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First Drive Peugeot 308 GTi 270. Image by Peugeot.

First Drive Peugeot 308 GTi 270
Peugeot's new 308 GTi 270 is a fast and composed hot hatch.

   



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Peugeot 308 GTi 270

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Peugeot has got back its GTi mojo, but it all feels too little too late in the hot hatch battleground where the 'high-power' 270hp model is trailing the most exciting rivals.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Peugeot 308 GTi 270
Price: 28,155
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 139g/km
Combined economy: 47.0mpg
Top speed: 155mph (electronically limited)
0-62mph: 6.0 seconds
Power: 270hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 330Nm at 1,900rpm

What's this?

Peugeot's 308 GTi 270, the French firm finally showing its hand in the super competitive hot hatch marketplace. The familiar 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine has had its power bumped to 270hp (there's a 250hp version too, but who's going to buy that?) and it's paired with a clever front differential, revised suspension and some red pin striping to signify its place at the sharp end of Peugeot's sporting offering. If you're thinking that 270hp sounds a bit lacking among the super/hyper/mega-hatch competition out there you'd be right; it's entry-level in the current power war, though it seems Peugeot thinks it's enough. Given Ford has just dropped details on the Focus RS, which gets 345hp and four-wheel drive for just under 800 more than Peugeot's asking for a GTi 270, we reckon Peugeot might have to turn the wick up a bit more - or offer the 308 GTi with a sizeable discount.

How does it drive?

You cannot fault the people at Peugeot Sport for their ability to set up a hugely capable car. In 270 guise the GTi gets a Torsen differential, which makes for an incisive front end, plenty of traction and masses of grip. All that makes for a car that's excellent at using all the power it's got, the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine helping with its smooth, linear power delivery and quick responsiveness. The suspension is taut, but there's that clever French hot hatch trick of matching its fine control with the sort of suppleness of ride that means it'll cope with even what passes for roads in the UK. The steering is light and quick, but there's no real feel at the tiny, strange-shaped rim - Peugeot persisting with its odd-sized and proportioned steering wheel. You can add some weight to it if you press the Sport button (this also means piped in engine sounds via the speakers), though we'd not bother, as it adds nothing but artificiality to the proceedings. Press it and there are red dials, too, but you'll be doing well to see them over the steering wheel. Otherwise the cabin sings from the familiar GTi hymn sheet, so there's a handful of GTi badges, some body-hugging sports seats and a wee bit of red here and there to remind you this isn't an ordinary 308.

That's the case with the exterior too, which gets some more red pin-striping, though the GTi struggles to really stand out among its own 308 GT-Line brethren. Subtle then, but that was always part of the appeal of GTis, even if nobody told its Cupra, Type R and Renaultsport competition. In that company the 308 GTi 270 not only looks a bit ordinary, but feels it, as for all its speed and capability, it's not hugely engaging. If it's everyday grins you're after rather than occasional speed, then there are more interesting cars in the class. Funny how the rate of progress means a composed, economical and rapid 270hp hatchback with loads of grip can be described as feeling pretty ordinary, but lined up against its obvious rivals, it does.

Verdict

The new Peugeot 308 is a GTi in the truest sense of the word, taking an ordinary family hatchback and adding speed, a sharper chassis and some red bits. The hot hatch game has moved on a fair bit since we were all eulogising about Peugeot's fast metal, and others offer a great deal more pace and, crucially, engagement. It's a good GTi, a great one even from Peugeot, but when rivals are packing 80 and more hp for much the same money, it does feel like Peugeot is chasing the pack without quite the firepower people in this class are now coming to expect.

3 3 3 3 3 Exterior Design

3 3 3 3 3 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 15 Oct 2015



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2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.



2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Image by Peugeot.
 






 

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