2013 Peugeot 208 GTi

The 208 GTi uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine with 197bhp. Meanwhile, power is sent to its front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Changes over the regular 208 include a wider track, an 8mm drop in ride height and retuned steering. What’s more, Peugeot has given the GTi a host of sporty styling touches, including heavily bolstered half-leather seats, 17-inch alloys and bespoke LED headlights.

A starting price of £18,895 means it costs almost the same as the Clio 200 (which gets a dual-clutch automatic gearbox as standard). However, it’s nearly £2000 more than the Fiesta ST. Clearly, the 208 GTi has a lot to prove.

The 208 GTi uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine with 197bhp. Meanwhile, power is sent to its front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Changes over the regular 208 include a wider track, an 8mm drop in ride height and retuned steering. What’s more, Peugeot has given the GTi a host of sporty styling touches, including heavily bolstered half-leather seats, 17-inch alloys and bespoke LED headlights.

A starting price of £18,895 means it costs almost the same as the Clio 200 (which gets a dual-clutch automatic gearbox as standard). However, it’s nearly £2000 more than the Fiesta ST. Clearly, the 208 GTi has a lot to prove.

2013 Peugeot 208 GTi delivers a surprisingly comfortable ride for a hot hatch – in fact, it’s more composed than lesser 208s over bumpy surfaces. Unfortunately, the pay-off is substantial nose-dive under braking and fairly loose body control. These things mean the GTi doesn’t handle with anything like the sharpness of a Fiesta ST or a Clio 200.

The fact that it struggles to put its power down when you accelerate hard out of corners doesn’t help, either, and while the steering weights up to provide some reassurance on turn-in, that weight drops away unnervingly when you start to wind lock off.

The engine is more impressive, making the 208 GTi seriously quick in a straight line. True, it comes on strong only from about 1700rpm, so you have to make regular use of the gearbox, but plenty of buyers will enjoy this boosty delivery. What they won’t enjoy is the notchy gearshift action and the mushy brake pedal.The 2013 Peugeot 208 GTi is now available to order from only £18,895.

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