Peugeot Sport 208 GTI: PH Fleet

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.

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)







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Comments (41) Join the discussion on the forum

  • culpz 01 Dec 2017

    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 01 Dec 2017

    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 01 Dec 2017

    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 01 Dec 2017

    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 01 Dec 2017

    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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