EYE-catching design and fiery performance are among the stand-out features of the 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport.

The 1.6-litre 208hp petrol engine propels this hot-hatch from 0-62mph in just 6.5 seconds, with a potential top speed of 143mph.

The exhilarating acceleration, helped by a slick six-speed manual gearbox, is matched by the car’s road-handling capabilities, with wider tracks, lowered ride height and 18” wheels ensuring extra-sporty performance.

This particular model, available only in three-door form, includes a host of flamboyant design cues that might appeal to those with a sense of adventure.

For starters, the dual-paint finish is attention-grabbing, with buyers able to choose from Satin White, Orange Power, Nera Black, Rioja Red or Ice Silver.

The car’s radiator grill surround comprises an upper strip in matt black and a lower one in red, while the 208’s lower stance is underscored by the black side skirts and wheel arch extensions.

In a nod to the original GTi, the rear quarter panel bears a ‘208 GTi by Peugeot Sport’ logo.

The red front brake callipers are another nice touch while, at the rear, the chrome-plated twin exhaust pipes complete the sporty look and ensure that the distinctive engine tone isn’t missed.

Once you get inside, the car’s interior has bags of personality.

The low-slung Alcantara sports bucket front seats are perfectly formed, offering a balance between comfort for long-distance journeys and the necessary level of support when cornering briskly.

In another sign of the French manufacturer’s attention to detail, those seats are finished off with smart red stitching and the Peugeot Sport branding.

Indeed, red borders, stitching and trim are to be found in abundance throughout the entire cabin, lending the interior a certain uniformity. The flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with GTi badging acts as a constant reminded of the car’s hot-hatch credentials, as do the shiny metal pedals below. That said, the famously small steering wheel that Peugeot puts in its hot-hatches may not be to everyone’s liking or taste.

Even the floor mats - bright red in colour - do their bit to give the cabin a lively and elegant appearance.

There’s also plenty of technology in the cabin to get excited about.

The head-up instrument panel is directly in the driver’s line of vision, allowing you to read key vehicle information instantly without taking your eyes off the road.

Meanwhile, the multi-function colour touchscreen is a smart piece of kit and also allows you to connect to smartphones.

The vehicle also has Bluetooth connectivity, a decent satnav, a DAB digital radio and a high-quality audio system.

But for all its interior and exterior styling, its great acceleration and attractive good looks, its the handling and grip of this 208 that leaves the greatest lasting impression. Its low centre of gravity, revised suspension geometry and the connection you feel to the road through the steering wheel give the driver immense confidence through the corners. The car is also very stable under heavy braking, thanks to brake disks that are 323mm in diameter and 28mm thick and come fitted with Brembo fixed four-piston calipers.

The ESP and anti-skid features have been recalibrated to make more traction available.

The suspension set-up is firm, but the car never seems too unsettled over bumps, displaying a certain hard-edged composure.

Happily, the car is short geared enough that it feels fast, but not too fast, so the driver can have fun at sensible speeds.

It all adds up to a hot-hatch that feels more honed and more specialised than some of its rivals. If you’re on the lookout for a hot hatch that oozes personality, this one is worthy of consideration.


208 GTi by Peugeot Sport

PRICE: £23,385 on the road

ENGINE: 1.6-litre petrol, 208hp

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual, front wheel drive

TOP SPEED: 143mph

0-62MPH: 6.5 seconds

MPG: 52.3 combined

EMISSIONS: 125g/km

WARRANTY: Three years/60,000 miles

Will's Ratings




SPACE: ****



VALUE: ****