What is it?
Peugeot has declared its intention to move its image upmarket, and this, the Peugeot 208 XY is the first attempt at something overtly 'premium'. Already shown as a concept, the XY reaches the showrooms priced from £16,545 (a 118bhp 1.6) to £18,045 (113bhp 1.6 e-HDI). The turbo petrol 1.6 THP tested here, with 154bhp, costs £17,495, which is £1400 less than a 208 GTI.
These are big tickets for plush versions of a mainstream supermini, but the rich, dark metallic paints – 'Purple Night' is the signature shade – and the lush interior trim might help justify the cost. It's also available in white.
There's also the fact that the XY shares its widened track, 17in wheels, slender wheelarch trims, rear spoiler (THP only, on account of its pace) and lower-body addenda with the 208 GTI, so it has more road presence than a humbler 208. Body style is three-door only and a panoramic glass roof is standard.
As for the name, it represents the male and female chromosomes, apparently, to make the point that this car is intended to appeal across the gender divide.