What is it?
The GT is a step down from the GTi, but not that bigger one.
We’re talking 165kW versus 200kW and 8-speed auto versus 6-speed manual.
BUT — and here’s the crunch — the GT is around $6000 less by the time you put it on the road. Gotta like that.
Limited to just 140 examples, the special edition GT is designed and engineered for those who want more performance without compromising overall comfort and practicality.
What’s it cost?
308 starts at $26,990 for the 1.2-litre turbocharged Active.
Then comes the better spec’d Allure petrol at $31,990 or diesel for $35,990.
The 1.6-litre turbo GT is $39,990 and GTi $45,990.
There’s also a diesel Allure wagon priced from $37,990.
You get the usual 308 stuff including dual climate control, city park assist, LED headlights, front and rear park sensors, plus a 9.7 inch touchscreen, with satnav, speed sign recognition, digital radiio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Gt adds 18 inch alloys, Black Alcantara sports seats with red stitching, and 10mm lower sports suspension.
Sports kit includes GT sports grille with chequerboard motif and red Peugeot lettering, black front centre trim, side skirt extensions, rear bumper finish with trapezoidal exhaust outlets.
Safety extends to six airbags, reverse camera, auto emergency braking, active cruise control with stop-and-go function, stability control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Emergency Collision Alert, Emergency Collision Braking, Emergency flashing hazard lights on heavy braking, and tyre pressure warning sensors.
What’s it go like?
Granted, it’s not quite the GTi but is still a force to be reckoned with.
With a 1.6-litre turbocharged four cylinder petrol engine, the 308 GTi develops 200kW of power and 330Nm of torque.
In the GT, in a different state of tune, it pushes out 165kW at 5500rpm and 285Nm, the latter from a low 1750rpm — about the same as the WRX used to.
While the GTi is manual only, the GT boasts an all-new 8-speed, full-fluid Aisin automatic transmission — the first of its kind in Australia.
The special edition 308 GT features lowered suspension — 7mm front and 10mm rear — with spring and damper rates that have been stiffened between 10 and 20 per cent.
The GT’s response to driver inputs has also been sharpened with firmer steering, sharper throttle mapping and sharper gear changes from the new automatic.
The extra oomph is augmented by beefed up brakes that provide greater modulation and excellent thermal resistance.
The 18 inch alloys are fitted with grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 3 rubber.
What it all adds up to is a car that’s a treat to drive.
Slipping behind the wheel for the first time, the driver is confronted by a very different dash and tiny steering wheel.
The instruments are mounted inside their own binnacle atop the dash, positioned to keep the driver looking forward rather than down, and negating to some extent the need for a heads-up display..
The tiny wheel has been a hallmark of sports cars since the year dot and a feature of Peugeot models for quite some time too, allowing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel even in tight turns — no shuffling required thank you.
Large gear change paddles are fixed to the steering column, so there’s no need to chase them around the wheel.
The asymmetrical centre cluster including the touchscreen is angled towards the driver.
High bolstered sports seats are finished in a combination of suede and leather, with manual height and lumbar adjustment — but no tilt function.
A start button is located in the centre console along with a rocker switch for Sport and Eco modes, and button for manual mode at the base of the gear lever.
Switching to sport artificially enhances the sound of the engine and turns the instrument panel an angry red, as well as enabling a bar graph for things like power, torque and turbo boost.
Engaging sport while in motion brings the car to life.
It delivers a noticeable lift in throttle response, shuts out top gear and is probably where you’ll end up leaving it.
The GT goes and stops hard, but we were disappointed the transmission doesn’t blip the throttle on downchanges — as we had hoped and expected.
Ride and handling is excellent on well formed roads, but get it mobile out in the sticks with its patchy roads and the result is not nearly as confident.
There’s plenty of float, lurch and lean as the suspension continually loads and unloads, with too much travel, hitting the bump stops when it shouldn’t.
This is why tuning a car for Australian roads is so important.
Oh, and decent aircon is a must too.
The system in our test vehicle was very average.
Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.0 L/100km.
Our trip computer showed 7.9 with a long term average of 7.5L/100km.
What we like?
- Nice paint job
- Love the wheels
- Elegant minimalist interior
- Dynamic drivetrain
- 5-year warranty
What we don’t like?
- Cramped back seat
- Fiddly cruise control
- Doesn’t blip the throttle
- Suspension could do with a local tune
The bottom line?
It’s a beautifully made motor car that could be enhanced with a suspension tune.
Sporty, stylish, fashionable and ready to do the shopping, or push the sport button and watch it light up — the dash changes colour, the exhaust drops an octave and Dr Jekyll becomes the aggressive Mr Hyde.
We’ll take two!
CHECKOUT: Peugeot 5008: My way or the Crossway?
CHECKOUT: Peugeot 308 GTi speaks to the heart
Peugeot 308 GT, priced from $39,990
- Looks - 8/108/10
- Performance - 8/108/10
- Safety - 8/108/10
- Thirst - 8/108/10
- Practicality - 7/107/10
- Comfort - 7/107/10
- Tech - 8/108/10
- Value - 8/108/10