First Drive

2015 Peugeot 308 GT Line review

Sporting GT Line trim adds more pizzazz to the 308, but the extra cost is hard to justify

Words ByVicky Parrott

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The new GT Line trim is the semi-sporting option in the Peugeot 308 lineup. Slotting into the range above the already well-equipped Allure trim, GT Line brings with it Alcantara and leather upholstery with contrasting stitching, massage function on the front seats and various exterior style tweaks including twin exhausts, black rear diffuser and 18in alloys.

If that’s not enough for you, there’s always the option of adding the Β£370 Driver Sport Pack that's fitted to our test car. This adds a Sport mode that sharpens throttle response, weights up the steering, introduces an enhanced, synthesised engine note and lights up the dials red.

Crucially, GT Line is available on the majority of the 308’s engines, including the 1.2 THP 130 turbocharged petrol engine - our favourite engine in the 308, and what we’re driving here. Diesel options include two 1.6s, and a 2.0-litre.

What’s the 2015 Peugeot 308 GT Line like to drive?

Given that there are no mechanical changes to the GT Line, It's no surprise that it doesn't feel much different to a normal 308. The steering feels quick off the straight-ahead – an impression that’s emphasised by the small steering wheel – and while it can feel a bit too keen to self-centre, it’s still easy to thread the 308 down a fast back road with confidence. Engaging Sport mode brings welcome extra bite mid-corner, and improves the otherwise quite soggy throttle feel, although the burbling engine noise sounds too fake to be really enjoyable.

Those big alloys hurt the GT Line's comfort levels. The ride is a bit busier than softer, smaller-wheeled 308 models over scruffy roads, and it can also be jarring over sharp mid-corner bumps, causing the car to skitter momentarily. In essence, while this isn’t generally an uncomfortable car, and it settles on the motorway, you’re sacrificing more suppleness than you’re gaining in fun. You get a bit more road noise than you do in cheaper 308 variants, too.

As ever, the 1.2-litre 130 THP engine is a gem; refined, sweet-revving and flexible, so this is the one to go for unless you must have a diesel.

What’s the 2015 Peugeot 308 GT Line like inside?

As long as you avoid entry-level Access trim, which is the only model not to get the huge colour touchscreen and minimalist dashboard, the 308’s is one of the smartest cabins in the class. GT Line only improves on that with touches like the aluminium pedals and contrast stitching bringing a plush, high-end feel. There’s also plenty of support and adjustment to the driver’s seat, and pedal placement is good - although some drivers will find that they have to set the steering wheel lower than they might want for a good view of the speedo and rev counter, which are viewed over the top of the wheel.

Equipment is comprehensive, and includes automatic wipers and LED headlights, cruise control, sat-nav, rear-view camera and all the multimedia functions you could want. It’s just a shame that the screen is fiddly to use on the move, and that the touch-sensitive shortcut buttons need such a firm prod and are slow to respond.

As with every 308 hatchback, rear leg room is pretty woeful, but you get a huge boot as compensation.

Should I buy one?

Not really, no. It’s not the best-value option in the 308 range, which in turn isn’t the best family hatch, either; a Ford Focus and VW Golf both offer more space in the back and drive with more finesse.

If you do want a high-spec 308, we’d suggest going for Allure trim, which does without the swanky styling and posh upholstery of GT Line, but otherwise gets much the same generous equipment and darty handling for Β£1550 less. It can even be specced with the Sport Driver pack and its red-lit theatricalities, and has a suppler ride, too.

Having said that, the kit you get on the 308 GT Line still makes the price look competitive, but it's a justifiable option only for those who really want style pizzazz and luxury gadgets, and are willing to pay for it.

What Car? says...

Peugeot 308 1.2 THP 130 GT Line

Engine size 1.2-litre petrol

Price from Β£21,445

Power 129bhp

Torque 170lb ft

0-62mph 9.6 seconds

Top speed 128mph

Fuel economy 61.4mpg

CO2 107g/km