We drive the new Peugeot 208 GT Line

Punchy thrills from this young and sporty hatch…

The launch of the new Peugeot 208 GT-Line in February 2018 marked the arrival of a revitalized new flagship for the range and comes with a host of premium, quality and sporty equipment. We spent some time getting to know the updated, sporty and innovative Peugeot 208 GT Line…

It was perfect timing! My work week involved various appointments and meetings in and around the congested city of Cape Town, so when I was told we’d be getting the new range-topping Peugeot 208 for the week, I was delighted to know that I’d have a small car to zip in and out of meetings with.

The Peugeot 208 is Peugeot’s smallest hatch and now with its flagship GT Line model, you can expect more assertive styling and sporty performance from this updated model.

On the outside, small changes to the bumper, headlights, new wheels (17’’ Caesium alloys) and an ‘Equaliser’ grille with red detailing (to name a few) give the 208 GT Line a more dynamic and striking appearance. Changes to its interior is where we really got a sense of its enhanced appeal…

Those opting for the 208 are likely to be looking for something that makes life in the city more manageable, or more to the point, something that makes being stuck in traffic a less torturous experience. For this, the Peugeot 208 GT Line comes standard with a number of features to assist you: a special interior ambience with brilliantly specced features from easy-to-adjust seating arrangements, automatic bi-zone climate control, ample tech and connectivity options, as well as driving-assist functions (like hill-start assist) that make city driving a breeze.

The Peugeot i-Cockpit offers easily accessible connectivity features at your fingertips. It arranges instruments in the driver’s line of sight so you can easily control the car’s settings when needed.

Hot-hatch-like driving fun

The GT Line model offers a turbocharged 1,2-litre Puretech engine that boasts impressive fuel economy, and which won the Engine of the Year Award. It produces an impressive amount of 81 kW of power and 205 Nm of torque.

We discovered just how punchy the Peugeot 208 GT Line is during our test drive week. Don’t be fooled by its small three-cylinder engine, because not only does it offer great savings on fuel costs, it really does kick off when you need it to. It’s nimble in the city, but gives you the confidence you need when overtaking slow-moving vehicles on the highway, all while remaining stable and planted. Despite being a sportier model, it’s surprisingly comfortable, with an excellently smooth ride quality that absorbs uneven surfaces and bumps in the road. I love the sound of its purring engine that responds well to acceleration.

Parking with the 208 is super easy, in fact, I actually found parking with it fun at times. Electric power steering, parking sensors and Quickshift technology for easy and light gear changing, make tricky parking spots a challenge you can gladly accept in the 208.

Safety and security

Safety remains a core attribute of the Peugeot 208 which has a comprehensive array of active and passive systems across the entire model range.

Active safety systems include ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA), while passive features include dual front and curtain airbags, inertia reel seat belts, and front and rear head restraints.

Also read: We drive the Peugeot 3008 GT Line+

The hazard lights activate automatically under emergency braking, while the central locking system automatically locks the doors when driving off. Electric child locks for the rear doors are standard, as are IsoFix child seat tethers. The 208 also comes equipped with an anti-theft alarm.

What does it cost?

The newly updated Peugeot 208 range is priced as follows:

208 ACTIVE 1.2 PureTech BVM 60kW MT                  R 224 900

208 ALLURE 1.2 PureTech BVM 60kW MT                 R 239 900

208 GT-LINE 1.2 PureTech BVM 81kW Turbo MT       R 259 900

Pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty and 3 year/ 45 000km service plan.