by Daniel DeGasperi

Marking a return to the hot-hatch genre for the brand in this country, the Peugeot 208 GTi has arrived priced from $29,990.

Available in 1160kg three-door form only, with a single drivetrain option – a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 147kW and 275Nm, linked to a six-speed manual – the 208 GTi will compete against the forthcoming Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Sport Clio 200, in addition to the current Volkswagen Polo GTI, Skoda Fabia RS, Citroen DS3 and Fiat 500 Abarth.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leather/cloth seat trim, satellite navigation with seven-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated electrically foldable door mirrors and auto-dipping rear-view mirror.

Peugeot 208 GTi 007

Compared with the $2200-cheaper but auto-only Polo GTI and $4000-cheaper and manual-only Fiesta ST, the 208 GTi gets part leather, an extra zone for the climate control and touchscreen sat-nav over both.

Peugeot cites that fixed-price servicing – at $370 per 15,000km or annual service until 60,000km or three years – and a package where owners cite the number of kilometres the car will travel over a two-, three- or four-year period and agree upon a future trade-in value further enhances the value proposition.

The Peugeot 208 GTi claims a 6.8-second 0-100km/h and 5.9L/100km combined. Compared with the regular 208 it gets wider tracks – up 10mm front/20mm rear – recalibrated dampers, reworked anti-rollbar and front subframe, enhanced rear crossmember rigidity, and unique suspension.

Peugeot 208 GTi 029

With the 208 GTi, Peugeot is targeting 35- to 50-year-old males with no kids who have a high household income of $150K plus and who have a “strong passion for a driver-focused sports car”.

The brand claims the average buyer is a risk taker, prepared to pay more for quality, is adventurous, loves technology, and feels individuality is important.

Peugeot will lead with a brand campaign titled ‘GTi is Back’ with the ‘i’ in red complementing the ‘Back’ also in red. It will be run on television and have a strong digital schedule.

  • Golf

    I will wait till VW Golf MK7 GTI to arrive…

    • GTi over Golf

      …I wouldn’t.

    • Hung Low

      The Focus ST is the go

      • Jakewilliam5

        Or a Fiesta ST for $4k less. Yes thanks!

        • JoeR_AUS

          Quote: The ST probably looks a little too restrained, too much like a 1.0 Fiesta for some tastes, the turning circle is poor and looking at the inexplicably tiny multimedia display is like watching TV through a pair of binoculars turned the wrong way round. The motorway ride, too, is a touch busy after a glide on Peugeot’s magic carpet.

          • horsie

            ‘the turning circle is poor’
            Just use the handbrake

    • Zaccy16

      in the small car class yes the gti is the ultimate allround hot hatch! but in this class why would you by the peugeot when the fiesta which from reports on caradvice, topgear and other uk car channels is better to drive and is $4000 less! i would have the fiesta in a heartbeat!

      • $29896495

        Me too.

      • JoeR_AUS

        then you would of read this:

        It’s easy to see why we, and others, weren’t bowled over on the launch. It’s almost too refined, too supple. Deputy editor Ben Barry hit the nail on the head when he said the Peugeot had a Jaguar quality to it, absurd as that might sound.

        The surprisingly convincing electric steering requires a delicate touch, but points the nose into corners sweetly, and the damping manages to deliver great body control while almost completely isolating you from small bump intrusions. It’ll even let you load up the rear tyres so progressively when you come off the gas that you feel completely comfortable switching the ESP off and nibbling away at the grip limits, without fear of a 205-style sortie into the nearest hedge. On a track, the Clio might well eat it alive, but on the road the Pug’s very different working practices mean it is also a fun sidekick.

        If we’ve one complaint, it’s that the Peugeot’s power- and torque-to-weight advantages don’t feel that obvious on the road, so effortless is the performance. If that’s a concern, or you prefer your thrills with a harder edge, then be confident that Peugeot is leaving the way clear for an even more focused GTi to come.

        The big surprise, a really welcome surprise, is just how great the 208 GTi really is. It rides better than the Renault, its engine is nicer to use, its sweet six-speed manual more fun than the Clio’s twin-clutch. You might say that it feels more GT than hot hatch, that it doesn’t get the blood pumping like a good thrash in its French rival. But don’t mistake its gentle nature for any lack of ability either to cover ground, or to entertain.

      • Phil

        because the results from a short test drive rarely cover what a car is like to live with on a day to day basis. Particularly in Australia with vast amounts of second rate roads and councils sticking speed humps in everywhere they can as “traffic calming” devices.

        That sporty exhaust note you love on a Sunday morning squirt on a twisty road can be an annoying drone at freeway speeds, the hard ride gets old very quickly in day to day driving. A hot hatch is by necessity a compromise vehicle, a jack of all trades. The successful ones, like VW, tilt the balance towards making it livable rather than outright performance. Peugeot is smart to go down the same path. The buyer they’ve aimed at is different to Ford, who have gone for a younger market, more likely to tolerate lower levels of comfort.

  • Benbernanke

    30 large is very costly for what is a Yaris sized car.

    • lryi

      So you only want to pay for size vs dollar?
      Engineering prowess, technology, handling, performance, style, comfort etc (or at least the perception/suggestion of) means nothing and shouldn’t be paid for?

  • Jim

    Why is is so slow for that much power and torque?
    And such a low weight?

    • Exar Kun

      Limitations of front wheel drive for a standing start acceleration. Roll on acceleration will be good.

  • Sammo

    Too expensive, sorry Peugeot you’ve lost a potential buyer. I’ll get an ST, it’ll probably be more reliable anyway.

    • JoeR_AUS

      You have to go to a Ford dealer for servicing and the Peugeot Dealer would offer better service. Also future guarantee price and fixed price servicing might swing it the other way.

  • delusionalpeugeot

    at 150k per annum income I’d be getting something a damn sight better than this!

    • JoeR_AUS

      House hold income, which would mean two incomes

      • dsjdj

        With no kids.

      • $29896495

        The story states, and I quote: With the 208 GTi, Peugeot is targeting 35- to 50-year-old males with no kids who have a high household income of $150K plus and who have a “strong passion for a driver-focused sports car”. This is not referring to combined income but after tax income, or disposable income.

  • René S

    As much as I WANTED to like this over the Fiesta, just for it’s French quirkiness and not choosing to ‘follow the herd’, I just don’t know if I could part with 30k+ when

    A) I’m within reach of an 86
    B) I could get a Fiesta ST for 4 grand less

    And does anyone think it’s just a little… sensible?? It’s a hot hatch, I reckon it needs more of the “look at me” factor. Should’ve made a wacky, outrageous gti.

    It sounds like, compared to the Fiesta, it’s a little sedate/numb to drive, and combined with the rather bland looks, I don’t think many but the hardcore pug fans will want one. It’s a real shame.

    Just my 2c.

    • $29896495

      All relevant points.

    • JoeR_AUS

      Quote: In its favour, however, the 208 GTi is lighter than all of its existing rivals, with a kerb weight of 1160kg narrowly undercutting the Fiesta ST (1163kg), DS3 (1165kg), Polo GTI (from 1189kg) and Fabia RS (from 1253kg).

      Add more power and torque (147kW/275Nm versus a respective 134kW/240Nm, 115kW/240Nm and 132kW/250Nm) and the 208 GTi is therefore marginally quicker than all of its chief rivals, with a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.8 seconds – versus 6.9 for the Polo GTI and Fiesta ST, 7.3 for the Fabia RS and 7.7 for the DS3 DSport.

      Despite this, the 208 GTi remains more frugal than most, with combined fuel consumption of just 5.9L/100km – less than the Polo GTI (6.1L/100km), Fiesta ST and Fabia RS (both 6.2L/100km), and the DS3 DSport (6.7L/100km).

      • Modern Man

        And the clio is still quicker.
        IMO Clio has lost its way compared to previous model but is chasing the higher sales of practicality with performance twist.
        5 Door and auto, quickest small hatch with technology out the wazoo.
        Would still get a current clio 200 as is still the most focused hot hatch ever.

  • localocal

    don’t really see 208gti making a huge dent in the Australian market at 30k. should be price at 25k-27k drive away.

    • Modern Man

      Sorry Localocal but that is suzuki swift sprt territory and these types of cars are WAY better than that.

  • OGU

    Golf is in a different size / class… besides its become a same old same old story. VW lost my vote of confidence with the pathetically handled quality issues. if there was a problem, then get on and fix it, rather than stick their corporate head in the sand and just hope Aussies would forget and go on buying the euro corolla in spades.
    Sadly Pug, probably by virtue of being unable to compete with those hefty independent importer overheads and effort to prop up their declining network, have missed the price point. This is a head to head car with the Fiesta ST… that’s exactly how its positioned in Europe. So why does the Pug get some ‘shine’ from being a euro badge and the ford not. Build quality will be similar if not favoring ford (at least they have money unlike Pug).
    As for the 30k RRP versus its competition, come on people…. this isn’t a big deal at all.
    It’s just a snappy headline RRP price point, once the Pug dealers include exorbitant dealer delivery fees (in order to survive), this car will be at least mid-$30’s drive away.

    • SRE

      You are wrong, it’s as simple as that.

      Go back and check the price points in Europe and respective equipment lists. The Gti vs ST price difference is similar in EVERY OTHER COUNTRY WORLDWIDE!
      Also, $4000 is a reasonable price to pay for the equipment upgrades over the Fiesta. Do the sums if you can be bothered which I suspect you can’t.

      • OGU

        Haha. No you are wrong.
        I’m responding to the previous comment re golf GTi and not pug GTi.
        Get with the program!
        Since I have been so poor at calculating the specification difference, perhaps you could spell out for a simple person like me where the $4k is. List the optins & the price! Then make a few deviations too, for overpriced parts, lack of dealers, questionable PSA product resale, excessive service costs. Lets see what happens to that reasonable price gap you so confidently tout!

  • LowRezFez

    It’s expensive, PSA has a poor quality and reliability reputation, the RHD engineering is an after thought as well.

    I would have wet my pants over this car 10 years ago… not any more… Euro trash.

    • SRE

      I really can’t believe 4 people actually liked this idiotic comment. Australians’ average intelligence is declining faster than I thought…

      • $29896495

        Can’t believe you, all his statements are true.

      • LowRezFez

        Yes, I was being deliberately cheeky. I still stand my comments on cost, RHD engineering and PSA’s quality and reliability reputation. I can see the appeal of the car and I’m sure many will be happy with it.