RE: Peugeot Sport 208 GTI: PH Fleet

RE: Peugeot Sport 208 GTI: PH Fleet

Thursday 30th November 2017

Peugeot Sport 208 GTI: PH Fleet

We think it's the best small hot hatch on sale, but how will the 208 fare with new rivals on the way?



If you're in the market for a new hot hatch, you're spoilt for choice. Manufacturers are constantly battling it out at the top, chasing Nurburgring lap records to get their spot in the limelight. Most are offering a minimum of 300hp, five doors, launch control and more gadgets than the Starship Enterprise. What a time to be alive.

That's Orange Power, just so you know
That's Orange Power, just so you know
Yet it's all still to play for in supermini hot hatch territory. If you're looking for a 200hp pocket rocket, there's a new Ford Fiesta ST coming, another Volkswagen Polo GTI, the Toyota Yaris GRMN, the Mini John Cooper Works, the Renault Sport Clio and, last but not least, the 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport. We thought the latter was an absolute riot when we first drove it, and it's currently our pick of the supermini hot hatches; with so many new rivals on the horizon, what better time to get one in the PH playground?

Some might consider the 208 GTI a bit long in the tooth now, having been on sale for three years and with those aforementioned rivals waiting in the wings. Yet we feel our mildly refreshed welterweight will stand its ground, and we'll do our best to find out how it compares with our time in KR67 DHD.

With Matt bidding farewell to the last of the naturally aspirated hot hatches earlier this year, we are well acquainted with turbocharged shopping cars by now. The little Peugeot's peppy 1.6 produces 208hp at 6,000rpm and 221lb ft at 3,000rpm, delivering 62mph in a swift 6.5 seconds. It shares the same 'Prince' engine block that we saw in the previous generation Mini John Cooper Works, so it's been a proven recipe for a while now. With a six-speed manual gearbox and standard limited-slip diff, the mechanical package is very exciting.

Mind those wheels Ben!
Mind those wheels Ben!
Peugeot let me choose the colour, so obviously I went for the shouty Orange Power. If you're going to have a hot hatch, it may as well stand out, right? They insisted on ticking all of the option boxes (all three of them), bringing the list price of £23,550 up to a total of £24,250 as tested. Or more importantly for today's consumer, a car that can be had for around £250 per month.

First impressions are really good. I think it's great to look at, especially since Peugeot de-chromed it during the refresh and changed the seats. It's a really good place to be inside with an intuitive infotainment system, decent speakers and those seats are really comfy too. The driving position was awkward at first, having to find the right height adjustment of both seat and steering wheel to look over the top of the wheel instead of through it. It's akin to the set up in a Caterham Seven, so since finding the sweet spot, it feels even better.

The first few hundred miles have been taken fairly steadily on my 100-mile round trip commute to the office to let everything settle in, so I'll report back soon on what it's actually like to drive. But I think it's fair to say, the next six months are going to be very enjoyable and I'm resenting the thought of having to give it back already.


FACT SHEET
Car:
2017 Peugeot 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport
Run by: Ben
On fleet since: November 2017
Mileage: 877 (delivered on 139)
List price new: £23,550 (As tested £24,250 comprising £250 for Peugeot Connect SOS & Assistance, £250 for Active City Brake and £200 for Reversing Camera)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

culpz

Original Poster:

3,339 posts

40 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Hmmm... I've driven a couple of the competitors in this segment; mainly the Clio 200 EDC and the Fiesta ST. I've not driven this 208 GTI, so maybe i should and then apply my opinion, but i'd honestly struggle to see this being a better drive and overall package compared to the Fiesta ST.

I really like the Clio 200T but i do agree that you need to spend a fair bit of time in one to appreciate it. It's got some hidden depths to it, that takes time to extract, whereas the Fiesta is an instant riot and reveals it's character within minutes of driving the thing.

I'm actually worried for the new Fiesta. It now seems more complex and configurable and i don't personally like that. I'm more of a just get-in-and-go kinda guy with hot-hatches. I'm not a missive advocate of 3-cylinder engines either, but i've not driven many of them so i will hold judgement for now.

Krikkit

12,046 posts

109 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
culpz said:
...but i'd honestly struggle to see this being a better drive and overall package compared to the Fiesta ST.
I'd say it's likely to be very close - Peugeot have historically been very good at setting up hatches, and this one has a proper LSD to boot.

Tim16V

349 posts

110 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
I had completely forgotten about these - can't even remember seeing an advert for them, let alone one on the road.

Looks good though, it will be interesting to see how you get on.

jenkosrugby

7 posts

148 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Surprised they have not included the Abarth as a potential competitor....admittedly not as polished as the 208, but a hoot to drive and bags of character. 19k gets a brand new top of the range Abarth competizione with 180bhp.

Mike1990

522 posts

59 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Evo have just got one on their Fast Fleet too! and a for a few months the DS3 Performance which hasn’t had the same glowing reports.

But from what i’ve read and watched these Peugeot Sport 208 GTi’s are something pretty tasty, think moden day Clio 200 Cup. Either way i’am looking forward to the next 6 months.

There’s also the Performance Packed Corsa VXR aswell which has the similar hardware. Just say’in :P


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TheTyreAbuser

149 posts

26 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Tim16V said:
I had completely forgotten about these - can't even remember seeing an advert for them, let alone one on the road.

Looks good though, it will be interesting to see how you get on.
It's possibly because they're so insanely hard to spot, they don't really look massively different to most other 208's (at least the standard GTI doesn't)

Really sad that these haven't done well, or at least as well as the ST. I had the ST and loved it but I honestly kept wondering if I would've liked the 208 more.
I seem to remember trying to get a test drive in one being like having a tooth removed, all the Peugeot dealers didn't have one or didn't want anyone trying one.

great_kahn

75 posts

14 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
£24!?!?!?!? for a 208, you must be off your chuffer.

culpz

Original Poster:

3,339 posts

40 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
culpz said:
...but i'd honestly struggle to see this being a better drive and overall package compared to the Fiesta ST.
I'd say it's likely to be very close - Peugeot have historically been very good at setting up hatches, and this one has a proper LSD to boot.
Potentially. They don't all have LSD's as standard though, do they? They are very cheap on the used market but so are the Fiesta ST's. I found a Molton Orange example, private seller, 2014 with around 35k on it, FSH, ST3 with all the toys, decent example with no CAT markings, for £8700.

The 208 GTI's may be even cheaper. It's the exterior styling that doesn't sit right with me, i think. This particular one looks fantastic but many of the earlier versions just look way too plain, even compared to the Ford. They do have a better stance as standard and probably the perfect size for a hot-hatch.

culpz

Original Poster:

3,339 posts

40 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
TheTyreAbuser said:
I seem to remember trying to get a test drive in one being like having a tooth removed, all the Peugeot dealers didn't have one or didn't want anyone trying one.
Sounds like many people's experiences with the Clio 200T.

I managed to get one via Renault Warrington but it was an absolute farce of a test drive and extremely unorganised.

Tuvra

7,465 posts

153 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
jenkosrugby said:
Surprised they have not included the Abarth as a potential competitor....admittedly not as polished as the 208, but a hoot to drive and bags of character. 19k gets a brand new top of the range Abarth competizione with 180bhp.
That's where my money would go in this category smile
great_kahn said:
£24!?!?!?!? for a 208, you must be off your chuffer.
It's 2017, a totally bog standard Audi S1 would cost you £27k and I'm sure 10-15% off list price won't be unheard of for the 208 GTI.

xjay1337

10,095 posts

46 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
I think it looks very funky.

Like these a lot.

BenLowden

936 posts

105 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
I'd say it's likely to be very close - Peugeot have historically been very good at setting up hatches, and this one has a proper LSD to boot.
What he said. It has been quite a long time since I drove an ST so I'll need a refresh soon, but the LSD in the 208 is a key differentiator for me.

Tim16V said:
I had completely forgotten about these - can't even remember seeing an advert for them, let alone one on the road.

Looks good though, it will be interesting to see how you get on.
That's a big part of the appeal. I actually considered buying an ST or a 208 when I bought my Megane, but while going through that thought process I saw five STs within 20 minutes on the road and it put me off. That has nothing against what a great car it is, quite the opposite, but I prefer something less common.

Tuvra said:
It's 2017, a totally bog standard Audi S1 would cost you £27k and I'm sure 10-15% off list price won't be unheard of for the 208 GTI.
Nearly 20% actually if you look at the What Car new car deals. Can be had for less than £19K brand new smile

Tuvra

7,465 posts

153 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
BenLowden said:
Tuvra said:
It's 2017, a totally bog standard Audi S1 would cost you £27k and I'm sure 10-15% off list price won't be unheard of for the 208 GTI.
Nearly 20% actually if you look at the What Car new car deals. Can be had for less than £19K brand new smile
In that case it's bang on the money and well worth considering smile

Especially appropriate when you consider the 205 GTI would have been the equivalent of £18k in 1986 if you allow for inflation....

sleepera6

3,889 posts

25 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Now THAT’s a hot hatch.

Sounds like bags of fun

cossers

1,357 posts

68 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
The guy I bought my r27 from replaced it with one of these! He loves it

smiley_boy2501

15 posts

25 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Snap.

I have the same including colour just a year older. Bit stiff day to day especially when cold.

Great fun when pushing on though.

At £170/month not sure you could have more fun for less.

www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1702219

muppet42

262 posts

133 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
I'm glad to see Peugeot have what many deem to be a 'proper' GTi again after what many felt were low points with the 206 and 207s respectively struggling to challenge in their category. However, I still can't get my head round this view, or lack there of, of the dials...


Krikkit

12,046 posts

109 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
culpz said:
Krikkit said:
culpz said:
...but i'd honestly struggle to see this being a better drive and overall package compared to the Fiesta ST.
I'd say it's likely to be very close - Peugeot have historically been very good at setting up hatches, and this one has a proper LSD to boot.
Potentially. They don't all have LSD's as standard though, do they?
No. All of the "...by PeugeotSport" ones do though, not sure if it was available before that.

I think they make a nice-looking car without going too aggressive. One thing that would swing it for me is the ride - good as it is on track, the Fiesta is pretty brutally hard,

zedx19

1,483 posts

68 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Is this Peugeot back on the form it had up to the late 90's, early 00's? I had a 306 GTi-6 longer than I've owned any other car, over 8 years! It was an absolute riot to chuck about and had a superb gearbox. After the 306 GTi-6 and 106 GTi, I can't think of a decent GTi Peugeot have made, maybe this is it though?

culpz

Original Poster:

3,339 posts

40 months

Thursday 30th November 2017
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
culpz said:
Krikkit said:
culpz said:
...but i'd honestly struggle to see this being a better drive and overall package compared to the Fiesta ST.
I'd say it's likely to be very close - Peugeot have historically been very good at setting up hatches, and this one has a proper LSD to boot.
Potentially. They don't all have LSD's as standard though, do they?
No. All of the "...by PeugeotSport" ones do though, not sure if it was available before that.

I think they make a nice-looking car without going too aggressive. One thing that would swing it for me is the ride - good as it is on track, the Fiesta is pretty brutally hard,
Yeah, that sounds about right. The first 208 GTI's didn't so it must have changed when they later re-named it, tweaked with it and gave it the "by Peugeot Sport" moniker. So, if you do look at the older and much cheaper models, you won't be getting an LSD as standard.

See, i never got all the complaints about the harsh low-speed ride on the Fiesta at all. It actually felt more compliant than my Scirocco i had at the time, with 35mm lowering springs installed all-round. I reckon that the styling on most of the B-segment hot-hatches are fairly conservative.