Road test: Peugeot 308 GTi

Posted on May 30th, 2016 by James Luckhurst

We were impressed by the solid, grippy road holding, and the fuel economy.

Road test: Peugeot 308 GTi

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What is it?

This is the hot, sporty version of the French small family hatchback, and it’s enormous fun to drive. It comes from the same Peugeot Sport design team as the RCZ R and the rather more brutal 208 GTi. If you like your cars this way, then we think this Peugeot a worthy rival to the SEAT Leon Cupra, the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS.

How safe is it?

Safety features include cruise control with speed limiter, visibility pack (automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, electrochrome auto dimming rear view mirror), front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera.

Who should buy one?
If performance and cost matter, then it’s cheaper (in its standard five-door form) than the VW Golf GTi. Taking things one stage further, the 270bhp version is half a second faster to 62 than the Golf.

Road test by James Luckhurst published 28 May 2016

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Road test: Peugeot 308 GTi

First impressions were confusing. Here was a simple, even bland-looking car that in seemed keen to disguise its true hot hatch credentials. But inside was a different story, and it was with some feeling of sheepishness that we grasped the tiny steering wheel and started up the engine. After all, something about it was saying ‘too old, too old…’
But driving it was an absolute pleasure, in all situations. There was not a hint of skittishness; the 250bhp version we tested displayed impeccable manners at low speeds, as well as comfort for front and rear seat occupants. Our efforts to exercise it when the opportunity arose were well rewarded. Acceleration was impressive and self-assured on the straight, steering was quick and precise, and going round corners the 308’s credentials really shone out. Grip was absolutely solid… yes, we really felt as though we were on rails.
Both versions of this car are powered by the (relatively) economical 1.6-litre THP engine, developed by Peugeot Sport. If you feel the 250 won’t quite cut it, then be ready to splash out an extra £1600 for the 270.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Road test: Peugeot 308 GTi

The five door set-up definitely assists on the practicality front, though most adults wouldn’t want to spend too long in the back. The 470 litres of boot space are every bit as good as you’ll get in the standard 308 model range.

SAFETY
Road test: Peugeot 308 GTi

Both the Jaguar XE and XF, are five-star rated in crash tests, so the F-Pace should be, too. Most versions will have all-wheel-drive and adaptive surface response (ASR) that make the car sure-footed over varying surfaces and road conditions. There is also an ingenious all surface progress control (ASPC) that works like a low-speed cruise control to give the car grip and safety in slippery conditions.

EQUIPMENT
Road test: Peugeot 308 GTi

The 250 comes with 18-inch Diamant alloy wheels, tinted rear side windows, full LED headlamps, dual zone climate control and Peugeot’s own ‘Open & Go’ keyless entry and push button start system. The 270 adds 19-inch Carbone alloys, Torsen limited slip differential, red painted brake calipers and GTi bucket seats with red stitching.

WE SAY
We were impressed by the solid, grippy road holding, and the fuel economy.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £26,555 as tested
Performance: 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds
Economy: 47.1mpg combined
Insurance: Group 34E
Tax: Band E (£130 first year)

Figures for the 308 GTi THP 250