Is this sporty small car just a piece of eye candy?
The latest Peugeot 208 is one of the best superminis on the market and has won various awards, including the coveted 2020 European Car of the Year title.
Offered with both conventional petrol and diesel engines and as a 100% electric vehicle, it’s a fine blend of style, technology, economy and build quality.
We tested the 208 in GT spec, which is very well equipped, coming in just below the range-topping GT Premium.
As standard, it’s equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, black wheel arch extensions and window surrounds, a blacked-out front grille and full LED headlights with Smartbeam.
Other features include a large 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with connected sat nav and TomTom Live traffic updates, a height-adjustable passenger seat, interior ambient lighting, blind-spot monitoring and a 180-degree reversing camera,
Priced from £24,810 and powered by the most powerful version of Peugeot’s eager 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine (129bhp), our car came in eye-catching Faro Yellow.
Driven through the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it can complete the 0-62mph dash in 8.7 seconds and tops out at 129mph. Fuel economy is up to 51.9mpg and CO2 emissions are 122g/km.
Needless to say, the 208 GT cuts a dash, while the distinctive lion light signature it shares with its siblings never ceases to impress (tooth design at the front and claw effect at the rear).
Inside, there’s a premium feel with the digital delight that is the 3D i-Cockpit taking centre stage. However, if you’re new to Peugeot’s range, it’s the small steering wheel/high-mounted dials combo that will catch your eye. You will get used to it. Promise.
The 208 GT is fun to drive, though more of a warm than hot hatch. Its thrummy three-cylinder is punchy, even more so if you switch from Eco or Normal mode to Sport, which sharpens up performance.
It’s light and nimble, and though it’s not blessed with class-leading handling, it copes well on more challenging country roads and body roll is kept in check. The ride is comfortable and the sports seats are supportive, while the cabin is generally refined.
The steering is accurate, there’s plenty of grip and it feels planted on the motorway, while the eight-speed auto box is slick – perfect for stop-start traffic in town.
However, the 208 only scores average points for practicality. It’s fine up front, but space for rear passengers is more limited and luggage capacity is 311 litres (expanding to 1,106 litres when the backs sets are flipped).
Verdict: Handsome, well equipped and fun to drive, the Peugeot 208 GT is a sporty supermini with a touch of class. Just don’t expect a GTI.