The Peugeot 208 GTi is an impressive hot hatch in standard specification and a spectacular one in GTi by Peugeot Sport trim, continuing Peugeot’s recent (and very welcome) return to performance road car form.
Each car packs a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine but while horsepower figures are separated by only a small margin, each car is quite different in character and will appeal to different customers as a result. The standard 208 GTi fulfils the role of a fun but usable all-rounder, while the Peugeot Sport – true to its name – goes toe-to-toe with more rambunctious rivals like the Ford Fiesta ST.
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There is one car that possibly eclipses the Peugeot's talents however - the Ford Fiesta ST200. By giving the ST just a little more pace and a little more pliancy in the suspension it's raised the Fiesta's game. It isn't as hardcore as the Pug, and not as intense as a result, but for many it'll be the better all-rounder.
If you’ve got the budget to stretch to the Peugeot Sport model – it’s around £3000 more than the standard GTi – we’d absolutely recommend it. The regular car flows down crumbling roads with admirable poise but ultimately plays it safe.
The GTi by Peugeot Sport offers more of everything, by contrast: extra speed, more bite from the front tyres, more mobility to the rear axle, more feel filtering through the steering and better body control. It’s handy on track, too.
‘It doesn’t have the instantaneous charm of the Fiesta ST, partly because the steering wheel is unusually small and the control weights just a little disjointed, but with the miles comes familiarity, and then the realization that this is truly one of the most exciting hot hatches currently on sale. The sheer grip of the front axle, the agility, the excitability of the rear axle, the scrabbling limited-slip differential – the 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport is fun, raw and heroically fast.’ Dan Prosser, road test editor (evo 211)
> Performance and 0-60mph time - Both GTIs are fast but the Peugeot Sport feels very rapid indeed. Gearshift isn't the slickest though and neither sounds that great. Read more about the 208 GTI's performance here.
> Interior and tech - iCockpit layout can take some getting used-to but the small steering wheel suits the 208's darty feel. Quality is generally good too. Read more about the 208 GTI's interior here.
In This Review
- 1Peugeot 208 GTi and GTi by Peugeot Sport review - a return to 205 GTi form? - currently reading
- 2Peugeot 208 GTi Performance
- 3Peugeot 208 GTi Engine and transmission
- 4Peugeot 208 GTi Ride and handling
- 5Peugeot 208 GTi MPG and running costs
- 6Peugeot 208 GTi Prices, specs and rivals
- 7Peugeot 208 GTi Interior and tech
- 8Peugeot 208 GTi Design