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Peugeot Festival 2017

Celebrating the world’s greatest hot hatch

Peugeot Festival 2017Fans of the Peugeot 205 GTI – and other hot Peugeots – gathered at Prescott Hillclimb near Cheltenham for the annual Peugeot Festival. In addition to (non-competitive) runs up the hill and a hotly-contested concours, this year’s event included a line-up of special VIP cars.


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McRae on displayPeugeot Festival 2017

Topping the list of VIPs was a Peugeot 309 GTI rally car raced by the late Colin McRae before he won the World Rally Championship with Subaru.

A 205 T16 – the only black example, formerly owned by the King of Bahrain – was also showing off its mid-engined innards, while the Dimma-kitted 309 GTI Goodwood was also unique.

Dakar dreamingPeugeot Festival 2017

Many cars and clubs made the journey to the festival from around Europe. Peugeot Sport in France even provided their 2008 Dakar racer, offering showgoers the chance to sit in Carlos Sainz’s driving seat.

There were celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the 106 GTI & 406 Coupé, too – plus the 25th anniversary of the rarest 205 GTI, the 1FM special edition. Only 25 GTI 1FMs were made to celebrate 25 years of Radio 1, and no less than seven of them drove in convoy up the Prescott Hill.

The 205 GTI’s legacyPeugeot Festival 2017

The Peugeot Sport Club traces its roots back to 1985, when it was known as the Peugeot 205 GTI Club. The club was started by Peugeot UK to help owners enjoy their cars as part of its marketing strategy at the time. In 1988, the organisation of the Club was handed over to a small team of enthusiastic members, and the 205 GTI ceased production in 1994. But the club lives on: now open to all Peugeot owners.

Check out our gallery for photos of many cars at Peugeot Festival 2017. From an unrestored 305 saloon to a modified, wide-body 306 cabriolet, there’s something for everyone.

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For sale: the ultimate hot hatch

Peugeot 205 T16Jean Todt isn’t the kind of guy who makes false promises. So when he arrived at a London press conference in 1981 with a pledge to build a championship-winning rally car by 1985, he was to be taken seriously.

This was the very genesis of the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 – or T16 for short – a car that would enjoy three years of success in the manic Group B era of world rallying, including total dominance in 1985 and 1986.

With a very special Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 heading to auction at the Artcurial sale in Monaco, we take a brief look at one of the greatest cars ever to grace the world rally circuit. You’ll need to dig deep, as this particular car is very special.


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One vision: to end Audi’s dominance

Jean Todt arrived at the newly-formed Peugeot Talbot Sport team having enjoyed success as a co-driver with Guy Fréquelin in the 1981 World Rally Championship. In a Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus, the pair finished first in the manufacturers’ championship, with Fréquelin narrowly missing out to Ari Vatanen in the drivers’ title challenge.

Indeed, the aforementioned press conference was held at the conclusion of the 1981 championship, by which time Peugeot – inspired by the success of the British-based Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus team – had decided to throw its considerable might behind a challenge for the title.

Peugeot-Talbot had toyed with the idea of creating a mid-engined/rear-wheel drive version of the Chrysler Horizon, but Audi’s trailblazing Quattro led to a change of plan. The future was four-wheel drive and Peugeot knew it had to adapt or face defeat.

That the 205 T16 would be so successful should come as no surprise: Peugeot’s approach to its development was as all-encompassing as it was brilliant. Todt’s single-mindedness and dogged determination was matched by the full backing of the Peugeot board. The company threw serious money at the project, offering Todt what was essentially an unlimited budget.

The requirement to build 200 road cars for homologation purposes was considered from the outset and Peugeot’s marketing department knew full well what an all-conquering rally car could do for sales of its more mundane models. The standard 205 was still two years away from reaching Peugeot showrooms.

This, of course, meant that the 205 T16 had to look like the conventional 205 front-wheel drive hatchback. And, indeed, in isolation there’s more than a passing resemblance between the two cars.

But something has to give when you’re creating a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive rally car aimed squarely at ending the dominance of the Audi Quattro. The 205 T16 is pumped up to the max – complete with longer wheelbase and wild haunches – as if a regular 205 had consumed one too many tins of spinach. Dare we suggest that Gérard Welter’s regular 205 is the more aesthetically pleasing of the two?

A timetable for successPeugeot 205 T16

Peugeot’s timetable for the project was tight and rigid. The engine – a 1775cc turbocharged unit based on the four-cylinder XU block – was chosen in February 1982, while the first mock-up of the exterior was completed just two months later.

The first major prototype parts were available in September of the same year, ahead of the construction of the first prototype in November. The first car ran in February 1983 before the 205 T16 was homologated in 1984.

By August 1984, the Peugeot 205 T16 had secured its first big win, with Ari Vatanen and Terry Harryman guiding the car to victory at the 1000 Lakes Rally, ahead of a pair of Lancia 037s.

The team enjoyed a terrific end to the season, picking up wins at the San Remo and Lombard RAC rallies: enough to secure fourth place in the overall standings. The writing was on the wall for Audi: it was about to lose its favourite game.

Ari Vatanen started the 1985 season with two back-to-back victories, but it was Timo Salonen who picked up the pace, most notably following Vatanen’s near-fatal crash in Argentina. This was also the year in which Attilio Bettega was killed at the wheel of his Lancia 037.

Salonen secured the title in his first season for Peugeot in what was the 205 T16’s first complete championship. Peugeot won again in 1986, with Juha Kankkunen winning the drivers’ title and Salonen finishing third.

Sadly, following devastating crashes in Portugal and France, the development of Group B cars was frozen in 1986 and teams were banned from competing in 1987. This signalled the end for the 205 T16, at least from a WRC perspective, although it went on to enjoy success in Rally Raid, Pikes’ Peak and rallycross.

The 205 T16 also led to the development of the Peugeot 405 T16 Grand Raid and Citroen ZX Rallye Raid cars. Its legacy lived on, as would its place in the motorsport history books.

One for the roadPeugeot 205 T16

Of course, the rally hero is only half the story, because Peugeot built 200 road-going 205 T16s to satisfy homologation rules. All would be left-hand drive, finished in the same shade of grey and assembled at the old Simca factory in Poissy.

But while the rally version developed between 340hp and 550hp depending on spec, the road-going version was forced to ‘make do’ with 200hp. It was enough to give the 205 T16 a top speed of 130mph and a 0-62mph time of six seconds dead.

Just imagine seeing one of these parked in a dealer showroom. At a penny short of £27,000, Peugeot was, in the words of Car magazine, asking “Ferrari money for a 1800cc Peugeot”, at a time when nine of 10 enquiries were about diesels!

It would take a certain somebody to dismiss the cheaper and quicker Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera in favour of a French wideboy. If you were one of the enlightened few, we salute you.

There were some similarities with the 205 driven by your mum in the mid 80s. The doors, windscreen, headlights and grille are at least faithful to the car you’d find in the supermarket car park.

But while you might raise the hatchback to load your groceries into a regular 205, doing so in a T16 would merely unveil the engine sat behind the two seats. In terms of kerb appeal, the 205 T16’s rear clamshell must be up there with the 300 SL’s ‘Gullwing’ doors and the Miura’s headlight ‘eyelashes’.

It was, of course, designed to be purely functional, providing access to the car’s structure, engine and four-wheel drive transmission. Such ease of servicing between rally stages would have been hugely beneficial to Peugeot Talbot Sport, not to mention your local Peugeot mechanic.

Some sacrifices would have to be made in order to live this homologation special. The 205 T16 isn’t what you’d call practical, with the front ‘boot’ filled with the spare wheel, ancillaries and petrol filler cap. And although Peugeot added some sound insulation to the cabin, there’s only so much you can do when the engine is situated behind your head. And contemporary reviews point to the wail of the turbochargers as being as pleasant as fingernails on a blackboard.

But does this matter? It’s not as though Peugeot didn’t offer a more useable, accessible and cheaper alternative. Besides, the creation of the roadcar allowed the T16 to go racing, and we can all raise a glass to that.

The best 205 T16 in the world?Peugeot 205 T16

You’ll need to dig very deep in order to secure the example being auctioned at the Artcurial sale. The pre-auction estimate of €275,000 – €325,000 (£243,000 – £287,000) reflects the very special nature of car number nine.

It is one of four T16s finished in the same pearl white as the works cars, as ordered by Jean Todt. The cars were reserved for key figures in the model’s history, namely: Jean Todt, Jean Boillot, Didier Pironi and André de Cortanze.

Number nine was presented to André de Cortanze, the then technical director of Peugeot Sport, who played an integral part in the development of the T16. He requested that his car was fitted with an alarm, radio and telephone, although it’s unclear whether he actually made use of said items.

That’s because the car has covered a mere 284 kilometres from new and as such is presented in original condition. Little wonder the pre-auction estimate is so punchy. For reference, a ‘regular’ 205 T16 sold at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction for £155,451 in 2016.

But don’t worry if you can’t stretch to the Artcurial car, Bonhams is offering another 205 T16 at the 2017 Quail Lodge Auction in August. Precise details are unknown, but we do know that it has covered just 1,200 kilometres.

Turns out that Peugeot 205 T16s are like World Rally Championship titles: you wait an age for one to come up and then you find two in quick succession.

Sources:
Peugeot 205 T16, Graham Robson
Car, March 1985

Best first cars for new drivers

Best first cars for new drivers

Best first cars for new driversResearch from HPI discovered that 21% of UK drivers have paid more for a car than its true value. However, that figure was markedly higher (30%) among 18-24 year olds, with 17% of that demographic admitting they rushed the purchase of their first car out of eagerness to get on the road.

Helpfully, HPI has also compiled a list of the cheapest new cars to run, to make that decision process a little easier. The data takes into account price, depreciation (loss in value over time), insurance, fuel economy and, tax. Join us as we count down the top 10 cars.

10. SEAT Ibiza Sport CoupeBest first cars for new drivers

In at number 10 is the SEAT Ibiza Sport Coupe 1.0 E petrol, a stylish supermini based on the Volkswagen Polo. The more practical five-door Ibiza is only marginally more expensive to run.

Over a typical three-year/60,000-mile ownership period, the Ibiza would cost £261.60 a month, or 31p a mile. The total cost of ownership works out at £9,417.56.

9. Nissan NoteBest first cars for new drivers

Nissan is actually phasing out its Note mini-MPV in favour of the more upmarket new Micra. So if you want one, you’ll need to be quick.The 1.2 Visia petrol has the lowest running costs.

The practical Note will cost you £9397.25 over three years and 30,000 miles of motoring. That equates to £261.03 a month and 31p a mile.

8. Suzuki SwiftBest first cars for new drivers

Choose the Swift with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and this supermini struggles to live up to its name. However, it is very cost-effective to run, with the SZ2 version offering the most for your money.

The cost of running a Swift over three years ducks under £9,000 – at £8,949.02. Your total monthly bill should be £248.58, or 30p a mile.

7. Nissan MicraBest first cars for new drivers

We’re not big fans of the outgoing Micra, but it is cheap to run. As with the Nissan Note, the 1.2 Visia petrol is the cheapest version for new drivers.

You could be driving a Nissan Micra for £228.81 a month all-in. Over three years and 30,000 miles that means a total bill of £8237.02 – a modest 27p a mile.

6. Citroen C1Best first cars for new drivers

The sixth-placed Citroen C1 is twinned with the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 city cars, both of which appear slightly further up this list.

Choose the C1 and running costs are almost identical to the Micra, at £228.42 and 27p a mile. Your total outlay over three years and 30,000 miles would be £8222.97.

5. Toyota AygoBest first cars for new drivers

We’d have an Aygo 1.0 over the equivalent C1. It’s funkier-looking and the Toyota badge probably boosts resale values. The Aygo retains 40% of its original purchase price after three years and 30,000 miles, versus 38% for the C1.

Your total bill for driving an Aygo adds up to £8,123.97, which breaks down as £225.67 a month and 27p a mile. But there are four new cars that are cheaper still…

4. Dacia Logan MCVBest first cars for new drivers

Up until this point, every car on our list has been a small hatchback. But you can run a versatile estate car on a tight budget, too. Meet the Dacia Logan MCV (that’s ‘Maximum Capacity Vehicle’, in case you were wondering).

Interestingly, the most cost-effective Logan is the 1.5 dCi – the first diesel in our list. Getting some Maximum Capacity into your life will set you back a modest £223.30 a month, or 27p a mile. The overall, three-year bill is £8,038.70.

3. Peugeot 108Best first cars for new drivers

Here’s the last of the C1/Aygo/108 – and the Peugeot takes the title as the cheapest to run. The best 108 to go for is the 1.0 Access, which finishes third in HPI’s list.

While both the Citroen and Toyota will cost you 27p a mile, the 108 comes in at just 25p – thanks in part to a strong 45% retained value after three years and 60,000 miles. The monthly cost is £212.42, while the overall figure is £7,646.97.

2. Dacia SanderoBest first cars for new drivers

In entry-level Access spec, the Dacia Sandero is Britain’s cheapest new car. However, stronger resale values for the Sandero Ambiance mean this plusher version works out cheaper overall. As with the Logan MCV, the 1.5 dCi diesel is the engine to go for.

It won’t make your neighbours jealous, but after three years/60,000 miles the Sandero will owe you just £7,212.17. Not bad for three years of driving in a brand new car. That cost breaks down as £200.35 a month and 24p a mile.

1. Suzuki CelerioBest first cars for new drivers

The Celerio blotted its copybook early with a highly-publicised brake test failure. Thankfully, those issues have now been resolved and this likeable city car redeems itself with first place in the HPI list.

A Celerio makes an excellent first car for drivers on a tight budget. Opt for the 1.0 SZ2 and you’ll pay £7,099.95 over three years and 30,000 miles. That equates to £197.22 a month and a mere 24p a mile. It’s cheaper than walking… almost.

Peugeot 205 Rallye: Retro Road Test

Peugeot 205 Rallye review: Retro Road Test

Peugeot 205 Rallye: Retro Road Test

This is a forgotten hot hatch gem, that’s for sure. But you can be forgiven for forgetting about the Peugeot 205 Rallye. Here in the UK, it was little more than a spiced-up 1.4-litre single-carb 205 XS, producing not a great deal of power and providing nowhere near the excitement of a GTI.

But the car we’re testing for this week’s Retro Road Test is the real McCoy. It’s a European-spec LHD version of the Rallye, boasting a kerb weight of just 794kg: a whole 100 kilos less than the GTI. And a decent amount of power, too…

What are its rivals?

What are its rivals?

If quirky hot hatches are your thing, there’s no shortage of cars you should be considering. It’s a different character, but if you’re considering a 205 Rallye, you should definitely look at the more commonplace GTI. There’s also the newer and again, more common 106 Rallye, along with the hot Renault Clio Williams. The Citroen AX GT is a plucky little pocket rocket, while the much newer Suzuki Ignis Sport follows the Rallye’s ethos.

What engine does it use?

What engine does it use?

In European guise, the 205 Rallye dumps the lacklustre 1.4 in favour of a revvy twin-carb 1.3 producing 103hp  just 2hp short of the GTI when it was launched in 1984. Intended to compete in sub-1300cc rallying, the Rallye was a stripped-out homologation special.

What’s it like to drive?

What’s it like to drive?

At first, honestly, a little disappointing. It’s an old French hatchback, and it feels it. The brakes take some prodding, the steering is heavy and the interior, red mats aside, feels relatively normal. And old. This is not a car for drivers seeking instant gratification.

But as the Rallye starts to warm up, and you start to get into the experience, it gradually becomes more rewarding. It’s well suited to tight, winding B-roads (out of its element on larger roads), and it responds well to enthusiastic front-drive driving. So, on the brakes in a straight line before the bend, powering through and  whatever you do – don’t lift off. Not that it’s as snappy as the GTI.

The analogue steering is infinitely more communicative than the electrical systems fitted to today’s hot hatches. The performance, meanwhile, would probably be shown up by most modern turbodiesels but, once it’s warmed up, it’s fun to work it hard chasing the redline and staying below speed limits.

Reliability and running costs

Reliability and running costs

It’s an old French hot hatch so don’t expect it to be painless, although it’s a relatively simple car. Parts can be difficult to source  be prepared to join Peugeot clubs (there isn’t a dedicated 205 Rallye one in the UK, but there are plenty of more general ones) and fire up Google Translate in order to ship parts from abroad.

Could I drive it every day?

Could I drive it every day?

Cut and paste answer to almost every Retro Road Test we’ve done: you could, but you probably shouldn’t. It’s a rare car, especially in Euro-spec, and it’ll soon start to show its age if you did use one as a daily driver. Plus, the novelty of driving a left-hand-drive car without a radio and little in the way of creature comforts will soon wear thin.

How much should I pay?

How much should I pay?

Finding one in the UK is difficult, so providing a solid valuation is tricky. If you can find a cared-for original example, the limit is essentially the maximum you feel comfortable paying for an old Peugeot hatchback.

We’d probably budget around £10,000 for a nice one, or £15,000 for a minter. But bear in mind the direction in which GTI prices are going. A Rallye could be a sound investment.

What should I look out for?

What should I look out for?

Signs of abuse and crash damage are the main concerns. Look under the bonnet: does all the paintwork look original? Are there any signs of repair?

Other than that, buy with your head rather than your heart. If you’ve been waiting a while for one to be advertised, it’s easy to dismiss minor faults – but bear in mind that even simple parts could be nigh-on impossible to find.

Should I buy one?

Should I buy one?

In truth, it makes more sense to go out and buy a GTI. They’ve got more of a following  so could be a wiser investment  while support through clubs and online forums is more readily available. It’s easy to find a good one, too, as long as you’re prepared to pay good money.

If the right 205 Rallye comes up, however, grab it, spend as much as you can keeping it tidy and original, and enjoy driving one of the best forgotten hot hatches that never officially made it to the UK.

Pub fact

Pub fact

Top Gear’s Chris Harris bought a 205 Rallye last year. He described it as “every bit as special as an RS Porsche”, despite his slightly ropey example showing more than 300,000 miles on the clock and having been used as a tarmac rally car.

Thanks to Nick Bailey of Elan PR for the use of his lovely Peugeot 205 Rallye

Peugeot 3008 SUV

2017 Peugeot 3008 review: from frumpy MPV to funky SUV

Peugeot 3008 SUVNot so long ago, people carriers were touted as the future of family cars. A ‘one box’ design, it was rightly argued, shoehorns the maximum amount of passengers and luggage into the available space. The problem, of course, is that functional isn’t fashionable. Nobody wants to drive a van with windows.

MPV to SUVPeugeot 3008 SUV

The French like a people carrier more than most, but they’re also dedicated followers of fashion. So Peugeot has reinvented its 3008 with more ground clearance and rugged styling. Yes, frumpy multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) has become funky sport-utility vehicle (SUV). With sales of medium SUVs up by 150% in Europe since 2009, it’s hard to argue with that logic. We travelled to Bologna to see if Peugeot’s sector-switching gamble has paid off.

January salesPeugeot 3008 SUV

First a few facts, though. Peugeot won’t reveal full UK prices until November, but we’re told the 3008 will start from £21,795 when it hits showrooms in January 2017. There’s a choice of two petrol engines and four diesels, plus six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. Its rivals include the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, SEAT Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Mr MusclePeugeot 3008 SUV

All gaping grille and bloated body, the old 3008 looked like the sort of bottom-feeding sea creature only David Attenborough could love. The new car is more Mr Muscle than Mr Blobby, with chiselled lines and a squat stance. At the front, hawkish headlights taper towards a jutting jaw, while the rear features a kicked-up waistline and a ‘floating’ roof à la Range Rover Evoque. It’s brave rather than beautiful, but divisive looks haven’t done the Nissan Juke any harm.

Bang on-trendPeugeot 3008 SUV

Peugeot describes the 3008 as “potentially the most trendy SUV currently on the market”. And, putting aside the fact that nobody other than our nan uses the word ‘trendy’, the team from Vélizy has done a decent job. Style matters in this sector – it’s the main reason we aren’t all buying MPVs, after all – and 3008 has showroom appeal in spades. Choose copper or grey and you can even opt for two-tone ‘Coupe Franche’ paint seen here, previously only available on 208 and 308 GTIs. However, it’s the 3008’s interior that really sets it apart.

Virtual realityPeugeot 3008 SUV

You’ll probably familiar with Peugeot’s i-Cockpit by now. In essence, it consists of a small steering wheel and a high-set instrument binnacle – the idea being that you view the dials over the top of the wheel, rather than through it. The 3008 takes the concept a stage further with a squared-off wheel (part-Playstation, part-Austin Allegro), plus a fully digital display not unlike Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.

Talking techPeugeot 3008 SUV

The 12.3-inch instrument panel has a choice of modes, from traditional dials to 3D navigation view. Unlike the Audi system, you can’t opt for a full-width map or the pièce de resistance Google Earth display. But while the Germans charge £1,600 for Virtual Cockpit on a new Q2, the i-Cockpit is standard across the 3008 range. It all looks suitably snazzy, although we rather liked the ‘Minimum’ view for distraction-free driving at night.

Premium bondingPeugeot 3008 SUV

There’s also an eight-inch touchscreen atop the dashboard for infotainment, but thankfully Peugeot hasn’t ‘done a Renault’ and switched to a completely screen-based setup. A set of elegant ‘piano keys’ adorns the swoopy centre console, allowing quick access to major functions. The overall ambiance is stylish, futuristic and more than a little premium, particularly with the Amplify reactive mood lighting of higher-spec models. Volkswagen should be worried.

Run to the hillsPeugeot 3008 SUV

We escape Bologna airport and head for the Autostrada. Our destination: the hills of Emilia Romagna – part of the original Mille Miglia race route and spiritual home of the supercar. No pressure, then.

Cruising at motorway speeds gives us time to appreciate the Peugeot’s impressive refinement and comfortable driving position. We heard one shorter driver complain of the steering wheel obscuring the dials (a relatively common issue with i-Cockpit), but our 5ft 8in frame fitted fine. A case of try before you buy, perhaps.

Soaking it upPeugeot 3008 SUV

Exiting onto minor roads peppered with potholes and Pandas (the Fiat variety), it also became clear how nicely the 3008 rides. Peugeot doesn’t make claims about sporty handling: the emphasis here is on good ol’ fashioned comfort – and there’s nowt wrong with that. Even on the 19-inch alloys of the top-spec GT, the 3008 feels as absorbent as a roll of quilted Andrex.

Sunday drivingPeugeot 3008 SUV

The pay-off is a car that doesn’t quite do the Mille Miglia course justice. Still, what did you expect? The 3008 is pleasant to drive – the equal of a Nissan Qashqai – but this was never going to be one you’d get up early on Sunday for. Plus points include predictable handling and a lack of body-roll. On the minus side, the steering feels somewhat artificial and the automatic gearbox can be indecisive when ‘making progress’. Better to slow down and take in the Tuscan scenery, we thought.

Diesel do nicelyPeugeot 3008 SUV

Peugeot expects 70% of 3008 buyers to opt for a diesel engine, and there are four to choose from: 100hp and 120hp 1.6-litre BlueHDi, or 150hp and 180hp 2.0 BlueHDi. If you prefer petrol, there’s the 130hp 1.2 PureTech or 165hp 1.6 THP. Headline fuel economy figures are 70.6mpg for the 100hp diesel and 55.4mpg for the 1.2 petrol – both on par with rivals.

Interestingly, a Peugeot engineer told us they “haven’t ruled out” a 3008 GTI. But for the now the quickest versions are the 180hp diesel and 165hp petrol, both of which hit 62mph in 8.9 seconds.

Showing some anklePeugeot 3008 SUV

We start our drive in the flagship 2.0 diesel, before swapping into the 120hp 1.6 (the latter likely to be the UK bestseller). The bigger engine is appreciably quieter, not least because it doesn’t need to be worked as hard, but both offer sufficient mid-range punch for safe overtaking. Battered, heavily-laden Pandas were dispatched with a swift flex of the right ankle.

We also tried the 165hp petrol, which is smooth but less suited to the 3008’s laid-back character. Maximum power arrives at 6,000rpm, versus 3,500rpm in the diesel, so more ankle flexing is required. We’d follow the masses and go for the 120hp diesel.

The joy of specsPeugeot 3008 SUV

Peugeot offers four trim levels: Active, Allure, GT Line and GT. Standard equipment on the Active includes automatic emergency braking, 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights/wipers, rear parking sensors, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay. Android Auto connectivity follows soon after launch.

Stepping up to Allure adds the Safety Plus pack with lane-keep assist and blind-spot detection, plus 18-inch alloys, sat nav with live traffic updates, a reversing camera and ambient interior lighting. GT Line gets sports styling and LED headlights, while the fully-loaded GT gets 19-inch wheels, leather trim, active cruise control, keyless entry, massage seats, an electric tailgate and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Sounds AlluringPeugeot 3008 SUV

Peugeot expects half of UK buyers to choose Allure and, having sampled all versions apart from the basic Active, we’d again be inclined to follow the herd. It has all the safety kit you’d hope for in a family car (all 3008s have a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating) and its fabric-covered dashboard looks more contemporary than the wood or faux-carbonfibre found elsewhere.

If you must splash out on options, we thoroughly recommend Peugeot’s brilliant E-Kick electric scooter, which has a built-in charging dock in the boot of the car. It’s not cheap, at £1,100, but there are few more enjoyable ways whizz around an Italian hotel. Provided you don’t break both legs in the process, of course.

People carryingPeugeot 3008 SUV

So, what about practicality? Has it been sacrificed on the altar of SUV style? Not entirely. The new 3008 doesn’t offer the seat-swivelling versatility of a good MPV, but there’s plenty of headroom (less so with the panoramic roof option) and front-seat occupants will be very comfortable. Those in the rear are less fortunate, with limited legroom for adults of above average height, plus a rather upright seat backrest that can’t be reclined.

Baggage handlingPeugeot 3008 SUV

The square-shaped boot has a wide opening and enough space for a baby buggy or washing machine. The rear bench folds flat via quick-release levers, while the front passenger seat can also flip forward for lengthy loads. “Perfect for transporting a Christmas tree”, says Peugeot. GT Line and GT versions also have an extendable boot floor that slides out beyond the rear bumper to create a bench for a family picnic. If only we’d packed the wine and cheese.

Two wheels good?Peugeot 3008 SUV

You may have noticed we’ve got this far into a 4×4 review with no mention of four-wheel drive. That’s because the 3008 doesn’t have it – not even as an option. As the car’s product manager pointed out, less than 2% of Qashqais sold in the UK have 4WD, so there simply isn’t the demand. What you can have instead is Grip Control, an optional driver-selectable system with Mud, Snow and Sand modes to optimise traction at the front wheels. It won’t get you up a rock-strewn glacier, but it might help you across a muddy field to that aforementioned family picnic.

Cross purposesPeugeot 3008 SUV

The 3008 competes in the crowded crossover class, where minds are changed by tax bands and small price differences. As such, Peugeot’s decision not to publish prices at launch isn’t particularly helpful. However, we expect the 3008 to score on standard equipment rather than headline-grabbing PCP deals.

Yet this is also a sector where hearts are won with great design – and herein lies the 3008’s USP. Its exterior styling divides opinion, but it can’t fail to grab your attention. And its interior really is quite special. Peugeot has finally delivered on its plan to ‘go premium’.

Future shockPeugeot 3008 SUV

Ultimately, a so-so driving experience and slightly cramped rear seats prevent the 3008 from achieving a full five stars. But if you need more room, it’s worth noting that the closely-related 5008 SUV arrives in March, complete with seven seats and – so we’re told – even more space than the current 5008.

While Citroen returns to its quirky roots, Peugeot is pushing upmarket and embracing avant-garde design. On the evidence of the new 3008, its plan seems to be working. We’re not sure about the future of family cars, but the future for Peugeot looks promising.

This is how Peugeot Citroen calculates real-world fuel economy

This is how Peugeot Citroen calculates real-world fuel economy

This is how Peugeot Citroen calculates real-world fuel economy

PSA Peugeot Citroen has revealed the exact methods it uses to calculate real-world fuel economy figures across its range.

The company announced real-world figures for 30 cars across its range earlier in the year, and has said it plans to reveal 20 more by the end of the year.

It’s part of a move to appear more transparent, with PSA being one of a number of manufacturers blaming the official NEDC fuel economy test for generating unachievable MPG figures.

Why is the official NEDC test to blame for unachievable fuel economy figures?

The New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) fuel economy test is used to calculate official MPG and CO2 figures for all new cars on sale in Europe.

The test is split into two sections: urban and extra-urban cycles. The first test, the urban cycle, covers a stop/start journey of 2.5 miles at an average speed of 12mph, intended to be representative of driving through a congested town or city. The car starts off cold and touches a maximum top speed of 31mph.

After this test, the now warmed-up car is put through the extra-urban cycle. This covers a distance of 4.3 miles at an average speed of 39mph.

This is how Peugeot Citroen calculates real-world fuel economy

The CO2 and fuel economy results for each cycle are then combined to provide the official CO2 and fuel economy figures quoted by manufacturers.

However, the official test has been criticised by consumers and car manufacturers alike. Carried out on a rolling road, it’s not influenced by real-life conditions such as other traffic, weather conditions and driving styles.

Developed before hybrid and electric vehicles were commonplace, it also produces extremely unrealistic fuel economy and CO2 figures for cars such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. As the test takes place when the plug-in hybrid Outlander is freshly charged, it covers most of it under electric power, hence the Outlander’s official 156.9mpg. When the Outlander’s short electric-only range runs out, its real-life fuel economy will be much lower than this figure.

So what’s Peugeot Citroen doing about it?

PSA Peugeot Citroen has announced that, along with the official NEDC tests (a European requirement), it will conduct real-world fuel economy tests across its range, and publish its findings.

To carry out the tests, the car manufacturer is working with environmental organisation Transport & Environment. It tests cars in real-world conditions, stipulating that ambient temperatures must be ‘normal’ (not too hot or too cold), while a set route should be followed.

During the test, 22.8km (14.2 miles and 24.7% of the total distance) must take place in urban areas; 39.6km (24.6 miles and 42.9% of the total distance) on rural roads; and 29.9km (18.6 miles and 32.4% of the total distance) on motorways.

This is how Peugeot Citroen calculates real-world fuel economy

Tyres must be inflated to ‘normal’ pressures and the driver should ideally not be a trained driver. The car should be driven exactly as a customer would, with all speed limits adhered to and typical acceleration for the type of car.

The test also requires at least one passenger being carried in the car, with the climate control being set to 21°C.

Transport & Environment’s clean vehicles director, Greg Archer, said: “The real-world test developed with PSA Group provides full transparency towards customers and more representative information to drivers than the new laboratory test, helping them choose the most fuel-efficient cars. This scientific approach is robust, reproducible and reliable in measuring real carbon emissions.

“We urge the European Commission and all carmakers to use this test for regulatory and advertising purposes,” he added.

What are the results of PSA’s real world tests?

So far, 30 Peugeot Citroen models have completed the test, with most averaging around 20mpg below the official NEDC figure. Here’s an example of models tested, with another 20 set to be announced before the end of 2016.

CarReal MPGNEDC MPGDifference
Peugeot 108 1.2 PureTech 8246.3065.6919.39
Peugeot 308 1.6 BlueHDi 12057.6588.2830.63
Peugeot 508 2.0 BlueHDi 18044.8470.6225.78
Citroen C3 Picasso BlueHDi 10049.5674.3424.78
Citroen C4 Cactus PureTech 11046.3165.6919.38
DS4 PureTech 11052.3174.3422.03
Peugeot 205 GTI Retro Road Test

Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6 vs Peugeot 205 GTI Mi16: Retro Road Test

Peugeot 205 GTI Retro Road TestWelcome to an MR Retro Road Test special: a comparison of two very different examples of arguably the most iconic hot hatch ever sold.

When the Peugeot 205 GTI was launched in 1984, it wasn’t the first hot hatch on the block. It was following in the footsteps of the equally-legendary Volkswagen Golf GTI, while competition was also in development from Renault (with its 5 GT Turbo), Ford (Fiesta XR2 and Escort XR3i) and Fiat (Uno Turbo).

Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6

The first car we’re testing is a completely standard, concours-standard 205 GTI 1.6 in immaculate condition. While a 1.9-litre followed, and many were modified, many purists think the original 1.6-litre, featured here, is the ultimate 205. Andrew found out more.

The apprentices from the Peugeot UK Academy who created our second car felt differently. They were given a training project to die for: restore a snotty 205 GTI to concours condition. They did this, with one major tweak – swapping the standard 1.9-litre engine for something rather more special… Richard found out just what it was.

Building a hotter hatch

Peugeot 205 GTI Mi16

Early 205 GTIs had a mere 105 hp, a figure topped even by a cooking 1.0-litre Fiesta today. But then, they did also weigh less than 900 kg, a good few kilos less than the Ford. Regardless, Peugeot upped it to 115 hp a few years later, but the really exciting upgrade came in 1987: the launch of the 205 GTI 1.9.

This enlarged engine offered a thrilling 130 hp for 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds instead of 8.7. It had way more torque as well – 119 lb ft rather than a revvy 98 lb ft – so was much the more muscular car. Thank goodness Peugeot fitted rear disc brakes and bigger 15-inch wheels to handle it.

But, save for the addition of a catalyst (and a small power cut) in the early 90s, that was it for 205 GTI evolution. Wouldn’t happen today: Peugeot would look to what else was in the range to create a swansong sell-out special. Such as, fitting the 16v version of the 205’s XU engine…

Yes, this very unit was freely available in the range, sported by the Peugeot 405 Mi16 and Citroen BX GTI 16v. Boasting 160hp, the all-aluminium 1.9-litre had a motorsport-spec head, could rev to 7,200rpm and, even in the 1,100kg 405, did 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds. In the 205 GTI, it could have been heroic.

And for years, that’s just what the 205 tuning scene has been doing – creating the 205 GTI 16v, the hot hatch that never was. It’s an easy swap if you know what you’re doing, a Peugeot veteran told us, adding weight to the logic of what could have been. When tuners tell you it will do sub-6.5secs to 60mph with ease, you can only conclude Peugeot might have dropped the ball by not making it…

Peugeot 205 1.6 GTI: the original and best

Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6

While values of hot 1.9 205 GTIs are soaring (one example has just sold for an incredible £30,938 at auction), the lesser 1.6-litre is still relatively attainable – despite enthusiasts reporting that the 1.6 is actually the model to have.

To find out just what the fuss around a bog-standard 205 GTI is all about, we borrowed a show-winning example from enthusiast Chris Hughes.

Built in 1991, this 205 GTI has covered 116,000 miles and has been owned by Chris since 2000. It’s not led a sheltered life, it’s been on numerous Euro road trips – but despite this, it’s been meticulously cared for, and regularly picks up gongs at classic car shows.

We spent a day with a car on rural Dorset roads, and what a car for summer’s day B-road blat. It’s such a pure, mechanical experience – the heavy clutch takes a minute or two to get used to, while the unassisted steering takes a bit of muscle around town.

But once you get into the 205 GTI’s groove, it’s an absolute joy. Work your way towards the 6,000rpm redline (“I rarely go over 5,000,” Chris gently nudges me), with the car’s Milltek exhaust (its only modification) providing a pleasurable soundtrack, it makes us genuinely sad that modern hot hatches just can’t come close.

And the best thing? It’s all happening at low speeds. Take a roundabout a similar speed to your average Audi A4 driver and you’ll be having infinite fun, while even ragging it down dual carriageways won’t get close to licence-losing territory.

Peugeot 205 Mi16: modified magic

Peugeot 205 GTI Mi16

Can you improve on perfection? The Peugeot Academy apprentices certainly thought so: It’s as tacit an ‘OE approved’ admission as could be. Using the same engine mounts as the regular 1.9 motor, all that’s needed is a bit of tweakery to clear the inlet and exhaust manifolds. Peugeot’s car has a 205 Automatic bonnet, to give extra clearance over the engine, but it’s not really necessary – and, installed, the engine looks fully factory-spec.

It in no way feels modified. It rumbles, vibrates and hums at tickover like a regular retro car, has the same impossibly direct and rifle-bolt gearshift as all 205 GTI, has similar ultra-heavy non-PAS steering until you’re moving and pulls at lower speeds with the same free-breathing vim as all non-emissions-conscious 80s cars.

Heavens, though, it’s fast. It’s still barely 900kg so pickup is always instant and effortless, but the way it powers forward as the revs rise is staggering. It gets on cam and comes alive above 4,500rpm – the kick is VTEC-like – and, with a heavenly throaty induction roar and cam yowl, explodes towards the redline. A few seamless-shift gearchanges later and you’re quickly backing off to regain legality.

This is no shabby conversion special that feels ready to fall apart. It’s the mighty GTI to sucker every other GTI on the planet, an engaging speed demon that even today feels sensational. Particularly as all the effervescence of the 205 GTI chassis remains in tact: the grippier 1.9 GTI wheels means more planted handling, stacks of front end grip, a more trustworthy rear end yet still the blindingly well-telegraphed on- and over-limit exploitability so many love.

The firm, ever-varying weight of the steering is to die for, body control is exemplary and the free-flowing connectivity to the road surface on winding roads is Lotus-like. Because it’s so light, it doesn’t need to be over-stiff – suspension is softer than you may expect, meaning the ride is better than you’d ever believe – which enhances its mighty fast-road ground-covering ability. With a revvy 160 hp ever at hand, it’s incendiary.

Lion kings: choosing a winner

Andrew’s winner…

Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6

Both of these cars would be lovely things to keep in your garage, ready to enjoy on sunny days but also increasing in value with every bit of TLC you give them. The Mi16 is a tantalising glimpse of what could have been… the world’s most iconic hot hatch could have been a true performance icon with that wonderful Mi16 engine.

But as a car to truly enjoy, the light and nimble 1.6-litre 205 GTI is hard to beat. Peugeot got it spot on, and will provide maximum thrills for minimal outlay. As 1.9 values soar, the lesser model is sure to follow in its footsteps.

Richard’s winner…

Peugeot 205 GTI Mi16

I was amazed. In my youth, an Mi16 205 was an ultimate, right up there with a red-top Nova for teenage desirability. But with age came the love of originality– what did modders know that the car manufacturer didn’t? In this case, plenty. Because the 205 GTI Mi16 – the 205 GTI 16v – is sublime. It’s the greatest GTI that never was.

It takes all that’s wonderful about the regular car and builds upon it with a searing, exotic, race-bred engine that, because the car itself is so light and pure, you interact with so tremendously vividly. It feels OE, it drives brilliantly and it’s simply thrilling to experience. I surprised myself with how much I loved this car: find one done right and so too might you.

Peugeot-Citroen raided by French authorities over emissions probe

Peugeot-Citroen raided by French authorities over emissions probe

Peugeot-Citroen raided by French authorities over emissions probe

The French offices of Peugeot-Citroen (PSA Group) have been raided by investigators as part of an ongoing probe into pollutants in the automotive sector.

It comes after Mitsubishi owns up to cheating fuel economy tests for 625,000 of its cars in Japan – but Peugeot-Citroen is insisting it’s innocent.

In a statement, the firm said: “PSA Group confirms compliance of its vehicles in pollutant emissions in all countries where it operates. Confident in its technologies, PSA Group is fully cooperating with the authorities.”

The raid was carried out by France’s General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control. Further details on any evidence found during the raid is yet to be revealed.

Earlier in the year, PSA Group revealed it would publish real-world fuel economy figures for cars made by its three brands: Peugeot, Citroen and DS. Conducted by two independent authorities (Transport & Environment and France Nature Environment), the tests have so far revealed PSA’s best-selling cars consistently under-perform by as much as 30mpg – in-line with fuel consumption figures reported by customers.

Renault’s head office was raided in January by the same investigators, resulting in a slump in share prices.

Peugeot 208

Peugeot Just Add Fuel for 18 year olds extended to 208, 2008

Peugeot 208Peugeot has extended its Just Add Fuel telematics insurance deal for 18 year olds to the 208 supermini and 2008 crossover range – meaning teenagers can now drive one of the firm’s most popular models for a one-off, all-inclusive fee.

First introduced for 18 year olds on the 108, the telematics-based Just Add Fuel deal has already seen an increase in teenagers signing up for a new Peugeot, report dealers: broadening it to the firm’s highest-volume cars will accelerate this further.

The full range of 208 and 2008 models are available too with the obvious exception of the fruity 208 GTi hot hatch variants. The offer is also now available in Northern Ireland.

It’s the latest step in the Just Add Fuel ‘retail car lease’ scheme that, since its launch in 2010, has got more than 30,000 Brits into a new Peugeot for a fixed-payment three-year term (with a 4.9% APR rate).

Servicing, road fund licence and roadside assistance are all included – as is car insurance. It’s the addition of telematics insurance to Just Add Fuel that’s made it possible for Peugeot to offer it to higher-risk teenage drivers.

It doesn’t mean teenage Peugeot Just Add Fuel drivers have a free pass though: because telematics monitors and stores driving activity, it’s able to keep an eye on how safely the driver is.

If the score falls below a pre-agreed level, the driver gets a warning. Receive four warnings in a year and the insurance policy is cancelled. You have been warned…

Peugeot extends Just Add Fuel scheme for 18-year-olds

peugeot just add fuel pic

Peugeot is extending its Just Add Fuel finance initiative to 18-year-old drivers of its 208 and 2008.

The expansion is due to the success the scheme has enjoyed since 2010, when applied to the 108 for drivers aged 21 and over.

Just Add Fuel, which is now available in Northern Ireland, is a fixed monthly payment that covers all motoring costs, including insurance, for a three-year period.

This means that there is no need to separately budget for servicing, car tax, and roadside assistance costs.

Essentially, the only cost the driver has to worry about is just adding petrol or diesel to the tank.

The scheme is able to operate due to the addition of a plug-in telematics device. Thanks to satellite tracking, this monitors the vehicle’s speed, acceleration, deceleration and lateral G-forces, which are then used to assess the driver’s driving style and rate each journey made on a scale from 1–100.

This data is monitored by the insurance company and, based on the findings, they can warn the driver about his/her driving behaviour and may even cancel the insurance policy if drivers fail to heed the warnings.

Since its launch six years ago, some 30,000 UK drivers have brought Peugeot 108s with this policy attached and Peugeot is hoping that by extending it to other popular models in its line-up, and lowering the age range, it will be able to make expand the scheme still further.

Mark Pickles, Peugeot UK Marketing Director, commented: “Just Add Fuel is recognised as the most significant innovation in vehicle retailing for many years. Our dealers have experienced an increase in retail sales to adults over 18 years of age since the launch of our new telematics product.”