Not so long ago, any hot new Peugeot would go straight to the top of the class... but competition among performance hatchbacks has never been stronger. Still, that hasn't stopped the French firm from producing a 180bhp version of its facelifted 307, labelled the Feline. Although the newcomer will disappoint those in search of a true GTi, it is as hot as the model will get for now.
The Feline is available with three or five doors and features unique alloys, as well as full leather upholstery and white dials. There's plenty of pace from the 2.0-litre engine, but while the low overall gearing is great for acceleration, it does little for fuel economy. At motorway speed it cries out for a sixth ratio, while the gearchanges are disappointing, with over-long throws, and the sharp brakes need concentration to maintain smooth progress. However, the combination of precise steering, tidy handling and a decent ride make the Feline a fun B-road companion.