Cars - Peugeot

Road tests and reviews of the latest Peugeot models available in South Africa

2016 Peugeot 208 GT

2016 Peugeot 208 GT Driven

By Franky Johnson

The latest Peugeot 208 line-up consists of three models, offering a choice of three high-efficiency Euro6-compliant PureTech engines, two transmissions and two trim levels, and the updated model shows a reasonable amount of change considering the 208 is Peugeot’s best-selling model.

The front-end styling of the 208 has been completely updated and now sports new headlights with black and chrome elements LED daytime running lights, a new bumper with crisper cleaner lines and linked to a distinctive black and chrome grille treatment that creates a three-dimensional effect.

The fog lamps have been re-positioned and the GT runs on Caesium five twin-spoke alloy wheels, which on the press vehicle were shod with Michelin 205/45R17 low profile tyres. And all credit to Peugeot as it still has a full size alloy spare. The rear view is dominated by the striking, deep red 3D LED ‘’claw’’ design of the tail lights. The GT Line also boasts a chrome-finished exhaust tailpipe, red Peugeot lettering, and privacy glass for the rear windows.

The GT Line theme is continued inside, where special GT Line sports seats, upholstered in black and red with contrasting stitching, red detailing on the black seatbelts, leather covered multifunction steering wheel, aluminium door sill finishers, aluminium pedals and the red-and-black sports theme of the touch-screen display.

Space in the front is pretty good, and so is rear legroom but rear headroom will be a bit tight for the taller folk. The boot is a good size and shape, and volume can be increased by folding down the 60/40 split rear seat backrest. Storage for oddments is provided for with numerous useful compartments, including the deep recess in front of the gear lever and generous door pockets, but the cubby-hole is rather tiny.

A large 18 cm touch-screen colour display is mounted in the centre dash, and this semi-floating display allows easy access to the various multimedia functions, including an MP3-compatible CD receiver with multiple speakers including Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Also standard is a trip computer, electric power steering and automatic bi-zone climate control air-conditioning, electric windows front and rear, height-adjustable driver’s seat, height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, auto-activating headlights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, fog lamps cornering function and programmable cruise control with speed limiter and a refrigerated glove compartment.

Safety features include six airbags, ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA.) Hazard lights that activate automatically under emergency braking, a central locking system which locks the doors when driving off and electric child locks for the rear doors.

The 208 GT Line is powered by Peugeot’s turbo-charged 1 199 cc PureTech engine which produces 81 kW at 5 500 rpm and maximum torque of 205 Nm from 1 500 rpm, and linked to the 6-speed automatic gearbox.. In acceleration tests, leaving the autobox in “drive” mode to do its own changing, it covered the 0 to 100 km/h sprint after two gear changes in a not so quick 12.78 seconds, and has a top speed of around 195 km/h. Combined petrol consumption is given as 5.4 litres per 100 km but the test vehicle the trip recorder showed an average of 9.8 litres per 100..

The 208’s driving position may not suit everyone, because you view the instruments over the steering wheel rather than through it.However the half-leather half cloth upholstery, leather-trimmed steering wheel and form hugging side bolsters, are very comfortable, and the small diameter leather-bound steering wheel does add to the sporty feeling.

The steering is light around town and sharp at higher speeds, but with the car’s good turning radius the 208 is easy to park in tight spaces. On the freeways the 208 GT Line is reasonably refined, the motor smooth running, and the automatic ‘box is quite responsive when quick changes are called for, like for a quick overtake. Cruising at the 120 km/h speed limit in 5th gear, the rev counter registers 2 500 rpm and 3 400 rpm at 160 km/h, while wind and road noise are both well contained.

The ride is on the firm side and the suspension quite good in normal road conditions but it does get a bit ruffled over patchy road surfaces, especially in sharp corners. .However, handling and ride comfort is generally good and overall the 208 GT Line is pleasant and sporty to drive. The recommended retail selling price for the Peugeot 208 GT Line 6-speed automatic is R289 900 which includes 3 Year / 45 000 Service Plan.

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