible which can accommodate 4 as well as two large suitcases, hold-alls etc.  The last cars had a very nicely face-lifted front grille area which showed markedly improved frontal design moving away from ‘gaping-fish-mouth’ and also incorporated improvements in equipment and refinement to become a great purchase - in my opinion preferably with the torquey 2 litre diesel and auto ‘box!

Current Model Ranges

108 - tidy city car offered with award-winning petrol ‘3’, quite stylish in upper trims, a nice mover but the Toyota version very surprisingly has more interesting styling.

208 to 2019 - the first Peugeot to use the i-Cockpit and as a smallish 3 and 5-door supermini very successful in entry level through to highly specified versions, with the GTi  being particularly sought-after.  Packaging and styling is generally good, but the space-saving stub nose was unresolved, when a mid-life facelift added intricate detail which assisted in disguising the basic conundrum.

208  and E-208 from 2020 - larger than previously and apparently offering more sophistication.  A detailed appraisal is awaited of both IC and full electric versions.  History suggests a winning formula and style.

2008 to 2019 - quite a gauche looker based on the 208 but with taller, longer body developed into a very practical small SUV.  This design hasn’t proved particularly popular, yet surveys show that owners value the 2008 highly.  This is a very useable car especially with the 1.6 litre diesel paired to a 6-speed auto.  Available with front-wheel-drive only, and the brilliant butoptional ‘Grip Control’ gives this car much better off-road ability than you could possibly expect.  A mid-life front grille facelift and interior enhancements gave this car much nicer - if still ‘gauche’ - looks.  Thus, late cars appear to be particularly in demand.

2008 from 2020 - a new and much smoother ‘adult’ style is promised and many improvements from the 208 hatch should be caried over to this car, presumably making it a private buyers favourite once more.

308 - a larger super-mini hatchback with practical values having precedence over styling.  No saloon version but estates are very capacious.  Later cars have GT-Line versions which greatly improve looks and equipment.  The GT model utilises the ubiquitous 2 litre diesel in 180bhp form to give a very lively performance, while the GTi uses the BMW/PSA 1.6 litre petrol in 200, 250 and 270bhp versions, to soundly beat Volkswagens equivalents.  Both GT and GTi require talented drivers to maximise their potential - very rapid!

3008 - This car has had so many awards since introduction, it is rumoured Peugeot had a larger prize cabinet made.  A striking design, followed through with terrific road manners and a bright engine/gearbox combinations to suit all tastes.  Equipment levels are high with semi-autonomous features available in the more expensive variants.

408 - 4-door saloon car missing from UK line-up, is sold in certain less sophisticated markets only, often as a JV.

508 from 2019 - again a strikingly good-looking classic saloon body design concentrating upon low and sleek, excellent in all departments except in ultimate load-carrying space - but then that does not need to be a priority in such a good-looking design.   The recently released SW version looks very sleek, capacious and powerfully good-looking.  It is a delight to drive with the more powerful petrol and diesel engines.  Electrified versions should soon be hitting the market.

5008 - in essence a 3008, but with extended wheelbase, taller roof and rear overhang to create a 7-seater.  While the 3rd  row seats are reasonable, getting into them is a job for lithe, smaller people and thus qualifies best as a ‘family’ car.  Ultimately looks more business-like than the 3008 if you prefer less complex designs and more practicality in the boot/hatch area.