Road tests 7.3.2018 09:00 am

DRIVEN: New Peugeot 208 GT-Line

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This is not a car that will get people talking but get it behind your garage doors and I think you will never regret it.

After briefly meeting Peugeot’s 208 GT-Line on a racetrack, I needed to know how the car goes about performing every day duties on the road.

This is not a car that will get people talking but get it behind your garage doors and I think you will never regret it.

Sitting on top of the 208 range and costing R259 900, the 208 GTLine comes at a time when competition has been growing steadily in this market segment. For that price, you get new headlights, bumpers, and LED daytime running lights.

The rear boasts 3D “claw” lights. Peugeot did well in the 208’s interior – you get full leathered GTLine sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. Offered standard is the i-Cockpit concept which, with the small steering wheel, makes the drive even more engaging – everything is just a hand stretch away.

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The sports seats are comfortable and supportive despite the driver seats’ high sitting position.

The colour touchscreen can be slow at times with the navigation forcing me to always plug my iPhone, thanks to Apple CarPlay/ Android system. Space is adequate – you can fit in five grown-ups, but the rear middle seat is best left for kids or short people.

Boot space is measured at a good 311 litres – and if you think that is not enough, folding down the rear seats will increase it to 1 152 litres. At launch, I only drove the car around the track and it seemingly did not enjoy the harsh treatment, That made sense because neither you nor I would take this to a race circuit – better leave that to the AMGs of this world.

The 208 GT-Line has a 1.2-litre engine with a good 81 kW and a useful 205 Nm – almost the same power outputs as its direct opponent, the new Volkswagen Polo. All that power is accessed through a smooth five-speed manual transmission.

For better efficiency there is a six-speed EAT6 auto transmission, too.

Point it on the open road and it takes care of the drive with ease. The 208 feels quicker than Peugeot’s claim of 9.6 seconds from standstill to 100km/h. Fun to drive it is – you can get to speed from traffic lights with so much simplicity.

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However, the car tends to vibrate at low speeds but that gets sorted as soon as it gets moving faster.

There is a little bit of wind noise in the cabin which made me constantly check if the windows were properly closed. But the ride is relaxed, pleasing and the steering is responsive through the small wheel.

The 208 is not thirsty. With its 50-litre tank you get 640km. Drive economically and you could get go up to 700km, which is impressive.

 

During the entire week of testing and doing my best to get the lowest consumption numbers, I managed to average 6.4-litres/100km instead of the 4.5-litres/100km claimed by Peugeot.

In terms of safety, the 208 GTLine comes standard with ABS, EBD and EBA, dual front and curtain airbags, inertia reel seat belts, plus front and rear head restraints.

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IsoFix child seat tethers also come standard. The car will set you back R259 900. Pricing includes a threeyear/100 000km warranty and three year/45 000km service plan.

New Peugeot 208 GT-Line is a possible mainstream player

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