Now if you want to ride? Thorough comparison of 5 cars that are most suitable for foreign car debut 1st comparison with “Yaris” is also fun? Is Peugeot “208” best for foreign car debut?

Now that “CASE” (C: Connected = Connected, A: Autonomous = Autonomous Driving, S: Shared = Share Service, E: Electric = Electrification) has become an indispensable element in thinking about the future of cars, each company The design and functions of the new model have changed significantly compared to before. On the other hand, it has been a long time since young people began to cry out for leaving the car. However, even in such an environment, there are still many car enthusiasts who want to get on or switch to an “imported car = foreign car” that has overwhelming appeal in terms of design, driving, brand power, status, etc. I think. Therefore, in this special feature, we would like to pick up the five cars that are most suitable for the debut of foreign cars, compare them, and explore the appeal of each model. The first is the Peugeot “208”. Peugeot’s new “208” was released in Japan in July 2020. In February 2021, minor changes such as grade names were made.

My foreign car debut

Before getting into the main subject, let me tell you a little bit about the author, who has been about 30 years since his debut as a foreign car. In my case, since I got my first car, the Mitsubishi Motors “Celeste” (2-door hatchback coupe) in 1978, I have taken over six domestic cars such as Nissan Motor and Honda, but it was released at that time in 1993. The new Volkswagen (VW) “Golf 3 GLi” (I really wanted Golf 2, but the model was changed just before) was made a foreign car debut by paying a large amount of 2.75 million yen. It was. The 1993 VW “Golf 3G Li” that I bought as a new foreign car for the first time. The exterior was black and steel wheels were standard (photographed in March 1996). Golf 3 has won the European COTY (Car of the Year) in 1992. The 5-door hatchback Golf 3 has a total length of 4,020 mm, a total width of 1,695 mm, and a total height of 1,420 mm, generating 115 PS in a compact body. It was equipped with a 2.0-liter engine. Both practicality and running are outstanding, and it has been active as a foot of my home for a long time. The size and power are very close to the five cars I will introduce, and I have experienced for myself that it is the best place to choose as the first foreign car. By the way, the reason why it was golf is that (1) golf = high-performance German car was already established, (2) the white golf 2 that my acquaintance was riding was very cool, and (3) there was a VW dealer nearby and maintenance was done. There is a reason that I didn’t have to worry about it. Among them, I thought that ③ was especially important when purchasing a foreign car, which is said to have many breakdowns (the story at that time). At VW, when Yanase, which had been in charge of sales until then, was leaving and a new domestic dealer network was being developed, a new store (VW Azamino) was just opened near the author’s home, which lived in the suburbs of Tokyo. was. Thirty years have passed since then, and now, not only German manufacturers but also French and Italian manufacturers have established a dealer network all over Japan. In other words, if you have a car you want, you can easily go to see the actual car, you can test drive it, and you can rest assured even if you have trouble after purchasing, which is a really good time to ride a foreign car.

First, test drive the Peugeot “208”!

This special feature is to select the best one for foreign car debut. The reason for choosing the Peugeot “208” for the first installment is simple. This is because he won the W title of the European COTY (Car of the Year) in 2020 and the Japanese imported car COTY in 2020-2021, and has been endorsed by journalists in Japan and Europe. The fact that a compact car is selected as COTY means that not only driving and looks but also economic efficiency such as price and fuel efficiency are excellent, and it is easy to imagine that it is a perfect car for foreign car debut. it can. The new 208, which advocates “Power of Choice,” is a pure EV (electric vehicle) and a vehicle equipped with a gasoline engine. There are two grades of EV “e-208”, “GT” (4.26 million yen) and “Allure” (3.899 million yen), and gasoline car “208” is “GT” (2.99 million yen), “Allure”. There are three types: (2.629 million yen) and “style” (2.499 million yen). Of these, the entry grade that is perfect for this project is the gasoline allure and style, but considering that the low-priced “style” is a made-to-order model that considerably omits safety equipment and interior and exterior, it naturally looks at the allure. Should be suitable. I tried the 208 Allure on general roads and highways in Tokyo to see how attractive it is as a car suitable for the debut of imported cars.

Satisfaction that you are in a cool car

The body size of the 208 Allure is 4,095 mm in length, 1,745 mm in width, and 1,445 mm in height. The wheelbase is 2,540 mm and the vehicle weight is 1,160 kg. The platform is PSA Group’s “CMP” for compact cars. It is a lightweight and highly rigid chassis that is premised on compatibility with EV models. The 4-door hatchback style, which is 4 meters long, is reasonably sized (small?) And easy to use, and is just the right size for streets in Europe and narrow streets in Japan. The length is a little over 4m and the width is less than 1.8m, so even in urban areas of Japan, the just-sized Peugeot “208” Peugeot is marked by the lion with the brand logo. The 208 also features a lion-themed exterior. A vertical daytime running light with a fang-like design is installed on the side of the front grill. The tail light has three key claws as a motif. It is a sharp design that you can see at a glance that it is a Peugeot. Compared to the predecessor, which had a slightly “real” image, it became very cool. The exterior is based on the image of a lion with the brand logo. The body color is available in 6 colors such as red and blue. The bright mustard-colored “Faro Yellow” that the test drive wore looks good on the 208, and it makes me excited just by looking at it. The new “208” is a car that shines bright yellow. When you open the door, a more special world opens up. That is Peugeot’s original “i-cockpit”. It is a unique cockpit that has been adopted since the predecessor 208, with a layout that has an ultra-small diameter steering wheel with flat top and bottom and a meter cluster installed on the upper side of the rim. In the new interior of “208” featuring “3D i-cockpit”, the foreground part where the speed gauge and tachometer are projected from the ceiling of the nacelle and the distant view part where the water temperature gauge and fuel gauge are reflected are displayed. Has evolved into a “3D i-cockpit” that looks three-dimensional. There is a sense of the future that is not like an entry model, and the appeal is high. There is a triangular notch on the side of the nacelle, and depending on the angle, it is a little worrisome that the screen will be difficult to see due to light coming in from there, but the appeal of adopting the advanced design is superior. It must have been a decision. A meter nacelle that looks like you can see from the top of the steering wheel. As the 3D name suggests, there is a smartphone storage area that supports Qi charging under the keyboard-shaped switches that have a two-layer display surface. The front seat has a tension that combines fabric and tep leather (synthetic leather). Uses epidermis. It has a large seating surface, so you won’t get tired even if you ride it for a long time. On the other hand, the size around the rear seat is as small as possible without any dissatisfaction in the vertical and horizontal directions, and the luggage capacity is 265L. If you place importance on this area, there is a division that you should use the SUV “2008”. The seat is a combination of fabric and tep leather. The rear seats are a little small and the foot space is reasonable. 265L luggage room.When the seat is knocked down, a large space appears although there is a step in the center.

A compact hatch that feels good when you run

How is the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine running? Since the maximum output is 100PS, I can’t hope for much, but the maximum torque is as thick as 205Nm, which is generated from the low rpm range of 1,750rpm. The 8-speed AT made by Aisin AW constantly draws out the delicious part of torque by shifting in small steps, and the body is as light as 1,160 km, so you can accelerate and decelerate freely in the city. The “208 Allure” is equipped with a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder turbo engine that generates 100PS / 205Nm. The discomfort caused by the i-cockpit that I felt when riding the 2008 SUV was dispelled by the 208. The sharpness of the small-diameter steering wheel matches the timing at which the tip of the nose turns, so you can enjoy a refreshing feeling just by turning a small intersection. The Michelin 195 / 55R16 (Primacy 4) tires worn by the “208” Allure, which has a paddle shift for runners, have a moderate air volume and soft road contact due to the round shoulders. It provides an exquisite ride. Compared to the top GTs that wear 17-inch sports tires with thin heights, the absolute cornering speed is not comparable, but if you want to enjoy the supple undercarriage of a French car, this is the place. At high speeds, fuel efficiency (WLTC mode 17.0km / L) can be expected thanks to the AT, which is directly connected to 6th gear (gear gear ratio 1.00) and overdrives 7th gear (0.808) and 8th gear (0.672). .. At around 100km / h, it’s hard to get into 8th gear, but it should be a gear that can be used at Shin Tomei Expressway, which has a speed limit of 120km. Three drive modes, “eco,” “normal,” and “sports,” can be selected from the buttons on the center console. It is an interesting idea inherited from the previous model that the pseudo exhaust sound of “mooo” is generated from the speaker when in sports mode, but I would like you to add a kill switch to easily mute it when you are worried about it. I think it would be even more fun if you could choose the tone if possible. Thick grip shift lever. For ADAS (advanced driver assistance system), which has a mode selection switch below it, basic functions such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane positioning assist are standard equipment. It seems that the ACC buttons could not be installed on the steering spokes probably because of the ultra-small diameter, and the same function is operated by the lever that grows from a position that is a little hard to see at the back of the post. It’s confusing at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll be able to operate it without looking.ACC switch attached to the lever on the far left of the steering post

Is the rival Toyota “Yaris”?

The rival of Japanese cars will be Toyota “Yaris”, which won the European COTY in 2021 to replace the 208. When I heard that the award was given for its compact and edgy body that was conscious of “black beans”, the multi-powertrain of 1.5L hybrid and gasoline engine, and sharp driving that makes use of the stiff undercarriage, it was 208. Notice that there are so many overlapping parts. Looking at the domestic selling price, the 208 Allure is about 136,000 yen higher than Yaris’s highest-end HV model (4WD). On the contrary, if there is such a difference, I think that the method of choosing the premium and prominent Peugeot 208 is much more ant than the Yaris that is often seen in the city.

Akira Hara Joined the photography department of a news agency in 1983. After working as a photographer and desk, he was in charge of automobiles in the digital department. I write 50 test rides a week, once a week, for about 5 years. Currently publishing articles in various media for free. Regardless of the test drive event or presentation, it is our belief to take a picture by ourselves.Click here for a list of articles by this author