*Update – after receiving a bit of a backlash to this post on Twitter I want to be very clear from the get go – I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, an expert on cars. Quite the contrary in fact. This post is designed to be a lighthearted and humourous account of what happened when myself and my Husband spent a week with the Peugeot 108. The ‘review’ aspects are taken from the thoughts of my husband, as a driver, and myself, as a lifestyle blogger, and as with every post on this blog, I have attempted to share my honest and humble opinion (and mine only) on what it might be like to own this car. Peugeot were well aware of my driving know how (or lack there of) when they asked me to feature the car. I have not deceived anyone and certainly do not aim to do so with this post.*
Just before our honeymoon (I know – bad blogger alert) GB and I got to spend a week with the little cutie which you see above, the Peugeot 108, to see how it fit into our routine as city dwelling, yet country loving folks who spend their day-to-day lives on London tubes and trains. We’ll ignore the fact that’s taken me until the start of March to get this review live (can I still use my honeymoon as an excuse?) and cut straight to the chase.
Hopefully if you’ve clicked through to this post (or are a regular reader), you already have a fairly good idea about the type of car ‘review’ this is going to be, but just in case I’ll preface this post with the admission that I know nothing about cars. NOTHING. No really, nothing whatsoever. As in sometimes people ask me what my dream car would be and I am totally and utterly bemused by the question as I really, honestly don’t know the difference between any of them. In fact, (I’ll whisper now so that no one can hear) I can’t even drive.
I KNOW! I’ll let that one settle for a moment before you decide whether to read on in a post about a car which is written by a non car driver…
Still here? Ok good. Well, actually that statement is not entirely true – I can drive. I mean, I know how. As in if there was a world emergency which would only be solved by me getting behind the wheel of a car and moving forward on roads, then we’re ok folks. I could do it. I could save the world from impending doom and move in a motorised vehicle (whether I’d move well is another matter of course). So yes I can technically drive a car, I just don’t have a licence.
I know that’s probably most people’s definition of being unable to drive but you know, technicalities. I’ve tried with the licence by the way – quite a few times (four to be exact) – but as a youngster I was quite a nervous nelly and despite driving near perfectly in my lessons, come the test I’d always mess up. After messing up for the fourth time, it was time to head off to Uni in a city where I decided I didn’t need to drive. Then I graduated and moved to Glasgow (a bigger city) where again driving wasn’t really necessary. Then I upped sticks and moved to London (the biggest and baddest of cities) and decided I definitely didn’t need to drive here. And so here I am, 30 and still driving licence free, only just now realising that it might be a life skill I do in fact need. I’m on the case though – and hoping at 30 I won’t be nearly as nervous a nelly as I was at 17!
Anyway the point is if you’re looking for an in-depth technical review of the nifty Peugeot 108 and it’s mechanics – how many miles it clocks up on an average drive, how fast it goes (pretty speedy from what I can tell) or how the wheel feels in your hands – sorry but you’re not going to get that here.
Instead, seeing as this is a lifestyle blog after all, I’m going to share the details of how this little car fit into myself and GB’s lives for a week, give our thoughts on how much easier (or more difficult) it made living and getting around in London, what things we really loved about the car, and what, ultimately, made it a car we’d consider owning, even while living in a city.
So here goes…
It’s a bit of a Tardis
Ok first things first, this car is a total Tardis. And anyone who tells me that doesn’t matter to them in a car is totally lying because it’s BIGGER ON THE INSIDE. How can that not be a reason to own this nipper? It was absolutely the biggest advantage I noticed about this car, I mean wow! From the outside I couldn’t stop marvelling at how cute and dinky it was but step inside, and suddenly I had ample leg room in the front, space to throw all my ‘essentials’ in the back and a roomy boot. It was a dream. When we were offered the car for the week, we decided to make use of having a vehicle and do all the errands we’d been meaning to do for a while, one of which was dropping off my Brother’s guitars and music equipment which we’d had at our flat since the wedding. When GB came home that first evening and saw the car, his immediate response was ‘There’s no way the guitars are going to fit in there!’. But lo and behold, they most certainly did. And not only did three guitars fit in, but a drum, amp, four garden chairs (that we were dropping off at his Dad’s), two large mic stands and bags full of music equipment. Not to mention our luggage for the weekend and all the clothes and shoes I’d decided to pile into the back seat for outfit posts.
It has great storage
That of course leads me nicely onto my next key point – I was really really impressed with the amount of storage in this car. Now I happen to think that storage in a vehicle is something that will matter to everyone when choosing a car (even those who were looking for that in depth technical review) because a great car with minimal storage isn’t any use to anyone is it? Again this boot looked tiny and gave the impression it wouldn’t even hold one suitcase, but to the contrary the space was utilised really well which made going away for a weekend a breeze. Instead of stressing out like I normally do over which pair of shoes I’d want to wear with that dress or how many hair products I could reasonably fit in my suitcase while still being able to carry it up the stairs at the tube station, I had no such worries. I piled in three pairs of shoes ‘just in case’, took all my hair products and an abundance of coats and jackets for all weather eventualities. This, of course, is precisely why GB told me to put ‘great storage’ on the cons list. I was just starting to get good at packing light, and I have a feeling if I had a little car like this, that would soon go completely out of the window.
It looks all kinds of cute in an Instagram photo
Don’t look at me like that! We’re all thinking it right? I mean what’s the point in having a car as a blogger if you can’t Instagram its whereabouts in charming locations in order to showcase yourself as someone who ‘gets about town in style’. From an easy little stop for coffee at a cute coffee house to parking up next to an adorable black and white townhouse, the Peugeot adapted to its new blogger life with ease, maybe even more so than my Instagram husband. #Justsayin
It makes parking easy peasy
This pro comes straight from GB, who was more than impressed with Peugeot’s clever parking sensor and on screen camera (which shows you a picture of the back of the car on the screen in front of you, uses a square and line guides to ease you in to the perfect position and beeps should you get to close to another object or vehicle),which he described as a godsend and something which made life a whole lot easier. Because let’s be honest – who enjoys parking? No one. Not even the best drivers enjoy getting in and out of those tight spaces which London parking seems to be known for. GB’s a good driver and parking doesn’t bother him but a little help in this department doesn’t hurt anyone and saved us loads of time. Just to test it out to the fullest we took our little guy into a multi storey car park (a lot of people’s worst nightmare) and attempted to squeeze into one of those awful little spaces right at the end where there’s always a pole placed in completely the wrong area. Didn’t even phase our guy one bit! We were in and out in no time at all and without drama. Thumbs up!
It’s small and nippy
It really did feel easy to get around in this car. It felt like the type of car you could ‘nip places’ in. You know the – ‘I’m just going to nip to the shops and I’ll be back in ten’ – kind of car. And, despite always maintaining that driving in London would be much more hassle than using public transport, we actually got pretty used to being able to go places easily without having to think about it. In the week we had this cutie; food shopping was made simple as we could easily drive to a big supermarket after work and pile all the bags in the car, seeing friends was enjoyable as we wouldn’t need to make regimented plans in advance and could just head off when we felt like it, and the weekends more open as we weren’t limited to London and the areas we could walk or get a tube to, we could travel further afield. It’s not at all a big or clunky car, and doesn’t feel like a mission to jump in and go somewhere. It’s small, light, sporty and nippy so you could throw your stuff in the back, and whizz off.
It makes your outfit look really good
Jokes jokes but hey, I couldn’t help but match my scarf to the car for a couple of photos. And doesn’t it do well? Obviously I’d never actually buy a car based on it’s ability to make my outfit look good, or would I?
It’s the perfect changing room
Sticking to the fashion theme but on a more serious note, I just loved having a car as my changing room while out and about. As a freelancer there are times where quick outfit changes are required, between meetings, or going straight from work to meet a friend, and I usually find myself manoeuvring in or out of a pair of tights in a tiny public toilet cubicle, cursing my life. Having a little car for the week took all of this away – while out taking shots for a few different blog posts one Saturday, I was able to store extra shoes and different jackets in the back easily, park up nearby and nip back to the car for a quick change. This was probably one of the moments where the idea of having my own car (and that licence) started to really appeal to me. I could imagine myself taking it out on those days where I needed to be in three different places at once and it making life that bit easier – giving me a warm area to eat my lunch on the go, or do a shoe change before having to run across town. The roomy seats and low set up shield you from the outside a little and made switching from a dress to jeans in the front seat of the car (we’ve all done it) pretty damn simple.
It’s quiet inside
Personally I really don’t like cars that are noisy inside. When you’re on a long car journey, and sitting on a motorway for hours there’s nothing worse than hearing the monotony of the car tyres droaning along the road. That car buzz, if too loud, can be a sure fire way to a migraine for me, so the fact that the Peugeot was smooth and quiet inside was a real plus. At times it almost felt so smooth I’d forget I was in a car. Maybe not so good if you’re the driver but a bonus for the passengers as sleeping, chatting and relaxing was made easy.
It would make the ideal ‘Road Trip’ car
That idea of being able to get a bit of kip in in the back, while someone else is chatting away or playing music in the front is what leads me to believe this would be the ideal vehicle for a road trip. That, on top of the storage space, the smooth ride, the easy parking and the speedy way it nips from place to place. I could just imagine piling a group of friends in and heading off somewhere fun for the weekend.
The Not so Good
It’s pretty low to the ground
There is a slight – sporty – feel to this model and as such the design of the car is to have the seating quite low to the ground. It’s not overly noticeable until you’re actually on the road and realise you’re not quite at the same level as the people in the cars opposite you and then suddenly it’s a little disconcerting. GB, as the driver, felt this more so than me and kept feeling like he wanted to raise his seat up to get a proper look out the front.
It has a tendency to ‘vroom’ even when you don’t want it to
Again a symptom of the sporty design this car has, there were times when we felt like boy racers even when that couldn’t have been further from our intentions. It might have also been because the car was new and the clutch not yet worn in, but every time we stopped at traffic lights and then set off again, we’d be revving and vrooming like we were on ‘Fast and Furious’. At these points I’d just cower my head down and not make eye contact with the cars next to us, while GB was throwing apologetic hand gestures to those around him.
It’s a little too easy to speed in
I guess the other, slightly more worrying, aspect of that sportiness was that it did make it easier to gain speed without realising you were doing so. There was definitely a lot of power in this little car and gaining speed wasn’t an issue for it. So much that sometimes we’d set off down our little drive so smoothly and easily, that it was only when we got to the bottom and braked, we’d realise just how speedy the car was.
You feel like the smallest car on the road
The final con I’ll share for this little car (as we really did love it on the whole), was that we definitely got a sense that on the road, other cars didn’t take you quite so seriously. For GB, who is used to driving large cars and vans for work, he noticed this immediately and remarked on how the bigger cars on the road were pushing past and taking liberties without even a nod towards our little vehicle. There’s always someone bigger and badder on the road than you, but in the Peugeot it felt like everyone on the road was bigger and badder. The flip side of that of course, is that you can weave your way through tight corners and tricky jams much more easily, whereas a big vehicle or van doesn’t stand a chance.
The downsides of this car, for us, were all really small matters that wouldn’t cause much upset at all once used to driving and owning the car, and so overall we were very impressed with how this sporty little number held up. When we had to say goodbye to it after our week trial was up, it’s fair to say both GB and I were sad to see it go. For me, I could see how it would make my freelance life in London that bit easier, allow me not to feel so trapped on the days I was working from home and make getting around town a breeze. But for both of us living in London, owning this car would give us a way out of city life every so often. It would make visiting friends and family easier, it would make having weekends away more accessible and generally make travelling around more enjoyable as we’d be able to go at our own pace and not always be rushing to a train station at a set time or having to plan ahead so rigidly. We’d always said in the past that day-to-day we wouldn’t use a car in London, and for the most part that’s probably still true but having said that, we were much more active in the evenings than we normally are when we had this car – doing food shops at the supermarket, heading to the cinema, visiting friends, and as such we really got the use out of the vehicle and made it’s presence worth while. If we had a car ourselves, maybe we’d just make sure it paid for itself by using it as much as possible.
If you’re looking for a sporty city car which copes just as well nipping around busy city streets and parking in small spaces, as it does gaining speed on wide country roads, then the Peugeot 108 might just be for you!