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How much? £22,445
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1598cc 16v 4cyl, 197bhp @ 5500rpm, 202 lb ft @ 1700rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 7.7sec 0-62mph, 140mph, 40.8mpg, 159g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1412kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4276/1821/1519
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Handling

Rated 4 out of 54

Performance

Rated 3 out of 53

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 3 out of 53

Readers' rating

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Peugeot 308 GT THP 200 (2011) CAR review

By Chris Chilton

First Drives

13 May 2011 10:29

‘In these modern times where comfort and convenience are becoming more important than ultimate performance, the Peugeot 308 GT THP 200 ticks all the boxes,’ says the worrying press release. So did Peugeot itself once again choose not to affix the i after G and T? Or did the i refuse to get involved point blank once it had seen the brief? 

It’s a worrying state of affairs when the chance to drive a fast Peugeot provokes this kind of response. But the glory days of the 205/309/106/306 GTIs have since long passed.Does the Peugeot 308 GT overcome our scepticism and prove to be a satisfying driver’s car? Read on for our test of the Peugeot 308 GT to find out…

Where does the Peugeot 308 GT fit in the enthusiast hatchback market?

At £21,995, it’s nearly £3k cheaper than the Golf GTI and comes with 18in alloys, part-leather seats, Bluetooth, cruise control and parking sensors, none of which are standard on the Volkswagen. Or, looking at it another way, it’s 40bhp gruntier than the warm Golf GT with which it is more closely aligned in terms of price and spirit.

How about the engine?

308 GT owners get Peugeot’s 1.6-litre turbocharged THP 200 engine. It’s based on the same PSA/BMW four-cylinder engine found in the Mini Cooper S, Citroen DS3, and Peugeot’s own RCZ. The 197bhp promises reasonable performance for the 308 GT and it also returns 41mpg and emits just 159g/km of CO2. Engine-wise, the signs are encouraging.

Driving the Peugeot 308 GT

Peugeot fans cringing at another negative press review will be delighted to know the 308 GT acquitted itself well in our testing. The steering is impressively sensitive on-centre and, providing the needle on the rev counter is past high noon, the 197bhp turbocharged 1.6 delivers useful thrust and a satisfying howl. But 7.9sec to 62mph is poor for a 200bhp hatch. The 308 is a tad too large and weighty for the 1.6 engine to motivate with proper hot-hatch vigour.

Any other downsides?

The 308 GT is a visual let-down, offering little differentiation from the regular 308. That it comes only in five-door form isn’t really an issue; most Golf GTIs are ordered with back doors too. But even the big rims and 308CC’s rear diffuser don’t lend the GT much in the way of hot hatch presence. We know, it’s a GT not a GTI, but the standard 308 is hardly a looker and it’s a shame Peugeot didn’t make a bigger effort with this enthusiast version.

While the cabin is a quality affair and features the de-rigeur flat-bottomed steering wheel, the pedal positions make it feel more like operating a foot-powered Victorian sewing machine than driving a car. It’s the sort of thing that a more rousing overall performance might have relegated to a nit-picking flaw, but the 308 GT can’t charm its way out of the criticism.

Verdict

Sporty? Luxurious? The 308 GT falls between two stools but manages not to be one itself. It’s a decent car, surprisingly fun in fact, but we can see certainly see why the i sat this one out.

>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think of the Peugeot 308 GT THP 200

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eugenerv

eugenerv says

RE: Peugeot 308 GT THP 200 (2011) CAR review

I wonder how many of the people who made comments here actually drove the car? More importantly, I wonder how many of them, including the journalists, drove this car back to back with other hot hatches...

I own a 308gti (it is badged gti here in South-Africa). I have been driving it daily for 4 months now and also often drive it back to back with a friends Golf VI Gti.

Yes, the Pug is off the Golf's ultimate pace, but when you jump from one to the other the Golf doesn't really give you the feeling that it punches significantly harder than the Peugeot. The Peugeot has the Golf licked when it comes to driving enjoyment though. It is a much more fluid car to drive, it doesn't bounce over less than perfect tar like the Golf, it doesn't skip around nearly as much, it doesn't get deflected when hitting mid corner bumps. It just flows over them, staying flat and controlled yet comfortable. Here the superiority of PSA suspension design shines through. The nicest thing though is the engine's sound that enters the cabin when you open the throttle. It growls seductively and howls to the redline but quiets down when cruising or using smaller throttle openings. The golf just puffs and blows like any other four cylinder.

Whats more is that the Peugeot matches the Golf blow by blow for interior quality, but boasts a much higher specced interior for a much lower price. The difference in price in South-Africa between the two cars is close to R40 000 (roughly 4000 pounds). The interior design of the Peugeot is also more sports car like, with a low flat facia with attractive chrome ringe round ventilation holes, a full glass sunroof... I could go on.

The fact is, this car is priced closer to a Polo GTi, but delivers more refinement and spec than a Golf Gti, and entertains just as much if not more...

So I do not understand why it is claimed that Peugeot lost it's mojo or that this car does not deserve the i in gti. Perhaps the testers should have less pre conceived ideas in their minds when testing French cars and perhaps people should drive the cars before making pointless flawed comments.

 

01 July 2011 13:51

 

andrew456

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andrew456 says

RE: Peugeot 308 GT THP 200 (2011) CAR review

 Really? They couldn't use the facelifted model?

21 May 2011 19:05

 

andrewmorten

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andrewmorten says

RE: Peugeot 308 GT THP 200 (2011) CAR review

Considering cops, cameras and insurance, not to mention public sentiment to hooning, seem to have moved on since 1993, maybe its suitable that the Peugeot hatch has too. Sad though. 35 kms in a 205gti were 35 great km's and I probably didnt get much over the speed limit. But then we want too much from our cars to ever get light weight, nimble wee runabouts these days. 

19 May 2011 21:18

 

kdolton

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kdolton says

RE: Peugeot 308 GT THP 200 (2011) CAR review

 So 200 bhp is now just a 'warm' hatch? I remember the Ferrari Dino 206 GT - 160 bhp and 138 lbft. It did weigh not much more than 900 KG though.

17 May 2011 08:48

 

Robby1977

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Robby1977 says

RE: Peugeot 308 GT THP 200 (2011) CAR review

In the light of past Peugeot masterpieces in this field, this compromise (to be polite) is (an unfunny) Joke.

 

Peugeot - you ought to be hanging your head in shame.

16 May 2011 12:18

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