Peugeot 308 GTi review – a genuine alternative to the Golf GTI - Engine and transmission

An exciting hot hatch with typical French quirks

Evo rating
from £29,000
  • Sophisticated dynamics, performance, style inside and out
  • Interior layout may completely rule the car out for some

The 308’s 1.6-litre turbo engine is the same as that powers the RCZ-R coupe, and comes with forged aluminium pistons, strengthened conrods and reinforced retaining bolts. However, it has been retuned for the 308 GTi to create a broader torque curve. But this hasn’t detracted from just how competent and exciting the engine can be.

The 308 GTi comes with a six-speed manual, it’s the only transmission available but that’s no hardship as it has plenty to offer. The gate is well defined and the movement feels slick, each change is also accompanied by a pleasing clickety-clack noise. The gear ratios are closely stacked so you end up making frequent changes.

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It isn’t quite perfect though, the lever feels slightly too long and the knob on the end doesn’t feel securely mounted. Both are only a problem if you’re focusing on them and almost disappear when you are concentrating on driving.


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