Peugeot released a new 208 in May, and it’s a looker.
The stylish French hatchback has a range-topping GT trim that wears gloss black wheel arches and mirror caps, a diamond black roof, and sporty 17-inch “Bronx” alloy wheels.
In terms of price, looks, and features in the hot hatch segment, you know what’s coming next – a comparison against the VW Polo GTI.
These hatchbacks look quite different, and each one has its own charm.
The Polo comes with a more athletic look than its non-GTI siblings, helped by full-LED lights with daytime running lights, trim-exclusive bumper inserts, an extended roof-edge spoiler, a dual-exhaust outlet, and 17-inch “Milton Keynes” alloys.
The 208 GT sports “tooth design” full-LED headlights with daytime running lights, as well as an extended diamond black roof-edge spoiler.
The Peugeot adds follow-me-home abilities for the light cluster, while both offer automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.
The thorough standard equipment list continues in the interior, where both cars are fitted with partial leather seats, a leather multifunction steering wheel, and the latest infotainment systems.
Peugeot offers a more premium Alcantara seat finish, heated front seats, and carbon fibre trims for the veneers – whereas seat heating is available as a paid extra for the VW.
The 208 provides a fully-digital instrument cluster, climate control, a wireless charger, and keyless entry, too, while these features are optional in the Polo.
The Peugeot extends its lead when it comes to connectivity, as its 10-inch infotainment display supports Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, and navigation.
A six-speaker audio setup is provided in each model, and the MyPeugeot app delivers maintenance and vehicle condition information directly to your smartphone.
The 8-inch display in the Polo only supports Bluetooth, along with the We Connect Go app. The aforementioned features that are standard in the 208 only become available in the VW’s updated “Discover Media” infotainment systems.
The Polo bounces back in the safety division, boasting a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating throughout the range.
In the GTI model, standard safety features comprise driver, passenger, side, and curtain airbags, ABS with brake assist, hill hold assist, cruise control, driver fatigue detection, interior monitoring, and an alarm and immobiliser.
The 208 achieves a 4 stars in the Euro NCAP test, but treats its passengers to many quality-of-life features that are once again optional in the VW.
This includes driver blind spot monitoring, driver attention warning, and road sign recognition – including stop, one way, no overtaking, and speed limit signs.
The VW dominates here thanks to its fitment of a 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol motor that produces 147kW and 320Nm of torque.
A six-speed DSG automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, and 100km/h can be reached in 6.7 seconds.
The combination achieves a combined fuel consumption of 5.9l/100km and a top speed of 237km/h.
At the front of the Peugeot lies a 1.2-litre, turbo-petrol motor generating 96kW and 230Nm.
Drive in the 208 is handled by a six-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to the front wheels.
Combined fuel consumption comes in at 6.3l/100km, 0-100km/h acceleration is 8.8 seconds, and top speed is 198km/h.
The new Peugeot 208 1.2T GT has a South African price of R424,900.
This price includes a 5-year/100,000km warranty and a 3-year/60,000km service plan.
The South African price of the VW Polo GTI comes in at R453,700.
This includes a 3-year/120,000km warranty and a 3-year/45,000km EasyDrive service plan.