What is it?
Ignoring the special Ice Velvet launch edition, this is the most expensive Peugeot 208 you can buy until the 208 GTI hot hatch and more luxurious 208 X&Y arrive in the UK next year.
For your £17,445 (excluding the £1165 worth of options fitted to our test car) you get the most potent 114bhp version of the familiar 1.6-litre e-HDI diesel engine in top-of-the-range Feline trim, which includes sports seats wrapped in part leather-effect trim, a panoramic glass roof, stylish 17in alloys and plenty of other goodies with 'electric' or 'heated' prefixing their names.
What is it like?
The best bit of the 208 1.6 e-HDi Feline is its engine. You have to go right up the 208 range to Feline trim to get the 1560cc powerplant, but for the outlay you're rewarded with a strong and potent performer. The engine is pleasingly refined but its stand-out quality is its tractability above 2000rpm. From here it feels like a very rapid car indeed; it's quick to respond and willing to be revved through each of the six forward gears.
Real-world economy proved to be around 58mpg after 300 miles of driving. That's respectable enough next to the claimed 74.3mpg but it's a figure you'd probably match, if not better, in the 91bhp 1.6 e-HDi or 67bhp 1.4 HDi engines that are available lower down the line-up, both of which claim the same 74.3mpg as their combined economy figures.
The Feline's 17in alloys might look smart but they do little to help the ride quality, which is a familiar story on UK roads. The 208 actually rides well for the most part, but there's an awkward tendency for crashes to be felt through the cabin when they're least welcome. And while the three-door 208 might look sleek and agile, you sadly wouldn't use the some words to describe the car's solid yet unspectacular dynamics.
The cabin of the 208 Feline does feel brighter and airier than other 208s we've tried, and that's thanks to its panoramic glass roof. The roof is bordered down the sides by some cool blue LED strip lights, which do plenty to lift the interior ambience.
The Feline's sports seats are also comfortable and supportive, but while sporty in name they don't lead to a sporty driving position; you sit too high and the small steering wheel completely blocks the instrument binnacle in anything approaching a comfortable driving position.
Finally, the higher-quality materials used in the interior of the range-topper are often found right next to harder, less easy-on-the-eye surfaces carried straight over from the £9995 base model.
Should I buy one?
It's certainly a stylish looker inside and out, but we can think of many better ways to spend £17,445 in the supermini segment, or indeed on other models from higher classes.
Feline trim's stand-out feature is the engine, but you're unlikely to miss the engine's extra grunt or the upgraded interior of the Feline when a still smart-looking diesel 208 with the same economy and more than respectable real-world performance can be had for almost £5000 less.
If you really have almost £18,000 burning a hole in your pocket and a 208 is the supermini for you, we'd wait and see if next year's GTI and DS3-rivalling X&Y models are able to offer that extra special something and justify the price tag.
Peugeot 208 1.6 e-HDi Feline
Price £17,445; 0-62mph 10.8sec; Top speed 118mph; Engine 4cyls, 1560cc, turbodiesel; Power 114bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 199lb ft at 1750rpm; Economy 74.3mpg; CO2 99g/km; Kerb weight 1090kg; Gearbox 6-spd manual