Peugeot revamped its 208 range last year, chucked the naturally-aspirated engines in favour of the PSA 1.2-litre PureTech turbo three-cylinder. At the same time, the company Buffed up the range with a flash new variant, the 208 GT-Line. Only the 1.6-litre GTI, is more expensive. What the GT-Line brings to the party is better equipment and Almost-GTI looks.
The Peugeot 208 GT-line, has been seen on roads of South Africa for almost a year now and we have finally had a chance to get behind the wheel to experience the small hatch which has been selling at a steady pace but seems to be the last kid picked on the field when buying a midsized hatch, but why?
This 208 rides on the ageing PF1 platform, but when the all-new 208 rolls around in 2020, it will be based on the new Common Modular Platform (CMP) and it’s expected to be larger, lighter and more capable than this model and from the released Pictures it’s going to be something completely different.
It always blows us away how a manufacturer can adds a new bumper, sexy grill, new vents and a splash of chrome to transform and invigorate the look of a car. The GT-Line derivative has a bit more visual flair than the entry level 208 derivatives thanks to its wider grille and fresh new headlights. The grille itself is unique to the GT-Line and I think looks even better than the GTI’s grill, it features eye-catching touches such as red details and a gloss black finish with a GT-Line Badge on the left. The side mirrors are also painted black and the rear is unmistakably Peugeot with the new eye-catching LED “claw” tail lights being rolled out across the Peugeot range. The look of this 208 GT-Line is topped off with 17-inch Caesium alloy wheels with Red inserts to tie into the grill design.
Its distinctive looks will appeal to young urbanites who are looking to buy daily runabouts with GTi like visual appeal. In the looks department, the 208 GT-Line is a suitably stylish offering…
The 208 GT-Line offers refreshing performance, its been upgraded to an 81 kW 1.2-litre turbo petrol PSA engine with its relatively generous torque figure of 205 Nm, it makes the 208 feel a lot better and livelier than we could have expected.
We found the 208 GT-Line Punchy when overtaking, you gear down smash the loud peddle, wait for a very slight degree of Turbo lag and then it’s off! Delivering a Lovely feeling of boost while gearing through the 5 speed manual transmission effortlessly, but still enjoying a highway fuel consumption of Peugeot claimed 5.7 L/100km; we averaged an indicated 6.9 L/100 km during our test, which is quite fair.
The 208’s ride quality is as firm was you would expect from a sporty hatch and makes the hatchback feel engaging. It corners confidently and the small steering wheel oddly instils the impression of greater control, which boosts a driver’s confidence. The 208 GT-Line has a fun side – we loved it.
The 208 GT-Line fares reasonably well in terms of practicality and offers a sizable luggage bay (311 litres), but a little short on space if compared to VW Polo’s 350 litres. The rear seatback splits 60/40 and, when its folded down, a claimed 1 152 litres of space is on hand.
Space for rear passengers is adequate and 2 average-sized adults should be reasonably comfortable in the back, provided that front occupants are also Average sized adults, otherwise its going to be a squeeze. There are bottle holders in all the door mouldings and the driver and front passenger each have a cup holder.
The safety specification offered on the 208 GT-Line is reasonable and includes 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist and stability control with traction control. Isofix child seat anchors are also standard.
The sporty GTI theme continues on the inside, where have lovely partial leather and cloth GT Line sports seats, comfortable with generous bolstering for added lateral support something Peugeot’s always had a good reputation for and reminded us of the original 206 GTI style seats. Both the driver and passenger seats are height-adjustable. The ‘wheel has mounted audio and Bluetooth controls and can be adjusted for rake and reach. we found it takes some playing around with steering wheel positions to get the view of the instrument cluster right and not blocked by the steering wheel.
Standard features include automatic dual-zone aircon, cruise control, electric windows and mirrors and rain-sensing wipers. The perceived build quality of the interior is average to good, we loved all the real aluminium which you don’t tend to find in cars at this price point anymore, they mostly sport a type of replicated alloy type finishes so it’s nice to see and feel the real thing but some less-premium plastic trim elements (gloss black door handles for example) detract from the overall premium look and feel of the cabin.
The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system appears a bit dated now, I’m not sure why they didn’t update it to the same system the 2018 308 Allure has been upgraded with, the cars have similar launch dates and the 308 system is just that much better, smoother and higher quality, in general, we found the 208’s slow and the screen quality felt low and less crisp than expected – it could be more user-friendly like the 308s.
It was, Straight forward and easy to sync a Iphone via Bluetooth we didn’t test with android or try MirrorLink for Android only Apple CarPlay and it worked as expected. Devices can also be connected via USB. It works, but its letting the 208 down.
South Africans have not always taken to the French manufacturer with the open arms that some other maybe even less quality manufactures have enjoyed in the past but we hope that with the new ranges flooding in with lots of new tech that they are given a chance.
2018 Peugeot 208 GT-Line pricing and specifications:
Price as tested: R269 999
Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol
Transmission: Six-speed Manual
Fuel: 4.5L/100km (Combined)
CO2: 104g/km (Combined)
Safety Rating: Five-star NCAP