Peugeot 308 GTi Review

The Peugeot 308 GTi has the performance and price to beat the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but not its class or quality

6/10
wowscore
This score is awarded by our team of
expert reviewers
With nearly 60 years of experience between them, carwow’s expert reviewers thoroughly test every car on sale on carwow, and so are perfectly placed to present you the facts and help you make that exciting decision
after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Quick for the price
  • Relatively cheap to run
  • Big boot

What's not so good

  • Uninspiring looks
  • Poor infotainment system
  • Golf GTI a better all-rounder

Peugeot 308 GTi Review

The Peugeot 308 GTi has the performance and price to beat the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but not its class or quality

6/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Quick for the price
  • Relatively cheap to run
  • Big boot

What's not so good

  • Uninspiring looks
  • Poor infotainment system
  • Golf GTI a better all-rounder
Buy a new or used Peugeot 308 GTi at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £27,815 - £30,745
  • Choose your perfect car
  • Dealers come to you with their best offers
  • Compare offers and buy with confidence

Peugeot 308 GTi: what would you like to read next?

Peugeot 308 GTi: what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

The Peugeot 308 GTi is the hot hatch version of the French firm’s small family car. It’s an alternative to the likes of the SEAT Leon Cupra and Volkswagen Golf GTI that comes with a minimalist cabin and a spacious boot, as well as a surprisingly powerful little engine.

In keeping with that minimalist theme, from the outside, there’s not much that distinguishes the Peugeot 308 GTi from other 308s. Well, not without hitting the options list, that is. There are a few red trim pieces in the front bumper, as well as lowered suspension and twin exhaust pipes. But, if you want something that stands out a bit more, you can pay extra for the ‘Coupe Franche’ paint job – a two-tone finish that makes the 308 GTi stick out like a sore thumb.

Inside, meanwhile, there are plenty of features that set the GTi apart. So, you sit in figure-hugging Alcantara and leather sports seats that hold you firmly in place in tight corners. You also get aluminium pedals, metal kick plates and lots of red stitching.

Unfortunately, while the interior looks nice and modern, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as solid or as upmarket as a Golf GTI or Leon Cupra. The infotainment system is also rather disappointing, as it isn’t particularly intuitive to use and the sat-nav can be tricky to follow.

On a more positive note, there is lots of room for adults in the front, along with plenty of space to store odds and ends. Sadly, the rear seat isn’t so accommodating, as there’s noticeably less kneeroom than you get in a Golf.

It’s a case of so near, yet so far, for the 308 GTi. It’s very close to being a great hot hatch, but it’s not quite on the money

Mat Watson
carwow expert

When you open the boot, though, you can see what’s happened. It looks like Peugeot has sacrificed some passenger space to allow for a bigger boot, as the 308 GTi’s boot is huge. It has more than enough space to carry a large baby buggy or four suitcases with room to spare. And, with the seats down, there’s significantly more space than you get in most alternatives.

Just as impressive is how much power the Peugeot 308 GTi’s relatively small 1.6-litre engine can produce – 262hp – and how much pulling power it delivers at relatively low revs. This means the car responds quickly and feels eager, without the driver having to constantly change gear.

It also helps make the Peugeot 308 GTi quicker than the VW Golf GTI. The 308 GTi gets from 0-62mph in just six seconds – that’s almost half a second quicker than the German machine.

Given the stats, it’s a shame that the Peugeot’s pokey engine doesn’t sound any more exciting. Admittedly, you can hear its likeable burble and the pops during full-bore gearchanges from the outside, but precious little of that noise makes its way into the cabin.

Running costs are impressive, though, with claimed fuel economy of 43.5mpg, although in normal driving conditions, you’ll more likely to see a figure in the mid- to high thirties. That’s on a par with the Golf GTI, but unfortunately the 308 doesn’t feel quite as agile or as sure-footed as the likes of the Golf GTI and Leon Cupra. This issue is somewhat compounded by the 308 GTi’s rather soft suspension, which wallows and bounces around more than a Leon Cupra, Megane RS or Golf GTI on bumpy country roads.

The Peugeot 308 GTi was built to beat its namesake from Volkswagen, and in many ways it does. But it can’t match the Golf’s breadth of talents or the way that the Golf feels special even in the mundane cycle of daily life.

Peugeot 308 GTi
RRP £27,815 Discover your best deals upfront
Buy a new or used Peugeot 308 GTi at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £27,815 - £30,745
  • Choose your perfect car
  • Dealers come to you with their best offers
  • Compare offers and buy with confidence
Build your own 308 GTi on carwow
Save on average £6,551 off RRP
  • Customise colour, engine, trim & much more
  • Receive offers from local and national dealers
  • Compare by price, location, buyer reviews and availability
  • Using carwow is 100% free and confidential
RRP £27,815 Find new, used & lease car deals