In journo speak; the B-Segment is a heavily contested division. We know this segment to comprise of cars like the ubiquitous VW Polo, Ford Fiesta (which has a new model hitting the South African Roads now in Q2 of this year), Renault Clio, and the Peugeot 208 which was on a ‘speed date’ review a short while ago. The colour of choice for the test car around the Zwartkops Raceway race track was red and it came in the slaying GT-Line guise.
A punchy 1.2 Litre, 3 cylinder turbocharged engine ensured that loads of fun were had on the track. The 81kW and 205Nm engine propelled the car in and out of corners with ease and a drama free manual transmission. Handling is amongst the best in this segment with the 17-inch alloy wheels running on Michelin tires ensuring that grip around the fast corners is maintained. When pushed too hard the car had a smidgen of body roll but never to the point of understeer.
Following a few laps, I stopped to take a break and acquaint myself with the car. The exterior is undoubtedly unique and has a positive stand out character about it. Its lines are more rounded and curvy as opposed to creasy, masculine and aggressive like the majority of its rivals. The front has what Peugeot calls the “Equalizer Grille” which has red detailing and silver trimming around the grille. Gloss black door mirrors shells, LED taillights and a chrome exhaust complete the updated look with the striking GT-Line badges. So overall, this is more of a beautiful than a handsome car.
The stylish design continues with the interior. The test unit had black sporty yet comfortable seats that are part leather part cloth. The interior also sees red stitching on the steering, seats and the armrest on the door panel. Peugeot’s i-Cockpit gets high marks and is complemented by a stylish and ergonomically designed dashboard. I liked the small steering and the raised binnacle. This may, however, pose a slight issue for drivers who prefer to set their steering at a raised angle.
As this was a “speed dating” type review, there were features we could not thoroughly test. For instance, the car is packed with a long list of features like a multi-function colour touchscreen that acts as a mission control, providing access and fingertip control for all the car’s settings. The screen has good resolution and is responsive to the touch. Other convenience features include an electric Power Steering, Programmable Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, Electrochrome Rear View Mirror, Automatic Headlights and Rain Sensing Wipers.
The Peugeot GT-Line really impressed me. The design is unparalleled and has a boutique uniqueness about it. This is a high-quality product offering.
For buyers considering this car – remember that the dealer footprint is a lot smaller than the competition.
The PEUGEOT 208 GT Line is priced from R259,900 incl. VAT. (You can expect that starting price to increase by 1% from April 2018). The starting price looks high compared to competitors but the simple explanation is that it simply has a whole lot more standard specs than its peers.
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