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Review: Does the Peugeot 208 GTi live up to expectations?

by • July 10, 2016 • No Comments

We’re in a golden age for hot hatches at the moment, with a surplus of front-drivers able-bodied to shred the Nurburgring on Sunday and pick the kids up of soccer practice on Monday. It’s a crowded class full of talented cars like Ford’s Fiesta ST, and standing out is complex. So, how does the Peugeot 208 GTi stack up?

  • The 208 GTi gets a neat little rear diffuser
  • The GTi can hit 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds
  • The 208 GTi has a 1.6-liter engine under the hood
  • The GTi is neutral as you get close to the limit

As if battling swift, capable-bodied competitors of the outside wasn’t adequate, any swift Peugeot requires to overcome the mass of history. Similar to an overachieving older sibling, the 205 GTi is one of those cars equiteone has heard of. Equite time a GTi Peugeot is launched, the media starts asking: does it live up to the legend? Is it worthy of that hallowed three-letter badge?

Well, the short answer is yes. The 208 GTi is a quite various car to its legendary grandfather, but it is in addition a quite great little hatch for 2016.

The modern hot hatch recipe starts with turbocharging. In this case, drive comes of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo with 153 kW (205 hp) of power, and a chubby 300 Nm (221 lb.ft) of torque of 3,000 RPM. Torque is the many prominent player here, producing it effortless to surf around in a high gear without fear of being bogged down.

As automatic gearboxes become additional prevalent, the decision to sell a car without an automatic version is brave, stupid, or an out-and-out dedication to drivers. In the little Pug, it is the last version on the list. Unlike Renault, that has banked on paddles as the next of performance driving, Peugeot has sided with stick-happy Ford and slotted a six-speeder between the seats.

Shift high end is slightly off the pace, with a longish throw and notchy feeling you only don’t get of the Fiesta, a car you can shift so swift it is almany telepathic. With that said, I’d yet take the 208’s shifter over a set of click-clack paddles any day of the week, actually yet the tight pedals had me wishing my dimensions 14 boots were a bit slimmer.

You access that gearshift through a chunky metal gearknob that contributes to the feeling of high end ingrained in the cabin. It’s a feeling that starts with the leather and tartan-cloth seats, and go ons as you reach out and grab the soft leather wheel. Equitething you touch or grasp feels quite great, and that is definitely additional than can be said for the Fiesta ST’s low-rent cabin.

If the high end feel of the controls is unquestionable-bodied, the relationship between them is a little bit off. In isolation, there’s nothing wrong with the small, low-set wheel, but I discovered that getting it in a effortless-bodied position intended obstructing the high-set instrument pod on the dash. Peugeot wants you to set the wheel low adequate to feel like you are steering a darty little kart, but when you’ve got gangly six-foot-six legs like me, that is definitely just not an version.

In Australia, where speed limits are aggressively enforced, not being able-bodied to see the digital speed readout can be the difference between keeping or losing your license.

This is, yet, the initially iteration of Peugeot’s new create philosophy. It’s a philosophy that has been revised and improved in the 308 GTi that we’ll be reviewing shortly, and can go on to be revised and improved when iCockpit 2.0 rolls out later this year. There’s always going to be teething issues and we can see the future benefits of the setup, so won’t write it off only yet.

That said, the wheel didn’t necessarily require reinventing, and the GTi’s one-of-a-kind ergonomics may be the difference between buying this and wandering to a Ford dealership across the road.

Wandering around to the car’s pert rear reveals a deep, wide 311 liter (11 cu.ft) trunk. What is additional, that trunk has a full-dimensions spare wheel underneath it, a thing rarer than a leprechaun riding a unicorn these days. Folding the rear seats opens up 1,152 liters (41 cu.ft) for mountain bikes or flat pack furniture, and I actually managed to fit my 184 cm DPS skis with room for a big bag of ski gear with a little space left over.

It can sound tedious, but the hot-hatch has always been a dual-purpose car, and the little Pug plays the practical minivan well. With Dr. Jekyll practicality covered, let’s have a appear at Mr. Hyde – does the 208 GTi alter into a rabid monster when you pin the throttle?

Well, not quite. Loaded to the gills with gear, I pointed the Peugeot’s stubby orange nose in the direction of the Great Ocean Road hoping to uncover an uncouth character at odds with the car’s polished appear and feel.

What I got was a bit various. On the highway run out of Melbourne the ride was effortless-bodied and quiet, thanks to damping perfectly straddling the border between sporty and effortless-bodied. On undulating, pockmarked highways it absorbs bumps in one movement, settling back into its stride swiftly after a big hit. Yes, that in addition applies to mid-corner bumps, where the GTi is not going to get bounced off line by many effects.

Off the highway and on the Great Ocean Road, it swiftly becomes clear this isn’t a hot-hatch tearaway in the traditional sense, with a tied down character contrasting with the frenetic Ford Fiesta ST.

The engine is torquey and pulls quite greatly of almany any revs, especially once you’ve taken up the hint of slack lurking at a lower place 1,750 RPM, but it is not a motor with an insatiable-bodied appetite for revs. Zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) swings by in 6.8 seconds, but it never feels overwhelmingly swift. Instead, the low-down shove gives way to a slightly breathless top end accompanied by a flat, gravelly blare.

Short of fitting an aftermarket exhaust, the trick to improve that top-end growl is simple: fold down the rear seats and the noise improves markedly, both in high end and quantity. Even without the skis in there, I drove around with the back seats down to enjoy the extra bark it brought out.

Alyet the steering wheel has been hit with a shrink ray, the car never feels overly darty or nervous. It’s a swift steer and there’s decent grip of the Michelin Pilot Exaltos, but the back end never feels particularly lively, staying resolutely neutral in the face of provocation. Trust us, we tried to get this thing slipping around like a 205, but it prefers carving neat arcs and, at times, cocking an within rear wheel.

Some individuals can be disappointed with its neutrality, but those individuals require to remember what year it is. Deadly snap oversteer was considered fun in 1984, but it is a surefire recipe for a date with 60 Minutes in 2016, so we can’t quite begrudge Peugeot’s decision to chase safe understeer too much.

I’d hoped for a livelier box, and compared to the Fiesta ST it falls short in the driving enjoyment stakes. As a car to commute in, yet, the 208 GTi excels. Having averaged 7.4 l/100 km (32 US mpg) over three weeks of traffic-choked commuting – with one long highway run in between – it is a bargain-priced car to run equiteday, too.

It’s a capable-bodied hatch with a sense of fun and a quite great cabin, and you are not going to be disappointed with its performance on the occasional backroad blast. But my money may yet go to the blue oval’s Fiesta ST.

Pricing for the 208 GTi starts at AU$29,990 (about US$22,700) in Australia.

Product Page: Peugeot

  • The 208 GTi has a tough family history, but it lives up to expectations
  • This color is called Orange Power, and it appears fantastic
  • The 208 GTi is front wheel drive, but there's not much torque steer
  • All great hot hatches have a hint of practicality about them, and the little Pug is no various

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