REVIEW: Peugeot 208 GT Line

WHAT are two things you might not expect to find in Peugeot's new “warm hatch”, the 208 GT Line?

One, a three-cylinder engine. Two, an automatic gearbox.

The 208 GT Line 1.2 has both.

Off to a bad start? Not necessarily. You see its turbocharged 1,199cc Puretech motor delivers 110bhp and 151lb.ft. of torque.

And, despite my rocky relationship with Peugeot-Citroen automatic gearboxes in the past, that six-speed auto performs well, delivering swift changes in its Sport setting.

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The result is a 9.8 second dash to 62mph and 118mph top speed along with 62.8mpg and 104g/km efficiency claims.

Making the new-for-2015 208 GT Line specification yet more appealing is its GTi-aping appearance.

Sitting at the top of the non-GTi tree, it features 17-inch alloys, gloss black door mirror trims, front grille and fog light surrounds and a chrome exhaust pipe.

In truth, it’s every bit as eye-catching as the standard GTi, especially n the Pearlescent Satin White (£645).

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At £17,695, though, the 1.2 auto GT Line is just £1,500 shy of the GTi.

The 208’s quirky interior looks the part, with aluminium kick-plates, pedals and red-stitched seats.

Five-door practicality and reasonable rear leg room is a boon too.

The 208’s tiny steering wheel and high-set instrument cluster remains divisive, but it suits the lightweight helm.

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Maybe not the last thing in connection, the light steering contributes to a deft, biddable feel and with a modest 1,080kg kerb weight, that’s perhaps not surprising.

That six-speed auto channels power to the front wheels efficiently with only a slight pause in momentum during part-throttle up-shifts.

Shift the lever to Sport and the drivetrain feels eager and acceleration is spirited.

While firm, the suspension hoovers-up the worst road imperfections and front-end grip is a match for that flickable steering, if a way behind the limpet-like GTi.

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During my test I managed to return indicated fuel economy in the mid-40s.

Only the unintuitive touchscreen infotainment system proved tiresome, being tough to navigate on first contact and freezing on one occasion to leave the optional (£400) sat-nav useless when I really needed it.

Peugeot’s 208 GT Line delivers decent performance, economy and a stack of style.

Whether many people who aren’t bothered about outright performance will be willing to pay the price is another matter...


Peugeot 208 GT Line

Engine: 1,199cc, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol

Power: 110bhp and 151lb.ft.

Performance: 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds and 118mph

Economy: 62.8mpg (combined)

CO2 emissions: 104g/km

Price: from £17,695

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