RE: Peugeot Sport 208 GTI: PH Fleet

RE: Peugeot Sport 208 GTI: PH Fleet

Friday 5th January

Peugeot Sport 208 GTI: PH Fleet

How about another GTI Goodwood Peugeot? This one is great on track...



In little over a month, I've somehow managed to rack up over 2,500 miles in KR67 DHD. It has surpassed my expectations and every one of those miles has been even more enjoyable than I was hoping.

My intention for this article was to tell you more about what it's like on the road, but that's going to have to wait, as we took it out on our track day at Goodwood before Christmas. And it was bloody brilliant. Amazingly for the end of December we had a dry day, but a treacherously icy track. It wasn't looking great, but at 10:30 the sun had melted most of the ice and the track was open.


The first couple of sessions were used cautiously to get a feel for the conditions, how the car handled under gradually harder braking and, more importantly, what it was like being pushed around corners. With barely any run off and little room for error at Goodwood, no one wants to be locking up or spinning off at Woodcote. Or anywhere, for that matter. By midday the circuit was bone dry and I could really up the pace. It's such a thoroughly rewarding car to drive on track. The steering is fast and sensitive to your inputs although not particularly forgiving of aggressive driving, so you really have to focus on being smooth to extract the best performance. In turn its agility and ability to change direction quickly is really satisfying and quite hilarious at times too.

It really does like to dance around, but in an enjoyable and predictable way, not a 'which way is it going to chuck me off' way. This inherent mobility is assisted by the grip from thePilot Super Sports, which gave plenty of confidence even before the track had fully thawed out. I'll probably bang on about this a lot, but the shining star in this car for me is the Torsen limited-slip differential. I was using third to enter Lavant, building acceleration and feeling that diff pull me through the right-hander before being projected down the straight. There was a balance to find between accelerating through a corner to get the diff to bite and the classic front-wheel drive understeer, but it came quite easily.


Hitting 125mph before standing on the brakes into Woodcote, the car would shuffle and need correcting at times, perhaps encouraged by its short wheelbase and so much weight transferring to the front wheels, but it would allow me to trail brake without getting too hairy. Heading into the chicane I was really impressed with just how pointy the front end was on the brakes before getting back on the power down the straight. The brakes are mightily impressive too, helped by the sub-1,200kg kerbweight. They didn't fade all day and pulled the car up when it mattered every time.

We were lucky to have a new Honda Civic Type R with us on the day too. While I'm not going to directly compare two cars that are quite different in performance, price and offering, the Civic didn't leave the 208 feeling as if it were lacking. There was no surprise, however, to find the Honda significantly faster and more composed on track. It was so planted, confidence inspiring and more forgiving, yet I felt like it still had more to give. On the other hand in the Peugeot, I felt like a hero wringing each and every one of its 208 horsepower out of the engine, demanding more finesse and skill than the Honda through the corners and under braking. The Civic was undoubtedly the better car to drive, but the 208 stole the show for raw entertainment.


Suffice it to say I can't wait for my next track outing, and I'm looking forward to this dreary weather clearing up. It's a car that is better suited to twisty corners than long straights, and with Brands Hatch close by (as well as being perfectly suited), I'm aiming to get it out there soon to make the most of the little Pug while I have it. Has Peugeot found its long lost GTI mojo again? It would certainly seem so!


FACT SHEET
Car:
 2017 Peugeot 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport
Run by: Ben
On fleet since: November 2017
Mileage: 2,816 (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)
Last month at a glance: Good at Goodwood? It's great!

Previous reports:
2018 is a big year for hot hatches - can any beat our current favourite?

Track photos: Chris Teagles

Author
Discussion

great_kahn

Original Poster:

76 posts

15 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
24k, wow.

ShoooRn

12 posts

26 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
I loved the idea of the 208 when it first popped out it's head and Peugeot seemed to be doing the right things again but I honestly cannot see the real benefits of the Peugeot over the fiesta ST. To me unless the ride is better (frenchies always seem to get the ride perfect) I can't see why you'd take it over the cheaper alternative.

That said the new Fiesta doesn't do it for me so maybe the current 208 is a better buy?

Integroo

2,037 posts

14 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
great_kahn said:
24k, wow.
6k less than a Golf GTI. Pricier than a Fiesta ST, but with 20bhp more.

lotusmad2001

83 posts

100 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
I had a 208 GTi a couple of years back after selling my Clio 200 which had developed a gearbox problem they wouldn't cover on warranty (BTW Renault service is shocking for RS cars,told me not to rev the car so hard!!)

The gearbox on the GTi had no problem, however, it had a long throw and quite a vague feel, pair this to a throttle response that was very flat and literally no induction or exhaust noise it fealt like I was driving a quick diesel rather than a hot hatchback.

I had a 206 GTi 180 back in the day and that was much better yet got slated in the mags.

I would love a drive in a PS GTi, however no one mentions the gearbox in the reviews, they still mention a poor throttle response mind.

can't be too difficult to get right can it!?

EDIT: oh and the worst sound system fitted to a car ever! dreadful!

AdriaanB

144 posts

57 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
Being on that same track day, I was impressed by how quick that little Pug was!
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BenLowden

985 posts

106 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
great_kahn said:
24k, wow.
I find it hard to believe that anyone would pay list price. I commented on my last article to say you can get nearly 20% off if you look at the What Car new car deals. They can be had for less than £19K brand new, which is a bit more palatable!

ShoooRn said:
That said the new Fiesta doesn't do it for me so maybe the current 208 is a better buy?
We'll address that in an upcoming article soon! smile

treeroy

231 posts

14 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
I test drove a 208 GTI when shopping for a hot hatch and it nearly put me to sleep. Yes it's quick, just as quick as its competitors, but it's so dull. There is no noise, and no feel when you press the throttle or really much feel from the steering either. It had very comfy seats and a soft ride though. I'm glad I got a Fiesta ST instead.

Integroo said:
6k less than a Golf GTI. Pricier than a Fiesta ST, but with 20bhp more.
The article indicates it has 208bhp. The Fiesta ST has 197. That's 11bhp more not 20..

BenLowden

985 posts

106 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
lotusmad2001 said:
I had a 208 GTi a couple of years back after selling my Clio 200 which had developed a gearbox problem they wouldn't cover on warranty (BTW Renault service is shocking for RS cars,told me not to rev the car so hard!!)

The gearbox on the GTi had no problem, however, it had a long throw and quite a vague feel, pair this to a throttle response that was very flat and literally no induction or exhaust noise it fealt like I was driving a quick diesel rather than a hot hatchback.
Ah the chocolate Clio gearbox! Although I thought they had actually sorted the issues from the 197 for the 200, but perhaps not.

I'll be addressing your concerns in my next update; simply too much to say about track antics this time around. All issues that can be fairly easily addressed thanks to the aftermarket though really!

Tophatron

342 posts

150 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
I had a 208 GTi Prestige on a bonkers cheap lease deal a couple of years back. It was great - driving position was a touch high and it was a bit subdued in the noise department but the engine was lovely. A great turn of speed and could be pretty economical too. Handled nicely as well, if a bit predicable (don't think the lift off oversteer of my old 205 GTi would be too popular these days).

All in all I'd recommend them. You can get 2015 facelifts with 208ps for £11k, a great car for the money.

Edited by Tophatron on Friday 5th January 21:59

Tim662

66 posts

64 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
treeroy said:
The article indicates it has 208bhp. The Fiesta ST has 197. That's 11bhp more not 20..
2013-2017 ST has 179bhp

AgentZ

225 posts

57 months

Friday 5th January
quotequote all
Tim662 said:
treeroy said:
The article indicates it has 208bhp. The Fiesta ST has 197. That's 11bhp more not 20..
2013-2017 ST has 179bhp
Not really (or practically) true, though: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/ford/fiesta-s...

Tannedbaldhead

1,956 posts

61 months

Saturday 6th January
quotequote all
I PCPed my 208 GTI Prestige from the perspective of being a bit of an old fart looking for hot hatch performance but in something a bit more comfortable, softer, everyday usable and slightly less focused than a Fiesta ST.

In Prestige trim it's very well equipped and comfortable. The cabin is nicely trimmed and; as the say, a genuinely nice place to be. Handling is good (As opposed to near brilliant for the ST) and performance particularly mid range punch is strong.

On the minus side the steering lacks feel, the engine lacks character, the lights seem poor having come from a Cooper S with xenons and the exhaust note developes an unfortunately boomy loud drone at 70-80mph which kinda spoils what would have been a better than class average motorway cruiser.

As for the steering wheel and dials issues? I'd say it forces you to sit with your seat set slightly higher and steering wheel set slightly lower than I find is ideal. It's something you'll get used to then the steering wheel every other non-Peugeot you drive will feel HUUUUUUUGE!!! and slow reacting in comparison. 

Edited by Tannedbaldhead on Saturday 6th January 15:55

Woody2043

18 posts

9 months

Saturday 6th January
quotequote all
The price! A Fiesta ST with Mountune is 212 hp and 236 lb ft and I had a blast in mine for 18 months. That 208 would have to be reeeally good at that price.

FN2TypeR

5,088 posts

22 months

Saturday 6th January
quotequote all
great_kahn said:
24k, wow.
A carwow check from a wee while ago offered up discounts of £4,200 straight off of the bat, for what it is worth

I love these; they are brilliant little cars

Woody2043

18 posts

9 months

Saturday 6th January
quotequote all
I had no difficulty paying £16k for a new ST with the Mountune chip albeit that was Oct 15

tonyb1968

876 posts

75 months

Saturday 6th January
quotequote all
lotusmad2001 said:
I had a 208 GTi a couple of years back after selling my Clio 200 which had developed a gearbox problem they wouldn't cover on warranty (BTW Renault service is shocking for RS cars,told me not to rev the car so hard!!)

The gearbox on the GTi had no problem, however, it had a long throw and quite a vague feel, pair this to a throttle response that was very flat and literally no induction or exhaust noise it fealt like I was driving a quick diesel rather than a hot hatchback.

I had a 206 GTi 180 back in the day and that was much better yet got slated in the mags.

I would love a drive in a PS GTi, however no one mentions the gearbox in the reviews, they still mention a poor throttle response mind.

can't be too difficult to get right can it!?

EDIT: oh and the worst sound system fitted to a car ever! dreadful!
Not sure how you can compare a none PS GTI to a PS GTI, and you really cannot compare any 208 GTI to a 206 GTI 180 (nearly the biggest mistake I made but withdrew from the purchase on a new one).
The 206 GTI 180 was a horrid car, it handled well but the gearbox wasn't nice and neither were the gear ratio's or the seating position/pedal position, it needed a 6 speed and that killed it by not having one (and the one I test drove was a brand new one).

I also have the first of the PS cars that they produced (and its not a 208 wink ), the LSD is fantastic, gearboxes can feel a little vague to start with but it seems to be a modern Peugeot trait, they loosen up and become more precise as time goes on.
Uprated brakes (Brembo) on the 208 GTi by PS help but I would opt for its bigger brother, the 308 GTI which is also a fun car, not that much more to buy and 65bhp better off smile

culpz

3,658 posts

41 months

Monday 8th January
quotequote all
Glad you're enjoying it Ben. Sometimes, it's good to be different. I think that all these B-segment hot-hatches bring something slightly different to the table. I'd actually go as far to say that none of them are bad. However, the 208 GTI still remains the one that i least desire out of them all.

Tannedbaldhead

1,956 posts

61 months

Monday 8th January
quotequote all
culpz said:
Glad you're enjoying it Ben. Sometimes, it's good to be different. I think that all these B-segment hot-hatches bring something slightly different to the table. I'd actually go as far to say that none of them are bad. However, the 208 GTI still remains the one that i least desire out of them all.
Just out of interest, why is this so?

culpz

3,658 posts

41 months

Monday 8th January
quotequote all
Tannedbaldhead said:
culpz said:
Glad you're enjoying it Ben. Sometimes, it's good to be different. I think that all these B-segment hot-hatches bring something slightly different to the table. I'd actually go as far to say that none of them are bad. However, the 208 GTI still remains the one that i least desire out of them all.
Just out of interest, why is this so?
If i'm honest, i've never been a fan of Peugeot products. I don't like the exterior or interior styling. Renault (Sport) is my go-to French brand of choice.

Tannedbaldhead

1,956 posts

61 months

Monday 8th January
quotequote all
culpz said:
If i'm honest, i've never been a fan of Peugeot products. I don't like the exterior or interior styling. Renault (Sport) is my go-to French brand of choice.
That wasn't what I expected. I found it hard not to go for the Fiesta ST. From a dynamics perspective it's the class leader and is so by far.
I chose the Pug for its subdued styling (am 52 and a bit embarrassed that I'm still scooting about in a hot hatch) nicely appointed and well equipped interior and the fact it's just that bit more compromised towards everyday use than a driver permanently driving the wheels off it.
I'm very much a horses for courses type of guy and understand why a car that works for me might not me touched by a barge pole by others.
I quite like the Renault Sport Clio but the lack of a manual gearbox option puts me off.