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New Peugeot 108 review

The Peugeot 107 and its sister cars the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1 were fantastic city cars for first-time drivers and downsizers. The low entry prices, keen three-cylinder engine and fun chassis sold the car well and even now years after they first came out they still feel rock solid. Replacing the 107 then is no easy task.

As is the way with the automotive industry, it has to be replaced though, and the new version is going to be called the 108. So, what's it like?

The first thing you notice about the 108 is that it's radically different to the 107 in design. This is still one of the shortest and lightest cars in the super mini class, although it is longer than the 107, to add extra boot space (the 108 has a 197-litre boot, the 107 a 139-litre boot) and rear leg room. Like the 107, the 108 will be rebranded as a Citroen and Toyota, but as before, it will be the Peugeot that offers the best deals such as those from .

The new styling includes LED daytime running lights as standard, alloy wheels, sporty bumpers all round and chrome detailing on the bottom bumper air vents.

The new 108 will also be available as a three-door and five-door. Both with share the exact same dimensions, although the five-door version will be around 5kg heavier.

Unlike in the 107 range, there will be two engines to choose from in the 108, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and a 1.2-litre unit. Both are petrol powered and Peugeot have worked hard to ensure that they are smoother and more economical than before. The 1.0-litre engine is the same as before but has been modified for less friction to reduce thermal properties.

No diesel engines will be available at launch, although a 1.3-litre diesel would suit the character of this car in my opinion. In terms of equipment, the 108 will be more technologically capable than the 107. For the first time sat nav will be an optional extra and automatic headlights and wipers are on the card too.

Driving wise, Peugeot have said that the 108 maintains the playful character of the 107, yet delivers a more grown up and refined experience. In other words, the 108 will have go-kart handling characteristics but be quieter and smoother on the motorway and on uneven surfaces. This, I expect, will be a welcome improvement for owners of the 107.

Used Peugeot () have always been a good buy and the 108 looks like it will be too. New pricing has not yet been announced but you can expect the entry-level car to dip under the £10,000 mark, as this is what made the older version so accessible. It is this accessibility which will drive sales and so if Peugeot can get the equipment levels right and avoid any new engine issues and recalls like some manufacturers (ahem, Porsche), Peugeot, Citroen, and Toyota could be on to another winner.

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Volvo Concept Estate overview

The 2014 Geneva Motor Show has introduced some of the greatest cars we've ever seen this year. The Audi RS6-R Avant, Alfa Romeo 4C Targa, Audi S1, Audi TT, and Bentley Continental Flying Spur V8 are just a few examples.

But not all of the best cars were super fast or super engineered. No, some of the best cars were humble estates.

Take the Volvo Concept Estate, as an example. This is perhaps the best looking car to be unveiled, yet it's a family car, designed for safety and comfort, not outright speed. Who would have thought that an environmentally conscious and safety conscious automotive manufacturer could have drawn the biggest crowds.

Well, they did. With a design inspired by 1960s cars, the Estate Concept from Volvo is utterly gorgeous.

Powerful yet feminine, the car resembles the old 1800 ES without being a complete rip off. The car is an estate at heart, but it's only got three doors. It's more of a coupe, and with huge wheels and wide arches, it's among the sportiest cars of its type we've ever seen. In fact, the only car that comes close to challenging the looks of this is the F-Type Coupe, and that's very high praise indeed.

Inside, the Concept Estate is as minimal as you would expect a Volvo to be. It still features Volvo's trademark floating dash, but this is dominated by an iPad-like touch panel, and the materials themselves are lighter than you'll find in current cars. In other words, this a more playful Volvo, that will appeal as much to female drivers as it will male. The interior is trimmed with tactile materials like woven wool carpets, tanned saddle leather, aged wood, and aluminium - it is all very Volvo, and all very Swedish.

The touch screen interface itself has had a lot of work, according to Volvo. "It is fine for an ordinary tablet to compete for your full attention, but a touch screen in a car is very different," says Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president of design at Volvo. "Information must be clear and user-friendly, without turning up the visual volume so much that you risk losing focus on the road."

As such, the Volvo Concept Estate would have an advanced voice command system, not unlike Siri in CarPlay, an upcoming technology that'll find its way into Volvo cars soon. This is obvious when you look inside the car, which is devoid of almost all buttons, save for the usual array of switchgear. Essentially, where a button would control some form of media before, it has been replaced with a voice command or touch screen command.

was gob smacked by the beauty of the Concept Estate. It is so futuristic, yet it is easy to that design inspiration from 1960s cars. In a word, the Concept is beautiful.

Although this car will not make production, many of its design elements will in other cars. It'll be interesting to see which ones.

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Throwback Thursday: 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible

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The 2014 Chicago Auto Show was opened to the press today, and on Saturday will be open to the public at the impressive McCormick Place in frigid Chicago. There are tons of great new cars worth seeing, but this vintage Ford Mustang caught our attention right away. It's billed as the first Ford Mustang Convertible ever sold. You'll see the all-new 2015 Mustang right next to it as well.

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