Does the new Peugeot 308 GT Line drive as sporty as it looks, Hannah Gordon finds out
What is it? The Peugeot 308 GT Line is a sporty looking hatchback wrapped around a very economic engine, it would seem like its the best of both worlds in a competitive hatchback market.
Who is it aimed at? This GT line is a step below the full GT range and offers a greater choice of engines, the 308 is aimed at the portion of public who want an aesthetically sporty looking car but need the space and practicality a frugal hatchback offers.
Styling? Very similar looking to the Vauxhall Astra the 308 GT Line has taken a dramatic twist away from its ugly predecessor the 307. Its wider and lower which helps improve both its looks and handling. The GT Line comes with a new badge placement on the grill, LED lights, tinted windows and larger 18” wheels. The rear is blessed with a twin exhaust and black diffuser which leave a lasting impression to motorists you leave in your wake. If the verdict on this car was just about its outside styling it would be onto a sure winner.
Under the bonnet? This test car came with the 1.6 litre diesel, it has a top speed of 117mph and a 0-62mph time of 10.3 seconds. This engine has been let down by the need for economy and doesn’t fill you with the sporty mentality that the exterior promises. I found the manual gearbox notchy which was disappointing, but overall the engine is smooth and easily makes progress when needed.
What about inside? The interior within the GT line models carries on the sporty exterior, the small leather steering wheel is a neat touch but is hard to get in a position where you can see all the dials. The seats are comfortable and come with heating and massage functions for added comfort. There are hints of aluminium around the pedals and the simple dashboard from regular 308’s is carried into the GT Line. The touch screen control panel that runs all the systems is a bit slow and is difficult to use whilst driving. Cabin space is ok, the rear lacks room for tall adults but the boot space beats a lot of competitors for size.
On the road? Its evident that the 308 is set up with comfort and refinement in mind, the suspension is mostly ok but there is a hint of body roll when pushing the car through corners. The car is lower and wider than previous which definitely helps the ride. The test car came with the Sport Pack (£370 option) that sharpens throttle response, changes the steering feel and adds a sportier synthetic gurgle to the engine note, which sounds silly when paired with a diesel engine.
What about Safety?This car has a 5 star NCAP rating. Extras including Blind Spot monitoring that has a sensor in the wing mirror which picks up cars coming up alongside, it is a £400 extra. Another safety feature that comes in at £450 is the Driver pack which includes Emergency collision and brake system if the car senses an impending accident.
Options? The usual extras apply to the Peugeot such as Metallic paint at £525, the Keyless entry and start function is a £415 extra and will appeal to some buyers. Due to the minimalistic dash area a CD player is an added £80, but the two extras worth getting in my opinion is the Sport pack (£370) and the Drivers pack (£450).
Will it break the bank? This 308 GT Line range comes with plenty of petrol and diesel options, but the test vehicle came with a 1.6 diesel that claimed a combined figure of 74.3 mpg that puts it near the top of its sector in the market for economy. A CO2 output of 98g/km and a tax charge of zero will definitely make it a favourite with the penny pinchers of the world.
So the verdict? The Peugeot 308 GT Line definitely looks the part, the improved stance and sporty exterior decoration makes it a stand out car which Peugeot have spent a long time trying to create. The inside space is comfortable but the touch screen is a slight worry especially with Peugeots of the past having electrical problems. The engine range is vast and there should be an engine to suit, but the manual gearbox is an irritant so try out the automatic. Overall the 308 GT Line is a mixture of sporty looks and frugal engines, but if you really want a sport experience go for the proper Peugeot 308 GT.
Peugeot 308 GT Line Blue HDi 120
Max speed: 117 mph 0-62 mph: 10.3 seconds Emissions: 98 g/km
Model price range: from £22,595
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 74.3 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 370 litres
Length: 4253 mm
Width: 2043 mm
Height: 1457 mm
Wheelbase: 2620 mm
17th of June, 2015