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.
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.
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.
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!
Track photos: Chris Teagles