Peugeot 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport
The 2016 Pug meets a new ST
THE PEUGEOT GOT A WELL-EARNED respite recently with the brief arrival of a facelifted Ford Fiesta ST. I’m delighted to say that as much as I enjoyed a week in a Mean Green ST – relishing the slicker shift from its stubby little gearlever, in particular – I also breathed a sigh of relief when I got back into the GTI. I’m fully attached to the thing now I’m weaving more pleasurable routes into the mostly business miles it seems to cover. The Bilsteins I recently had fitted can likely take some credit.
A week driving something else made me realise how accustomed I’ve become to the 208’s dinky-wheel, high-dials driving position, too. The set-up was infamous when Peugeot first steered its cars down this route, but I’ve always been a fan; I think my 5ft 9in frame makes me more sympathetic to its idiosyncrasies than some of my taller peers. The first few hours in the Fiesta had me marvelling at just how oversized its wheel suddenly seemed.
Once I’d adjusted, though, the Ford proved just as feisty as ever. Its handling balance is a bit less progressive and more cartoonish than the Pug’s, which in turn makes it more mischievous at slower speeds. It’s five-door-only these days, but that’s another controversial topic I’m sympathetic to. My week in the ST involved a few days in the company of my six-year-old nephew, and a pair of back doors gave him more independence than if I’d been lugging the BPS’S stocky sports seats fore and aft every time we parked up at mini golf courses, trampoline parks and dinosaur grills. Hot hatches ought to be practical, after all…
Date acquired April 2022 Total mileage 39,209 Mileage this month 1355 Costs this month £0 mpg this month 44.7