Hatchbacks are popular in South Africa – hence, buyers of these are spoilt for choice.
The likes of the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio all play in this toughly contested segment. Not surprisingly, almost every manufacturer wants to go the hatchback way.
Peugeot recently introduced its new 208 model which Peugeot SA deems as a stalwart performer and a mainstream volume seller.
It was off to Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria to get to sample the capabilities of the the 208 GTLine. “The 208 has been a steadfast performer in the Peugeot stable,” says Francisco Gaie, Managing Director of Peugeot Citroën South Africa.
“The 208 GT Line improves on an already attractive package by adding stronger visual impact,” he added.
I am not going to waste space describing the 208 GT-Line’s looks, but it comes standard with a host of features such as new headlights, bumpers, and LED daytime running lights.
You also find a 3D ‘claw’ design of the rear lights. Step inside and you are greeted with GT-Line sports seats upholstered in black and red, while the flat-bottomed steering wheel gets full leather treatment. Offered standard is the i-Cockpit concept which, with the small steering wheel, makes the drive even more engaging because everything is just a hand stretch away.
Taking the 208 GT-Line around the 2.4 km long track showed it is undoubtedly an adequate performer. With the small but nippy turbo 1.2-litre engine, it feels comfortable even during harsh treatment. Power output is rated at a good 81kW.
While that will not enable you to race against other hatches at traffic lights, the vehicle does offer a more than useful 205 Nm of torque.
This enables efficient use of the six-speed manual transmission, which is really well paired to the engine. It is smooth but there is a fair amount of turbo lag, especially under full acceleration – something common to small turbo engines.
I did not keep an eye on the fuel consumption levels or how quickly it will go from standstill to 100 km/h, but Peugeot says it can do that in 9.6 seconds with a top speed of 190 km/h.
According to them, fuel consumption is only 4.5 litres/100km. Hopefully we will have a full performance test with data when we get the car for an extended review soon.
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. IsoFix child seat tethers also come standard.
The Peugeot 208 GT-Line 1,2 will set you back R259 900. Pricing includes a threeyear/100 000 km warranty and three year/45 000 km service plan.
WATCH VIDEO HERE: