Mention the word Peugeot and hot hatch, and it won’t be long before the numbers two, oh and five come up. Unfortunately for the French company, every hot hatch they've produced since has failed to live up to the ‘iconic’ status of its forebearer. It really was that good.
Up step then the 208 GTi, the third offering since the daddy of all hot hatches.
As you might expect it’s a lower, leaner and meaner take on its supermini sibling. It’s powered by a 200bhp turbocharged four cylinder 1.6-litre engine, meaning a spirited sub seven second 0-60mph time. It may be pretty quick, but it’s not matched by its ability to tackle corners, which doesn't come close to its rivals.
The dash is neatly laid out, but the small steering wheel takes some getting used to, and for some impedes the view onto the dials. Getting in the back is a little tricky and a tad compact for larger rear occupants. The 208 GTI is the closest Peugeot has come to reviving the magic of the 205, but it still falls down in too many areas, the biggest being price, considerably more expensive than the Ford Fiesta ST.
The Peugeot 208 GTi starts at £18,900 but used versions are available on Motors.co.uk from around £13,000.
October 27, 2014