Test: Peugeot 208 GTi

This GTI mark. He wears it on his chest like a medal. No, this 208 is really not hiding. GTI. Three letters only. Gran Turismo Injection was once the meaning, today GTI stands for the “sports brothers” in the golf class. And the French played along early on when it came to maintaining the GTI idea. The youngest Peugeot 208 GTI proudly bears the insignia of “Sport” as a badge on the C-pillar.

French weeks - part 5

In the driving report:

Peugeot 208 GTi 200 THP

GTI or GTi? The Peugeot 208 GTI received a lot of “sports folklore”. Too much chrome? Too concise GTI insignia everywhere? A driving report with the 200 hp Frenchman should clarify whether the compact car actually still has the GTI spirit or whether this is all just folklore.

GTI. In Germany we immediately have a car, a brand and even an entire lake in our head. It is no different with the French. What the Golf GTI is to us, the Peugeot 205 GTi is to the French. May I even say: the legendary 205 GTi? In the 80s and 90s it swept over the Peripherique and - in a special competition version - along the rally slopes. Almost 30 years after this power dwarf was born, the lion brand has a suitable successor in its range with the new 208 GTi.

And with 147 kW / 200 PS it is almost twice as strong as its predecessor.

Under the hood with the distinctive nose for the lion, the same turbo gasoline engine with 1,6 liter displacement that is known from other PSA models and even from BMW models works. There is supposed to be a British man with parents from Munich who has the French source of strength in his heart. And now this heart is beating in the 208 GTi too.

In the 208, the turbo four-cylinder with its spontaneous response behavior and its easy revving turned out to be the ideal choice for the little athlete. Whereby - the 208 GTi buyer would not have any other choice anyway. The VTG turbo ensures enough thrust from the lower engine speed: at 1.700 rpm the torque hill (275 Nm) is already climbed. Provided that the crisp six-speed gearshift works well, the GTi sprints from zero to 6,8 km / h in 100 seconds; the maximum speed is 230 km / h.

Test vehicle 43 Peugeot 208 GTi

This is how the Peugeot 208 GTi drives

Firm, sporty, safe. That's what you'd expect from a compact athlete. The 208 GTi was given a binding chassis setup. Far from undue hardship, the 208 GTi can be wagged tightly over country roads. The steering could use a little more feedback. On the other hand, the Peugeot 208 GTi came to the test with winter tires. With sporty summer bikes, the whole setup will probably change even more in the direction of “street athletes”.

The small steering wheel lies well in the hand, the instruments have been placed high up, instead of looking through the steering wheel, you tend to look over it. The whole cockpit appears youthful, dynamic and the red leather seams leave no doubt as to the dynamic Frenchman's orientation.

Anyone who joyfully throws the 208 GTi from curve to curve will feel an agile and certainly enthusiastic chassis. The little Peugeot keeps on brisk ride what his make-up in the parking lot promised.

The sound matches the start. Loose, slightly booming in the basement, rushing freely upwards. There is a turbocharger pounding under the hood, which means that they no longer roar freely.

Test vehicle 69 Peugeot 208 GTi

test consumption

[tabgroup] [tab title = ”Everyday driver”] Everyday life can be mastered with 7.7 liters. According to Peugeot, the standard consumption should be 5.9 liters, but it should not be possible as a rule. [/ Tab] [tab title = ”Eco-Expert”] A minimum of 6.4 liters were to be booked. This is a fair value for a 200 hp compact. [/ Tab] [tab title = ”Without consideration”] Turbo runs, Turbo drinks. With 12.8 liters, the Peugeot 208 GTi consumes a decent cup of juice under load. [/ Tab] [/ tabgroup]

Everyday testing in the Peugeot 208 GTi

Our test car had almost 30.000 kilometers on the clock and came from the first series of press vehicles. You could tell from the little Frenchman. The brakes suffered massively from the full throttle stages of the colleagues who had already ridden the autobahn on highways and apparently had to brake massively from high speeds in long-term packs. The brakes rub, boom, roar. This is actually not part of the 208 GTi, not ex works. But it shows that if you get the 208 GTi right, you shouldn't be afraid of the wearing parts.

The navigation system was apparently not in the mood for this type of locomotion and got out several times. A simple error message was then the positive side, a hanging navigation that could not be calmed down any other way than with an “ignition off”, the annoying variant.

Test vehicle 50 Peugeot 208 GTi


The prices for the new top model of the small car series currently start at 23.300 €. Not much choice remains. No alternative engine, no dual clutch transmission. Otherwise, the equipment, which is based on the top level of the Allure series, leaves nothing to be desired. Automatic climate control, fog lights, light and rain sensors, heated sports seats, parking aid and a large color touchscreen are already included, from the list of options we recommend the 750 Euro navigation system and the JBL sound system for 360 Euro. On the other hand, there are numerous design features at no extra charge, such as the red decorative stitching in the interior, red-framed instruments, rear spoiler, red-painted brake calipers, a chrome-plated double exhaust and a separate front grill.

At the end...

Our driving report on the Peugeot 208 GTi could also pass as a used car test. With more than 12 months of age and almost 30.000 km on the clock, the driven Peugeot 208 GTi can actually be seen as a demo object for the processing of "modern French".

Positive: In principle, coarse motorists can produce the booming brake within 15 minutes, which I wouldn't blame for the Peugeot 208 GTi. The question is: how good the brake would have been if it had been part of our normal everyday test routine.

Negative: The unreliable navigation system in the tester quickly revives the “old prejudices” about French quality and does not have a positive effect on trust in the “new French”.

Otherwise: The 208 GTi is refreshingly entertaining. Anyone who does not think of Lake Wörthersee at GTI and otherwise less of Wolfsburg cult athletes, will surely find the Peugeot GTi well understood!

Click here for the Peugeot 208 configurator

Peugeot 208 GTi driving reports from colleagues: The powerful lion baby,  snappy little lion, The call of the legend, Test report Peugeot 208 GTi, Getaway in the Peugeot 208 GTi, autophoria for the 30th 208 GTi.






Photos in the article: Bjoern Habegger Cover photo: Bjoern Habegger

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