Small it may be. Weird-burger its interior may be. But as a performance car, the Peugeot 205GTi punches well above its weight.
Okay, so any Peugeot with a GTi badge should be able to walk the walk, but that hasn’t always been the case and it’s arguable that the 205 GTi of the 1990s was the last of the proper Pug hot-hatches.
But even the fiercest critic has to admit that the 208 gets the job done, and a 0-100km/h time of sub-seven seconds and a 400m time of 15.1 at 154.4km/h is far from taking the piss.
The 147kW that issue forth form the Peugeot’s 1.6-litre turbo-mill also come with a decent dose of torque, which explains how the thing gets from 80 to 120km/h in 4.2 seconds when it was only really the more expensive cars in this category that could best that time. Then again, 275Nm available from as low as 1700rpm, pushing just 1160kg will do that.
Brakes? Not so hot with a 38.7m stop. But everything else made up for that with a lap-time of 1.06:6 matching exactly the hot lap from the Fiesta ST and backing that up with a top speed through the sweeper of 55.05km/h and maximum velocity on the Winton straight of just a bee’s whatsit shy of 100 miles-per-hour in the old coin.
The 208 feels good on the track, too, with faithful steering and it only really starts to lose the plot post-apex when the grip begins to drift away. As does the front end at that point.
Up until then, though, it impresses for being quite pointy and even though the steering wheel looks like it’s in an odd position, it seems to work okay on the fly.
Actually, those ergonomics are possibly the car’s biggest hurdle from a showroom perspective. The gauges way up high and the tiny wheel below them certainly looks weird.
The other killer, of course, is the price which, at $29,990 isn’t the dearest car here by any means, but it ain't the cheapest either.
And that, when you consider that cars like the Renault Clio are a bit cheaper and the Fiesta ST is thousands cheaper, that sticker-shock aint gonna go away.
Not when it comes to a strict formula like the BFYB one, anyway, and that leaves the Peugeot 208 GTi in a solid fifth place outright.
$0-50K placing – 5th
Overall placing – 4th
Judges’ ranking – 10th
0-100km/h – 6.96sec (14th)
0-400m – 15.14sec @ 154.44km/h (15th)
Lap Time – 1:46.60 (16th)
Pricing - $29,990 (5th)
Engine: 1598cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo
Power: 147kW @ 5500rpm
Torque: 275Nm @ 1700rpm
Gearbox: 6-speed manual
Suspension: struts, helical springs, hydraulic dampers (f); torsion beam, helical springs, hydraulic valve dampers (r)
Brakes: 302mm ventilated discs, single-piston calipers (f); 249mm discs, single-piston calipers (r)
Wheels: 17 x 7.0-inch
Tyres: 205/45 R17 99V Michelin Pilot Super Sport