Peugeot 308 GTI 1.6M Turbo Glass Roof 5-dr Review
Lion Heart

Story and Photos by Mark Yeo
1 Apr 2012

With a 200bhp heart under the bonnet, the 308 GTi certainly has the performance on paper. Mark Yeo finds out if it goes like a proper GTi.

Introduction, styling

While the Germans can lay claim to be the creators of the hot hatch, arguably the French can say that they make the best hot hatch models ever made. The French hot hatch hall of fame include the Renault Clio Williams, Renault 5GT Turbo, two generations of the Renaultsport Clio, Renaultsport Megane R26, Renaultsport Megane 250, Peugeot 309 GTi, Citroen Saxo VTS and last but not least, the one that many consider to be the best of the lot, the Peugeot 205GTi.

As you can see from the models mentioned above, the majority of the best of French hot hatches hail from Renault even though the Peugeot 205 GTi is commonly considered to be the greatest of them all. So why aren’t there more Peugeots in the list then? The reason is pretty simple really: The Lion have not been able replicate the same formula that made the 205 GTi so great with subsequent GTi and hot hatch models. There were signs of brilliance from time to time like with the 206 GTi and RC but none of the models after the 205 GTi came anywhere near as great as it was.

The recently introduced 308 GTi is the latest Pug to wear the revered and evocative GTi badge so the big question is, will Peugeot return to GTi greatness with the 308 GTi or will it just be a warm rather than true hot hatch? Let’s find out.

On the outside, the five-door only 308 GTi differs from lesser 308 models via its darkened headlamps, garang-looking five-spoke 18-inch alloys in dark anthracite, lowered suspension, deeper rear bumper with black diffuser inserts, sizable twin chrome exhaust tips as well as a larger roof spoiler at the rear. Obviously, the GTi comes with the obligatory GTi badgings but you won’t find any on its tailgate if you’re following behind one, instead the only GTi badges on the exterior can only be found on the front doors and they aren’t very prominent either.

While the GTi’s striking wheels and lowered suspension give it a slightly more purposeful stance than regular 308s, the overall styling is just isn’t sporty or racy enough for a hot hatch with the highly coveted GTi moniker – the 308 GTi’s looks just won’t set the hearts of hot hatch aficionados on fire. 

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Engine Capacity 1598cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.5:01:1
Bore x Stroke (77 x 85.8)mm
Power 200bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 275Nm @ 1700rpm
Power to Weight 143 bhp per ton


Acceleration 7.7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 237 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 6.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Manual
Drive Type FF


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4276 x 1821 x 1519) mm
Wheelbase 2608 mm
Kerb Weight 1399 kg


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs