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Peugeot 208 GTi 2016 review: top 5 reasons to buy

Way back in the 1980s Peugeot gave the world one of the most iconic hot hatches of all time – the 205GTi. Now three generations later the 208 GTi is carrying on the tradition.

Buyers who looking for a little hot hatch have got a stack excellent beasties to choose from. There's Renault’s Clio RS, Ford Fiesta ST and the Volkswagen Polo GTI are a few but the 208 GTi gives them a run for their money.

The 208 range was updated towards the end of 2015. We tested the 208 GTi and here are the top five reasons to buy it.

#1 Cute but tough

The 2015 update saw Peugeot restyle the 208. The GTi looks cute and tough at the same time – just like a hot hatch should. Being the only three-door in the 208 line-up the GTi has an even sportier look with its sleek lines, tapering back to the rear spoiler. That Peugeot button nose and feline eyes work well with the tough stance, short overhangs, muscular guards and 17-inch alloys.

#2 Great performance

As part of the update GTi’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine was tuned for an even higher output. Power is up 6kW and torque has jumped 25Nm. admittedly the GTi isn’t supercar fast, but 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds isn’t bad. When you compare that with its rivals it’s quicker than the Fiesta ST and matches the Clio RS and Polo GTI. The GTi also has firmer suspension giving it excellent handling ability.

#3 Awesome exhaust sound

An awesome exhaust note should go hand-in-hand with performance –without it the experience feels like its missing a part. Thankfully the GTi has a fantastic exhaust note that. Prod the accelerator and the 208 GTi lets out a great ‘barping’exhaust note that’ll make you smile. The sound is addictive you’ll find yourself revving it just to hear it growl.

#4 Stylish and roomy interior

The 208 GTi’s cabin is super stylish – from the dash, to the seats. The red lighting around the instrument cluster looks superb, and that theme is seen in the red line in the seatbelt and in the stitching of the seats and door trims.

It’s a high-quality feel interior and roomy too – headroom is excellent in the front and back, while the backseats are actually properly usable with plenty of legroom.

#5 Fun to drive

Arguably the most important reasons to buy the GTi – it’s so much fun to drive. The communication between machine and driver is excellent – with its direct and natural-feeling steering, light throttle and effortless gearshifts, with a light clutch and great feel in the pedals. There’s always plenty of grunt under your foot, but it’s not overpowered. The throttle is light and it revs freely – reminiscent of how the 206GTi does.

The drawbacks

As fun and faultless as this car may seem it’s not perfect. Being a three door hatch, the front doors are long and heavy – this can make them hard to open, especially when parked uphill. Another issue is the dash design of the instrument cluster – it’s located high on the dash the steering wheel obscures the speedo when I’m in the saddle.

You'll find anything 208 related at our 208 hub.

Related: Check out our hot hatch reviews here.

At a glance

Price from: $30,990
Warranty: 3 years/100,000km
Safety: 5 stars
Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cyl turbo, 153kW/300Nm
Transmission: 6-speed man; FWD
Thirst: 5.4L/100km
Dimensions: 3973mm (L), 2004mm (W), 1460mm (H)
0-100km/h: 6.8 secs

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