For a very long time there has been a battle between Volkswagen fans and Peugeot fans regarding who has the better GTI. Both offer enjoyable GTI ranges, but right now Peugeot might have a nose in front with their new 308 GTI 270. Remember though, this is all cyclical – it’ll be only a matter of time before Volkswagen wow us with a better alternative.
Okay, I’ve probably just provoked an enormous amount of Golf GTI fans. But, before you let rip, I feel it important to mention that the 270bhp on offer in this machine comes from a very special 1.6 litre THP engine, which was engineered by the Peugeot Sport team. This is the same engine that you will find in the RCZ-R.
Peugeot has made their way back to the standard that they delivered with the 205 GTI. In terms of standard, the 308 GTI is like a modern equivalent, but with a smaller, more powerful, engine.
There are two GTI options on the Irish market, the 250bhp or the 270bhp. We were lucky to get the 270 and with it you also get a limited slip differential, which aids in keeping that grip on corners – it really is nice – especially when you are accelerating out of them. The handling in this lion is excellent and its grip is superb. It feels close to the ground, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering that it is sitting 11mm lower than a regular 308.
The GTI 270 also benefits from bigger brakes than the 250, as well as sportier seats and bigger wheels. The stats with the 270 are impressive too. It’ll bring you from 0-100km/h in just 6 seconds, which is a nose faster than the Golf GTI off the mark (which gets the job done in 6.4 seconds). Top speed brings you to a limited 250km/h.
Another great feature of this hot hatch is the fact that it can actually be driven economically. I’m not kidding, turn off that “sport” button and things calm down. Peugeot quote 6l/100km – obviously we didn’t get that, but the tank brought us much further than we thought it would have.
While it may have some impressive stats, it certainly isn’t a time for Peugeot to get complacent. Volkswagen will come up trumps again. Peugeot also needs to keep a keen eye on the SEAT Leon Cupra – a very under rated car that’s getting better all the time.
Regardless of the competition, the Peugeot 308 GTI is a car that will turn heads to those who are interested in hot hatches, it also guarantees a smile to the driver’s face. This car will not be ignored.
Prices for the Peugeot 308 GTI start from €40,175.
Photos by Mannon Gustave – Car Buyers Guide