Peugeot 308 GTI Review

Written by Andrew Brady

heycar ratingAlmost a Volkswagen Golf GTI...
  • 2015
  • Hot hatch
  • Petrol

Quick overview


  • Not as ‘in your face’ as the Honda Civic Type R
  • Interior feels well finished
  • Impressive mix of everyday usability and driving fun


  • Not everyone will appreciate the subdued styling
  • Costlier to run than a standard Peugeot 308
  • Arguably the Volkswagen Golf GTI is a better choice

Overall verdict

"The Peugeot 308 GTi has a great and appealing blend of usability and performance. True, the Volkswagen Golf might be a little better when it comes to fit and finish and the Ford Focus ST can be bought for less money, but Peugeot has truly rediscovered its hot hatch flair with the 308 GTI."

Peugeot 308 GTI front

A Peugeot hot hatch. Once upon a time, those words would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but in the 2000s the French carmaker lost its form with far from impressive 'hot' hatches like the 307 GTi.  Thankfully, the 308 GTi is based on one of the best Peugeots of recent years and it has some impressive performance figures too. Could it be a better everyday performance car than the Volkswagen Golf GTI?

Power comes from a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, with either 250PS or 270PS. The more powerful model benefits from uprated brakes, larger alloy wheels and a Torsen differential designed to improve traction out of tight bends, plus it’s slightly faster from 0-62mph (6.0 seconds versus 6.2 seconds). These extras might be worth it for trackday lovers, but the 250PS version is all most drivers will need.

Peak torque is the same 330Nm regardless of the power output, though the 270 model has a slightly wider torque spread. In practice, on the road, it’s hard to tell the difference - both the 250 and 270 provide serious pace, giving excellent overtaking ability and a very impressive blend of everyday usability and handling prowess.

However, the 250’s slightly smaller alloy wheels give a touch more compliance on broken surfaces. The suspension set up isn’t overly firm, so potholes and speed bumps aren’t uncomfortable, yet body roll is kept at bay. The steering is precise and well-weighted plus there is a huge amount of front grip, which all adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable drive on British back roads, regardless of how lumpy, bumpy and uneven they are.

There’s a sport button in the cabin that turns the dials red, pipes more intake sound into the cabin and sharpens up the throttle response, all adding a little more to the already enjoyable experience. The only criticism that you can level at the 308 GTi is that the steering can sometimes feel a little numb and lacking when it comes to feedback. Some drivers might not like the tiny steering wheel either, but these are minor problems.

The 308 GTi gets its own alloy wheel designs and a few styling flourishes, but Peugeot has been fairly subtle with the looks, especially when compared to something like the wild, wide and winged Honda Civic Type R. The 270PS 308 GTi does look a little tougher thanks to the giant, red-painted brake callipers, but it’s still subdued for a hot hatch.

Standard equipment includes full LED headlights, 18-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, keyless start, auto lights, auto wipers, DAB radio, navigation and Bluetooth connectivity. The 270PS model gets the aforementioned larger 19-inch alloy wheels, differential and brakes, plus more supportive bucket seats.

There is of course no shortage of competition among hot hatches with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane R.S all excellent choices.

Comfort and design

"The cabin is as neat and classy as in the regular 308, with high-quality materials and a handsome, clutter-free centre stack. This is dominated by a touchscreen system with controls for everything – navigation, air conditioning, audio and phone. This works fine in theory, but in practice it would be nice to have separate temperature and fan controls, since they’re easier to operate quickly on the go."

Peugeot 308 GTI boot

Setting the GTi apart from lesser 308 models is a pair of supportive yet comfortable sports seats up front, plus various red detailing throughout. Despite those few sporty flourishes it’s still very much a sensible, practical family car. There is a reasonable amount of rear leg and headroom and a wide, low and sizable boot. Load capacity is 470 litres or 1309 litres to the roof with the rear seats folded.

Handling and engines

"Once playtime is over and sport mode is switched off the 308 GTi is still good to drive."

Peugeot 308 GTI driving

The gearbox is slick, refinement is good and the low-down torque makes town and motorway driving easy.

MPG and fuel costs

"Official economy is 47.1mpg, while CO2 emissions are 139g/km."

Peugeot 308 GTI driving

VED is affordable for such a high performance car and fuel bills shouldn’t be too steep in everyday driving.

Trim levels and standard equipment

"The GTi 250 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, GTi exterior and interior styling details, full LED headlights and taillights, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, speed limiter, electric parking brake, automatic lights, automatic wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding door mirrors, keyless entry, start button, 9.7-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bluetooth, USB-in, DAB radio and sports seats with leather effect."

Peugeot 308 GTI rear

The GTi 270 gains 19-inch alloy wheels, Torsen front limited-slip differential, upgraded brake calipers and discs by Alcon and GTi bucket seats.