2004 Peugeot 206 GTi 2.0 naturally aspirated from South Africa
Great pocket rocket, but robbed of the voom voom due to low kilowatts
It used to display a "anti-pollution fault" notification on the LCD.
It is very noisy inside, especially on uneven roads in some places here in south Africa. I just cannot point out the cause of the noise with precision, but I always get someone to travel with me, that way it is less noisy, I guess because of the weight being exerted on the passenger seat by my passenger.
I had a problem with the battery last week. When I tried to start it, it took some time to start, and when it did finally start, it displayed "ESP/ASR not functioning" or "Passenger Airbag fault".
The car has appealing designs outside, especially those air intakes on the bonnet. They look real cool.
The metallic alloy fuel cap is a classic touch indeed, it adds a sporty look to the car.
However, I feel the mirrors should have been chrome-coloured. That way the flagship would be differentiated from its normal siblings.
The acoustic emitting from the oval performance exhaust is appetising, especially with the rear and front windows opened. It gives such a sound that you just want to floor the pedal and ignore the fuel consumption.
Talking of fuel consumption, the 2 litre machine really consumes fuel. I'd advise drivers not to overly indulge in robot-to-robot racing. I know it is always tempting driving this kind of vehicle. You can easily exceed the 8.3 litres per 100 KM figures claimed by the manufacturer.
It is a Gran Turismo Injection (GTi for those wondering), so I know hot hatch fanatics want to hear about the performance. Nothing fancy at 100KW, 190 NM of torque and a top speed of 210 KM/H. However considering the weight quoted at 1050KG, the car suddenly has a good power to weight ratio. That translates into 8.4 seconds from stand still to 100 KM/H, and depending on who is the driver, I think better figures than this can be achieved.
The long throw gear lever is a disappointment for me. I think a short throw and more direct gear lever would go a long way in enhancing the 0-100 KM/H aspect of the car. That the car hosts a 5 speed gear box is also not good news to the enthusiasts out there.
Stretching this "big little french machine"'s legs also has an impact on your tyres. It just loves screeching tyres. In after work moderate moving traffic, I usually drive with gear 3. If I want to show off, overtaking is not a problem, I just revert to gear 2 and flatten the pedal. The sudden powerful exhaust sound, screeching tyres and power delivery amazes all around. Within a second I'll be in front of the car I wanted to overtake.
Besides the impressive overtaking, you just have to admire the road grip and maneuverability of the car. The steering is pin point and puts the car where you want it within the time you want. A lot of this owes to the small size of the car. Thus, you can easily squeeze it into small spaces in traffic in a flash.
In long distance trips, I just feel that the fun is no longer there because there are speed cameras everywhere. So as a law abiding citizen, I just find myself always driving 120 KM/H as required. But when I get a chance to drive where there are no cameras, the performance is amazing, the overtaking impressive, and the roadgrip marvellous. Just be sure to always keep your eyes on the speedometer, lest you find yourself driving at 210KM/H without knowing it.
Overall, an impressive little car. but in today's world of the ST, S3 Megane RS LTD, Cupra, MPS, OPC, GTC etc, all which are turbo charged, the space for 2.0 naturally aspired hatches in the hot hatch scene is gradually becoming extinct. But if Peugeot want to be a force to be reckoned with in the hot hatch scene, they'll produce a 2.0 turbocharged hatch with a targeted power out put of at least 150 KW. Till then, this GTi will be recognised as such by those driving standard hatches.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 12th February, 2010