Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the Peugeot 308 GT.
There’s no questioning that the king of the ‘hot hatch’ bunch is the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
I’m pleased to say though that this new Peugeot 308 GT comes close to matching the VW in a number of areas and that can only be a good thing for competition.
Firstly, the Peugeot 308 GT comes in two forms – 151kW/285Nm 1.6 litre turbo-petrol, or 133kW/400Nm 2.0 litre turbo-diesel. Interestingly, the petrol engine is manual-only (six-speed) and the diesel is auto-only (also six-speed).
I had a week getting about in the diesel/auto 308 GT and was left quite impressed. Around town I averaged 6.4L/100kms; the official claimed combined rate for the 308 GT is just 4.0L/100kms!
Like any engine, the more sedate you drive it the better the fuel economy – with the Peugeot 308 GT you also have the option of using the ‘Sports’ mode and of course this will drive fuel consumption up.
But, with a healthy 400Nm on tap, you never really need to push this vehicle; it’s just an awful lot of fun when you do let the ‘cat’ out of the bag!
0-100km/h sprint time is listed at 8.4 seconds for the diesel, 7.5 seconds for the turbo-petrol. This compares poorly though with the VW Golf GTI’s 6.5 seconds.
I was surprised that the diesel time was that slow as this really feels like a quick, powerful and very willing goer.
It may not be as fast as the Golf in a straight line but I was very impressed with the Peugeot 308 GT’s steering/handling and chassis. This car loves a sweeping bend and the grip and confidence inspiring feel when pushed are real highlights.
The ride though had a firmer feel than what I remembered in the Golf and that, along with quite firm seats, gives the Peugeot a feel more sports than comfort focussed.
The cabin, though being very nicely put together and displaying more than acceptable levels of feel and quality, left me just a little disappointed. It was mainly just a few little things – such as a lack of centre console space that helped take some of the shine off.
Rear seat legroom is also not a 308 GT strong point, and I felt the steering wheel could have had a little more upward travel, I never felt really 100% comfortable.
I’m also not a massive fan of the new smooth and clean infotainment system interfaces. For example, on the Peugeot the buttons used to change from radio to climate setting etc. had no tactile feel – thus you have to take your eyes off the road to make any changes.
With absolutely no traditional climate adjustment controls in the car this makes the issue that little more prevalent.
The actual software used in the Peugeot though is generally user-friendly enough, though at times, especially when completing simple tasks like changing radio stations, I thought it was just a bit too complex.
If there’s one area though where the Peugeot 308 GT more than holds its own its in standard features. Amongst a selection of standard features you get; sat-nav, reverse camera, push-button ignition (centre console), electric/massaging front seats and Auto Park assist.
Boot space is respectably large.
Stepping outside of the Peugeot 308 GT I was very impressed with the quality of the paintwork and, in particular, the chrome work used around the windows.
With a Peugeot 308 GT you get the reassurance of a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; naturally, if you’re in the market for a hot hatch you will check out the Volkswagen Golf GTI and while it’s an impressive offering there are other options.
The Peugeot 308 GT offers the same sporty feel as the Golf, but delivers better value for money through the generous standard features it boasts.
It’s not as fast, but in saying that the diesel Peugeot boasts a healthy 50Nm more than the GTI and that makes highway running and hill climbing more enjoyable/easy.
Overall though, this is a vehicle I would be test driving before I put my money down anywhere else.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Peugeot 308 GT diesel
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 133kW and 400Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $42,990