Date: 26 November 2013 | Author: Jack Carfrae
The Peugeot 208 GTi hot-hatch marks a serious improvement over its lacklustre immediate predecessors - the 206 GTi and 207 GTi - and with its sharp steering, a raspy exhaust note and a surprisingly adept ride considering its lower, firmer suspension, it is also a world apart from the cost-effective but unexciting standard version.
With 200hp and a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds, it's more than rapid enough to contend with other hot superminis such as the Ford Fiesta ST and the VW Polo GTI. In short, it's great fun, and any fan of small, fast cars won't be disappointed.
It's caked in small styling details to mark it out as a performance special too, such as red strips in various corners of the cabin and on the grille, chromed exhaust tailpipes and a GTi logo emblazoned onto the C-pillar.
Peugeot is expecting to do a certain amount of fleet business with the GTi amounting to around 21% of all sales, likely through contract hire to drivers who aren't heavily constrained by fleet policies. Even for those who are, or who might be monitoring their emissions, the 208 is clean enough at 139g/km given the performance, with official fuel economy of 47.9mpg.
It marks a welcome return to form for the firm's hot hatchbacks and with a P11D of £18,720, it also stays true to the tradition that such cars shouldn't be heinously expensive. At 50.9ppm, it's on a par with Seat's Ibiza Cupra and comfortably trumps the Vauxhall Corsa VXR and the VW Polo GTI, while the Ford Fiesta ST is slightly cheaper to run at 49.4ppm. Fleet-friendly kit including a DAB radio, Bluetooth with USB connectivity and rear parking sensors comes standard, too.