Peugeot 208 GTi and GTi by Peugeot Sport review - a return to 205 GTi form? - Peugeot 208 GTi Interior and tech

The Peugeot 208 GTI trying to channel the spirit of its seminal predecessor, the original 205 GTI. Does the latest hot hatch get close?

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from £19,515
  • Best Peugeot hot hatchbacks in years; fast and involving
  • Ford Fiesta ST runs it very close

So, i-Cockpit. The layout, which places the dials just below the windscreen and puts a smaller-diameter steering wheel in your palms below them, has caused much consternation.

We’re not so sure it’s justified. Regardless of what you think of the look, it works fairly well in practice, and if you adjust the seat and wheel correctly you should be sitting both comfortably and in good view of the high-set dials. The trick is not to lift the top of the wheel as high as you would in a traditional layout, but to put the bottom of the wheel where it might be with a larger-diameter steering wheel.

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Your point of grip will be a little lower than usual but it’s easy to get used to, and the rate at which inputs translate into movement soon makes conventional setups feel large and lumbering.

Beyond that, the GTi’s cabin is a pleasant place to spend time. There are a few ergonomic quirks – the pedals aren’t ideally placed for heel-and-toe gearchanges and the physical buttons for the infotainment screen are still where they’d be for left-hand drive cars, i.e. a stretch away – but quality is good and it has a suitably racy feel.

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The seats are supportive too (particularly the heavily sculpted items in the Peugeot Sport) and the sense of quality and integrity are closer to the Polo GTI and Mini than they are the Fiesta ST.

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