The all-new 208 GTi appeals with its modern take on the original hot hatch, the 205 GTi.

One thing is for sure…the Peugeot name is no newcomer to the market. In 1889, the visionary Armand Peugeot led the family company to unveil the first motor vehicle with the Peugeot name: the Serpollet-Peugeot, a steam-powered three-wheeler.

In 2013, Armand has long since left this earth, but the Peugeot name synonymous with innovation forges on. The all-new 208 GTi is here and those who remember its predecessor, the original hot hatch 205 GTi, will look favourably on this modern take. If you haven’t tried a Peugeot before, the 208 GTi might be the car to get you across the line.

The 1.6THP engine powering the 208 GTi has just been awarded the 2013 International Engine of the Year prize for the seventh year in a row. Pair this with a six-speed close ratio manual gearbox, a reworked exhaust line and a lightweight chassis of 1160kg, the 208 GTi powers from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds.

The 208 GTi offers a list of safety features including stability control, traction control, ABS, EBA and EBFD. It comes with the latest-generation Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which is able to detect the first signs of a sideways skid and helps reduce over steer. Six airbags, a collapsible steering column, strengthened doors and aluminum “beam absorbers” to distribute impact energy are all featured.

It’s a sleek looking car that makes a good impression. The tailgate features a new spoiler and gloss black rear skirt with chrome highlights and a trapezoid chromed double tailpipe. 17″ alloy wheels with a diamond finish, red brake callipers, sporty bodywork, trapezoid chromed double tailpipe and bright chrome touches give the GTi a sporty edge. The halogen headlamps use LED technology for the directional indicators and daytime lighting. A chequered signature at the top of the headlamps is yet another reference to the 208 GTi’s racing pedigree.

Opening the door reveals sports bucket seats, an instrument panel feature a chequered-flag background and the latest colour touch screen and digital quality. Standard equipment includes speed limiter and electronic parking assistance (rear).

All the traditional colours are available and it is priced from $29,990. Nicely competitive in this price range with the Ford Fiesta ST, Volkswagen Polo GTI and Nissan Pulsar Hatch, it’s a packed marketplace but the 208 GTi can hold its own.

Prices quoted do not include statutory and dealer on-road charges unless otherwise stated. Prices correct at time of writing.