The flagship of the Peugeot 208 range, the GT-Line, hit South African shores early last year. It hasn’t become a top seller in its segment, but then one needs to consider its competitors, which are the likes of the Volkswagen Polo, the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris. That’s a pretty tough crowd. We are expecting a new Peugeot 208 this year (internationally), but until then, how does this current model fair?
Key features to the current GT-Line include new headlights with black and chrome elements, LED daytime running lights and repositioned fog lamps. It boasts 17-inch alloy wheels and a new bumper with distinctive black and chrome grille treatment creating a three-dimensional effect.
It might not look all that sporty on the outside, but step in to the cabin and things start to heat up a bit. Especially with the special GT Line sports seats that are upholstered in black and red with contrasting stitching. Red detailing on the black seatbelts continues the sporty theme, while the multifunction steering wheel gets a full leather-trimmed rim. You can also expect aluminum door sill finishers and pedals.
I am hoping that the new 208 model (which might only hit our shores next year) will hopefully have an updated infotainment system as this current one is starting to feel a little outdated. It is also not as user-friendly as what is found on some of the competitors. The 208 GT-Line is filled with spec, that which includes electric windows all-round, auto-activating headlights, a refrigerated glove compartment, bi-zone climate control (which unfortunately takes a while to get really cold), and Peugeot Mirror Screen® which allows your compatible smartphone to communicate with the car.
Under the bonnet sits a 1.2-litre turbopetrol engine which produces 81 kW of power and an impressive 205 Nm of torque making it a rather punchy little engine. It certainly makes city driving quite spirited. The ride is smooth and as a package, the 208 GT-Line feels solidly built. The electric steering is superb and makes parking this car an absolute doddle. Fuel consumption is claimed at a very low 4.5L/100 km.
Safety can be a deal-breaker in this segment and Peugeot knows this. The 208 GT-Line
safety systems include ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA), while passive features include dual front and curtain airbags, inertia reel seat belts, and front and rear head restraints. The hazard lights activate automatically under emergency braking, while the central locking system automatically locks the doors when driving off. Electric child locks for the rear doors are standard, as are IsoFix child seat tethers. The 208 also comes equipped with an anti-theft alarm.
As it stands, the Peugeot 208 GT-Line, as much as it is a great offering, just cannot contend with the competition on offer which boasts something with a bit more buying power. But it will be interesting to see how the new model fairs in the current line-up of rivals because if Peugeot gets it right, the other brands might just start to quake in their boots.
PRICING OF THE PEUGEOT 208 GT-LINE
PEUGEOT 208 GT LINE 1.2 PURETECH 81kW TURBO Manual – R276 900
PEUGEOT 208 GT LINE 1.2 PURETECH 81kW TURBO Automatic – R286 900