Peugeot 308 GTi (2015-2020)

Models Covered

5dr Hatch (1.6 THP petrol)


Ultimate super-hatches cost a lot to run. In Peugeot’s 308 GTi, you won’t be far off that level of performance - and you’re promised handling that enthusiasts will love. Yet thanks to a light, hi-tech ‘EMP2’ chassis and a down-sized 1.6-litre turbo engine, you get a sensible set of running costs. It’s a tempting package.

The History

Peugeot has a strong history in family hatch-sized hot GTi contenders. Here's one of the most potent ever, a ‘T9’-series 308 GTi model launched in 2015 that produces up to 272bhp and does battle in this sector with key hot hatch contenders from this period like Ford’s Focus ST and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Having established its hot hatch credentials with the 205 GTi of 1984 and followed up this iconic model in the Eighties and Nineties with a string of other memorable shopping rockets, Peugeot rather lost its way after the turn of the century when it came to cars of this kind. By 2015 though, the marque’s specialist ‘Peugeot Sport’ division had been showing signs of a return to form, with the introduction of cars like the 208 GTi and the RCZ R.

Two variants of this model were offered, one with 250bhp, the other with 272bhp. Both though, manage to deliver more performance than rival Golf GTI or Focus ST hot hatches from this era, thanks in no small measure to this Peugeot’s superior power-to-weight ratio. As a result, this car can almost boast enough firepower to take on pricier shopping rockets with 300bhp or more, contenders like Audi’s S3 or Honda’s Civic Type-R. It’s all quite promising.

All the competitors just mentioned so far though, have 2.0-litre turbo engines. You might reasonably wonder whether this 308 can actually deliver all it needs to in taking on these cars with a smaller turbocharged 1.6. It’s worth a drive to find out, especially in the 272bhp version that was standardised after the facelift in 2017. The 308GTi sold until the end of the ‘T9’-series MK2 308 model’s production run at the end of 2020.

What You Get

There are two schools of thought when it comes to styling a hot hatch of this sort. Either you prioritise subtlety, as does Volkswagen’s Golf GTI. Or you go for the all-out ‘boy racer’ look, as does Honda’s Civic Type-R. In its standard form, you’d have to say that this ‘T9’-series 308 GTi leans towards the less shouty end of the spectrum. At the front, full-LED headlamps with jewel-like daytime running light strips flank a ‘GTI grille’ that features red ‘Peugeot’ lettering and a ‘chequered flag’ design.

Inside in the ‘250’ variant, we’re not sure if Peugeot did quite enough to differentiate this GTi model from commoner 308s. With the pricier ‘270’ derivative, the GTi atmosphere is a little more overt, thanks to the deep, grippy ‘GTI Bucket’ seats you get in that version. Peugeot calls this car’s ‘at-the-wheel’ design its ‘i-Cockpit’ and if you’re not familiar with that, then four things immediately become apparent once you get acquainted: quality, lack of button clutter, the big centre-dash LCD infotainment screen and, most notably, the tiny steering wheel above which (rather than through which) you’re supposed to view the instruments with their finely sculpted red needles.

Moving from people space to package room, let’s consider the boot, accessible via a low loading sill and a wide opening. In total, there’s 470-litres on offer at the back, provided you include the useful 35-litre underfloor section with its divided storage compartments in that calculation.

What To Look For

There were a number of issues that came out of our ownership survey. One owner had an issue with roaring from the exhaust; plus a rattle from the driver’s side mirror, a persistent suspension creak and a grating sound when the car turned right. Other owners had issues with various engines faults. Plus we had reports of faulty brakes, faulty tyre valves, faulty keyless entry, faulty steering rack, faulty brake callipers causing binding of the brakes, faulty suspension components, squeaking doors (worse in winter) and a whistling noise from driver side window. Plus the exterior plastics are very fragile and pick up scratches very easily.

There was only one 308 product recall in this period – for cars made in November 2017 because their airbags might not deploy. Otherwise, it’s just the usual things; check the interior for child scrapes – and the wheels and rear bumpers for parking scratches. And insist on a fully stamped-up service history.

On The Road

On the move, this car offers a potent package of virtues. It’s a hot hatch with the lower running costs of a supermini shopping rocket. Yet performance that approaches that of a potent, pricey super-hatch. All for the price of an ordinary Golf GTI or Ford Focus ST from this period. Sounds promising doesn’t it? Two 308 GTi models were initially offered, both powered through their front wheels by a 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine. This develops 250bhp in the standard ‘GTi 250’ variant, enough to get you to 62mph in 6.2s. Or it puts out 272bhp in the top ‘GTi 270’ version, a car that comes complete with larger 19-inch wheels shod with stickier tyres, bigger brakes and a Torsen limited-slip differential to help you get the power down through the corners. After the 2016 facelift, only the 272bhp model was offered.

Through those turns, the 308 GTi feels taut and responsive, with body roll well controlled, despite a suspension set-up that’s also tuned to be compliant over broken surfaces. Enthusiastic drivers will want to press the ‘Sport’ button that ramps up the engine note, sharpens the throttle response and turns the instrument lighting from white to red. For this kind of progress, you’ll want to perfect gear change shifts you’ll have to make via a 6-speed manual transmission – there was no paddleshift auto option. And you’ll need to get used to the low-set sports steering wheel that was part of this Peugeot’s unique ‘i-Cockpit’ cabin design.


In summary, what we’ve got here is a hot hatch certainly good enough to join the notable models in Peugeot’s GTi back catalogue. And a shopping rocket accomplished enough to severely frighten a few distinguished rivals from this period too. If you’re shopping in this segment for a hot hatch from the 2015-2020 era, it’s one you need to try.