You know how every now and then chocolate brands bring in a new variety and it might be a little more expensive than the old-school fruit and nut but you end up buying it because it’s a bit more special? Well car companies do it too and Peugeot has added a new flavor that sits above its fruit and nut - the 208 GT-Line. 

Wedged between the Allure specification and the hardcore 208 GTi in the 208 line-up the sporty looking 208 GT-Line starts at $27,490. It seems like a lot to ask, particularly with rivals such as Ford’s excellent Fiesta Sport for $22,525.

The 208 GT-Line spent a week with us and did its best to persuade us that there was a need for a fairly pricey tiny car that spoke French car in our driveway. Did it win us over?

Design

It’s beautiful, there’s no doubt about it. From the wraparound headlights, chiselled lines, flared muscular wheel arches and wide grille to the cabin where everything you can see and touch has a high quality feel such as the leather red-stitched steering wheel and sporty seats.

There are elements of the 208 GT-Line though which polarised opinions in the office, such as the low-mounted small steering wheel. Some love the driving position, but others think it’s awkward and adjusting the wheel higher only serves to obscure the speedo.

Roomy up front and pretty tight for space in the rear seats the 208 GT-Line is a sporty hatch for those that want back doors, but still want the tough looks of the GTi.

There are elements of the 208 GT-Line though which polarised opinions in the office, such as the low-mounted small steering wheel

Distinguishing the GT from the Allure is 17-inch alloys, sports bucket seats, GT-Line piano black and gloss interior trim, red-striped seat belts, leather and chrome steering wheel, sports grille with red Peugeot lettering, black wing mirrors, chrome exhaust tip – and if that doesn’t give it away then there’s the GT-Line badges.

About town

The 208 GT-Line is perfect for inner city living where it can dart like a mouse through traffic and squish into tiny car spaces. It’s easy to steer, even if that driving position feels a bit wrong and visibility out the front is excellent – although rear vision isn’t great through the tiny back window. There’s front and rear parking sensors but if you want a reversing camera it’s a $300 option.

Did we mention it parks itself, though? Yup, it does the sometimes-panic-attack-inducing parallel park and the good old 90 degree park with ease.

Rain sensing wipers are the best thing since somebody came up with the intermittent wiper. They’ll detect the start of a shower at the slightest sprinkle and mean you won’t be left scrambling for the wipers as it begins to bucket down.

Did we mention it parks itself, though? Yup, it does the sometimes-panic-attack-inducing parallel park and the good old 90 degree park with ease

Also automatic are the headlights – we’ve become used to them these days, but it’s a great safety function that not only make life easier but safer too by flicking themselves on in tunnels and at dusk to let others know you’re there.

Having a media unit which works smoothly and connects quickly and intuitively is a god send – the 208 GT-Line’s display screen is big, and finding your way around it is simple. Voice controls are also good.

On the road

On the highway the ride is smooth, but throw a dodgy potholed Sydney road at the 208 GT-Line and the driver will feel the grooves and bumps because of the low profile tyres.

It’s a good thing then those bucket seats are comfortable and supportive – great for long distance driving.

That engine could really be the deal sealer if you were umming and erring – it’s that good

New to the 208 is a three-cylinder 1.2-litre engine which makes 81kW and 205Nm. That engine could really be the deal sealer if you were umming and erring – it’s that good, with plenty of power and impressive acceleration. It’s super-efficient, too - Peugeot claims it drinks 4.3L/100km when combined with the brilliant new six-speed automatic but our testing found it to be more like 6.2L/100km – truth be told we drove it like we stole it or like somebody had loaned it to us with a full tank.