Any Peugeot hot hatch must inevitably face up to the weight of expectation heaped on it by two of the most lauded hot hatches ever: the 205 GTI of the 1980s, and the 306 GTI6 of the 1990s. Indeed, the 206 and 207 GTIs both fell short of the high standards expected of a marque with such illustrious hot hatch pedigree.
By the time the 208 GTI arrived in 2012, expectations were a little lower. And, in truth, the 208 GTI probably actually exceeded them. Its ‘Prince’ engine, a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder whose development was shared between Peugeot, Citroen and BMW (for use in Mini models) never had a sparkling reputation, but in 197hp format in the 208 it was torquey, smooth and powerful. It was even revvy enough, though it won’t stand the hairs up on the back of your neck like a peaky old-school hot hatch power plant.
Find one of the 205hp 30th Anniversary editions that came out in 2014 (confusingly, 31 years after the original 205 GTI was launched) and you’ll be treated to an even punchier, peppier driving experience.