The new Peugeot 308 GTi THP 270 has been causing quite a stir of late, combining as it does, a phenomenal engine worthy of the GTi moniker with all of the practicality and style that a modern five door hatchback has to offer.
Styling is in the eye of the beholder but to my mind, the Peugeot does a great job of looking aggressive enough to satisfy the youthful vote whilst also projecting a more mature sense of style that the rest of us can enjoy. My highlight, the large air intake underneath the signature ‘GTi’ grille which has a stunning red highlight along the base and sides which contrasts beautifully with the optional pearlescent paint of this test model whilst the Sports front bumper and side skirts, added to the lowered ride height of 11mm over the standard model and twin rear exhausts, give this GTi a grown up look all of it’s own.
Sitting inside the GTi doesn’t disappoint either, with the addition of the panoramic glass roof, GTi bucket seats in leather effect and half alcantara with red stitching and Peugeot Sport branding, a Mistral Nappa GTi style leather compact steering wheel measuring just 351mm x 329mm, which leaves a clear view of the head-up instrument cluster and clever use of GTi badges throughout.
With a capacity of 1598cc matched to an willing turbocharger, this Peugeot Sport engine delivers 272hp at 6000 revs whilst still including start stop technology. Over a week of mixed driving and around 600 miles, the 308 GTi was still hovering around 40mpg meaning that, with far more restraint being shown, a figure much nearer the claimed combined figure of 47.1mpg should easily be achievable and this with CO2 emissions of just 139g/km as well.
This is a car that can be easily driven sensibly to the shops and to work but by pressing the all important sport button, the GTi changes from a do anything family hatchback into a supremely fast racer for the road. With a 0-62mph time of just 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, this is a very fast car, be in no doubt about that, a sensation and feeling that depressing the sport button intensifies ten fold.
With dual zone climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, electric handbrake, automatic headlights & windscreen wipers, electrochrome auto dimming rear view mirror, reversing camera, front & rear parking sensors, SAT NAV, USB & aux in, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and a trip computer, this Peugeot is not a compromise.
So what you have here is a well specified, family five door hatchback with folding rear seats and a fantastic boot that combines efficiency with economy and yet, at the touch of a button, you have a car that kicks you in the back and throws you up the road and through the bends at a quite astonishing rate.
And the price for all this excellence? Just £28,890 as tested. Brilliant work Peugeot.
Where will you go?