Peugeot 308 GTi 2018 review | Price, Features, Specs, Performance, Safety
Updated hot hatch remains a forgotten hero. DRIVE AWAY PRICE $50,417 FIND OUT MORE 1 / 16 photos DRIVE SCORE
Our auto expert reviewers have
awarded this score, after
thoroughly testing this car. Awarded by our team of car
testing expert reviewers. VALUE 8.0 SAFETY 8.0 COMFORT 7.0 PERFORMANCE 8.0 RESALE 6.0 SERVICING 4.0 SPACE 8.0 HANDLING 8.0 ECONOMY 4.0 CONNECTIVITY 8.0 OVERALL 7.0 DRIVE AWAY PRICE $50,417 BODY STYLE – Hatch 5 SEAT, 5 DOORS ENGINE POWER – 200KW 4 CYLINDER, 1.6 LITRE FUEL TYPE – PETROL 6L/100km FIND ME THIS CAR DRIVE SCORE
Our auto expert reviewers have
awarded this score, after
thoroughly testing this car. Willing engine Sharp dynamics Performance hardware Dodgy ergonomics Flat engine sound Looks plain VALUE 8.0 SAFETY 8.0 COMFORT 7.0 PERFORMANCE 8.0 RESALE 6.0 SERVICING 4.0 SPACE 8.0 HANDLING 8.0 ECONOMY 4.0 CONNECTIVITY 8.0 OVERALL 7.0 The French airforce doesn’t have a stealth bomber. But if the Armée de l’Air did move in that direction, it might look like the Peugeot 308 GTi.
Often overlooked by the motoring public – and automotive media – the Peugeot 308 GTi has struggled to find traction in Australia. A mid-life update killed off the wishy-washy ” GTi 250 ” model which lacked top-end power, big brakes and a proper limited slip differential, leaving the proper ” GTi 270 ” as the only model in the range.
1/3 Is it right for me? Can you live with a manual transmission? If not, the 308 GTi is not going to work for you. Stubbornly uncompromising in many ways, Peugeot engineers did not follow the lead of VW’s ultra-successful Golf GTI by developing a two-pedal variant of their hot hatch.
It also looks rather plain to our eyes – save for rather fetching 19-inch wheels and twin chrome exhaust pipes – bringing none of the visual menace wrought by Renault’s new Megane RS or the over-the-top chiselled Japanese comic book hero of Honda’s Civic Type R .
You also won’t hear a contrived bang and crackle from the exhaust to rival Ford’s Focus RS or the Hyundai i30 N .
Like we said, this one flies under the radar.
Can I afford it ? Peugeot rejigged its 308 GTi lineup to little fanfare in late 2017, dropping an entry-level model and reducing the remaining variant’s price to $45,990 plus on-road costs – a $4000 reduction.
The sticker puts the Pug above Hyundai’s i30 N and the revised, auto-only Golf GTI, but below the Renault Megane RS with Cup Pack and Honda Civic Type R.
Drive finds the best deal on your next car Tell us about yourself and our concierge service will help you find the perfect new car through our accredited Dealer network. Active FWD 2017 Small Hatchback $26,990 MSRP Repayments From $96 p/w i MORE Active FWD 2018 Small Hatchback $30,787 MSRP Repayments From $109 p/w i MORE Allure FWD 2017 Small Hatchback $32,990 MSRP Repayments From $117 p/w i MORE Allure FWD 2018 Small Hatchback $35,937 MSRP Repayments From $127 p/w i MORE Allure FWD 2018 Small Hatchback $40,057 MSRP Repayments From $142 p/w i MORE Allure FWD 2018 Small Wagon $42,117 MSRP Repayments From $149 p/w i MORE GTi FWD 2018 Small Hatchback $50,417 MSRP Repayments From $178 p/w i MORE My maximum budget is 40,000 x What do you get for your money? Well-equipped for the money, Peugeot’s contender brings proper performance hardware including a mechanically locking limited-slip diff, enormous 380mm front brakes with Alcon-sourced calipers, supercar-spec Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres and a punchy 1.6-litre turbo engine which delivers 200kW and 330Nm.
Everyday goodies include a 9.7-inch touchscreen display system with a reversing camera, sat nav and Apple CarPlay connectivity. You also get dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, beautifully finished sports seats and a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
1/2 How much does it cost to maintain? While Peugeot offers capped price serviving for the GTi, it is not exactly cheap at $2030 to cover the first three years of ownership – at least double that of an equivalent Honda or Hyundai.
Is it well built? Our test example felt reasonably solid, save for a couple of annoying squeaks in the dashboard. Peugeot’s strong warranty should help look after any problems that pop up.
What are the Standout features? The 308 GTi is a well-integrated machine with few features which truly leap out from the rest. That said, it does have the biggest brakes you will find on any car at this price.
What does it have that others don’t? A weight problem.
Kilos are the enemy of performance cars, and the Peugeot has a huge advantage over key competitors here.
The GTi’s trim circa-1200 kerb weight undercuts the porky Hyundai hot hatch by almost 300 kilograms while holding a 200 kilo advantage over Honda and Renault rivals.
How practical is it? The GTi also wins points by being able to seat five people in a pinch, and for having an impressive 470-litre boot space which stands as one of the most generous in its class.
1/2 Is it comfortable? That relatively skinny bod allows the 308 to tip-toe where others tromp, skipping over bumps with minimal cabin disturbance.
Though it misses out on multi-mode suspension offered by some alternatives, the 308 GTi’s fluid ride helps it flow along the road regardless of how fast you’re travelling.
But its comfort is ultimately compromised by a crucial flaw in the cabin.
Easy in, easy out? Peugeot forces drivers to compromise and meet its vision for ergonomic perfection. A comically tiny steering wheel sits in your lap, in many cases obscuring vision of driver gauges that lag behind the best for legibility.
Prefer to hold the wheel high, close to your chest? Tough luck, as the tiller does not match the level of adjustment served up by most hatchbacks.
Further compounding frustrations is a contradition between the wheel’s razor-sharp flick-of-the-wrists response which doesn’t match the long and lazy throw of a manual gearshift sorely lacking in precision. It’s like using chopsticks in your right hand while mashing potatos with your left, another ergonomic crime which compromises the driving experience.
1/3 Space and versatility? There’s a reasonable amount of room for passengers in the front and back, along with flat-fold seats which make it easy to carry bulky cargo.
What’s the engine like? Thankfully, those cabin quirks do not extend to a perky little engine which lends real pulling power to the 308 GTi.
Boasting the strongest power-to-weight ratio among front-drive hot hatches, the Pug’s engine pulls hard to deliver the sort of performance once reserved for homegrown V8s – think six seconds to 100km/h, a quarter mile dash in the low 14s and a top speed around 250km/h.
The motor gives its best when wrung out toward its redline, pulling smoothly throughouit the powerband to deliver impressive punch. That said, it is a little short on torque compared with 2.0-litre rivals, and can take a moment longer to deliver the sort of thrust you expect from a modern hot hatch.
We’ll also take a moment to whinge about a ‘sport’ mode which has little effect on its ultimate driving experience, save for turning the dashboard lighting red, making the digital speedo disappear and introducing an awful electronically synthesised facscimile of exhaust noise.
How much fuel does it consume? A key benefit of the 1.6-litre engine’s compact capacity (and the GTi’s slender silhouette) is that it uses much less fuel than rivals, sipping an impressive 6.0L/100km which ranks among the best in class.
Is it enjoyable to drive? That fuel never feels wasted, as the Peugeot is satisfying to drive in a variety of circumstances.
Easy enough when burbling around the ‘burbs, the GTi comes alive when let off the leash, bringing a surprising turn of pace, grip and feedback when prodded closer toward its ultimate potential.
1/3 Does it perform as you expect? Ultimately, the Peugeot 308 GTi delivers what most people ask of a hot hatch – it’s fast, practical and fun to drive.
Better value than before, the GTi deserves a place on hot hatch shoppers’ shortlists – as long as they can live with its quirks.
2018 Peugeot 308 GTi Price and Specifications
Price: From $45,990 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 200kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 330Nm at 1900-5500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, FWD
Fuel use: 6.0L/100km
2018 peugeot 308 GTi 308 gti hot hatch Peugeot peugeot 308 review David McCowen David McCowen is Drive?s news editor, combining automotive passion with more than a decade of reporting experience. Dave is often found at a racetrack ? either in the press room, or driving his hot hatch.
Comments Comments 3 3 Comments Gags — 15 Aug 2018 16:07 …comically tiny steering wheel….obscures vision.. How is that possible-unless you are only 5ft tall-when the over-the-wheel design of the dash position gives an unobstructed view of the dials? What exactly makes the wheel design comical? And really, who would buy a vehicle of this type if they intended to drive with the wheel in their chest under the chin. These are really petty and subjective comments.
LOAD ALL 3 COMMENTS Please Note: Leave a comment below to ask our expert editors anything related to the article you have just read. Let’s start a personal and meaningful conversation! Leave a comment (Get advice from an expert) Related articles REVIEW She Says, He Says: Peugeot 308 GTi by Lucas Kennedy + 1 more 08 May 2018 REVIEW Comparison test: Hyundai i30 N vs $40,000 rivals by David McCowen 06 Apr 2018 Sell your car without the hassle.
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