Driven: Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport THP 250 Review
We tested the Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport THP 250 out for a week and here is what we thought about this powerful hot hatch.
What is the Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport THP 250 all About?
The Peugeot 308 GTi is, of course, the fast version of the well known 308. The hot GTi version is made in 2 trim configurations; the 250 hp and 270 hp versions, with the latter getting more power and the Torsen limited-slip differential.
The car that we are testing is the 308 GTi 250 hp model. Will we miss that extra 20 hp? The car by default is very well fitted out. Some of the highlights from the model for me are the 18 inch alloy wheels, sportier body kit and very tasteful front racing-style seats.
The design of the car, although it is clearly sporting, isn’t over-the-top, similar to what you would see in the new Honda Civic Type-R. The styling has been done in a very mature manner and I think if you were to remove the GTi badging and the red lip on the front bumper, people might not know this was a GTi.
The Peugeot 308 that we have on test is powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine. This tiny engine creates an incredible 250 hp and 330 Nm of torque. This power goes through to just the front wheels using a 6-speed manual gearbox. The car will get from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds and will do a top speed of 155 mph. This fast hatch will do a combined economy figure of 47 mpg and will create 139 g/km of CO2 in the process.
How Does it Drive?
The 308 is fitted with Peugeot Open & Go system, meaning you can walk up to the car with the key in your pocket, open the car door, hit the start button and you’re moving.
The GTi is just as simple to drive as any other 308 in the range, but there is some magic that happens when you hit the Sport button in the car. The throttle mapping instantly feels a lot sharper, the engine sound is made louder, the driver’s instruments change from white to red and additional information such as power, torque and boost are shown on the dashboard. These are all simple touches but add hugely to the driving experience.
The throttle mapping makes the biggest difference to the driver; the car feels so much more responsive and, with the smallest touch on the throttle, the 308 launches itself off towards the horizon. This blast is matched with a deep growl from the engine via its twin exhaust pipes, making a symphony for the ears and really capturing the classic rally sound that we all love from a Peugeot.
Once you get to a corner the GTi impresses once again. The car feels incredibly flat and well posed on both turn in and throughout the corner, even at speed. The GTi, because of its relatively small size and low weight, allows you to take tight corners at speeds that you wouldn’t normally consider and encourages you to be playful with the car.
The 308 GTi is huge amounts of fun on the road and knowing that there is a 270 hp model available, I find it hard to see where I would need that additional power on the road, but I’m sure it would prove useful on the track. The Torsen limited-slip differential however I can see would add great value; from testing the car in wet conditions I believe it would be greatly improved with this addition. This also gives you a good excuse to buy the more powerful model!
What is it Like Inside?
Getting inside the car the first thing that you will notice, as with most of the Peugeot range, is that the steering wheel is incredibly small. This appears odd until the moment you use it and then you see how it gives the car a bit of a go-kart feel, I found that I really quite liked it.
The next thing that will capture your attention are the 2 huge sports seats made up from a mix of leather and Alcantara, they are a masterpiece to look at and even have some Peugeot Sport branding on them just for good measure. The seats hug you tightly and add to how sporty the car feels.
The infotainment system is the 9.7 inch multifunction touch screen that incorporates most of the functionality of the car into a single interface. This means all-in-one you have your entertainment, phone integration sat-nav and even heating control, removing a lot of the buttons from the central console and an all-round cleaner looking dashboard.
The Peugeot 308 GTi experience is that of a pure hot hatch, it’s an adrenaline-powered everyday supercar that pleases all your senses. The power is more than you would ever need for the UK roads, but the sound of the exhaust system with a touch of dump-valve noise makes your face light up.
The value from the driving experience is phenomenal, the 308 GTi will make you feel like a racing driver on your way to work and is so rewarding to drive whether at 30 mph or 70 mph.
After spending a decent amount of time testing the 308 GTi, it’s safe to say that this hot hatch is boat loads of fun; it’super-fast on the track, rewarding to the driver, not forgetting very practical, comfy and has lots of kit as well. And with the magic that Peugeot Sport have added, the car is also now a lot more appealing and will thrill the socks off even the most experienced of drivers.
Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport THP 250
- Price: £26,555
- Engine: 1.6 litre Turbocharged Petrol
- Power: 250hp
- Torque: 330Nm
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 6.2 Seconds
- Top speed: 155mph
- Weight: 1,205kg
- Economy: 47mpg
- CO2: 139g/km
Author: Paul Hadley