Peugeot 308 GTi review – a genuine alternative to the Golf GTI - Living with a Peugeot 308 GTI

An exciting hot hatch with typical French quirks

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

Flip open the July 2017 issue of evo, number 236, and you'll find our final report on our long-term Peugeot 308 GTI. It's a car that took time to ingratiate itself with us, partly thanks to its first keeper not getting on with the unusual layout of the instruments and the small steering wheel, but by the time it left we rated the car almost as highly as previous Peugeot Sport offerings like the RCZ-R and 208 GTI.

Much of this was down to its performance, with the 1.6-litre engine able to deliver a killer punch despite its small capacity, and the chassis more than capable of handling that power. It has superb body control, a pointy and aggressive front end, and an effective limited slip differential. Strong brakes too, which meant you could carry big speed into, through and out of any given corner.

There were some liveability issues, namely the love/hate driving position and the way almost all the car's functions are controlled through a touchscreen (and not a great touchscreen at that), but otherwise the cabin was attractive (and showed no signs of poor build over 15,000 miles) and practical. We had the car serviced once, for a reasonable £190.

Perhaps the greatest praise we could heap upon our long-termer is that it felt more like a genuine hot hatchback than its closest rival, the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Some might prefer the undemanding nature of the Golf's cabin, driving position and more relaxed chassis, but for us the Peugeot's excitement makes it the more appealing car.

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