Peugeot 308 SW GT review
Sportier Peugeot 308 SW GT offers plenty of kit, but feels left behind on the road
As a replacement for Feline trim, the 308 GT is a worthy flagship for the range. It’s well equipped, has a sporty look to mark it out from the rest of the range, and it feels like a quality product inside. However, it’s no performance model, and Sport mode seems more of a gimmick than an enhancement of the 308’s chassis.
While the Peugeot 308 has yet to spawn a hot hatch, the firm has now introduced a GT spec to satisfy buyers looking for a sportier model. While the hatch comes with petrol and diesel power, the SW estate is offered exclusively with a 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel, which is mated to Peugeot’s six-speed auto gearbox.
From the outside, the GT gets a sportier look than the Feline model it replaces, courtesy of lowered suspension - 7mm up front, 10mm at the back - and a subtle bodykit. The metallic blue of the car in our pictures is exclusive to GT models, too, while a new 18-inch wheel design, Lion badge located in the grille and a rear diffuser with twin exhausts add to the sporty touches. Inside, GT cars get a red stitched leather steering wheel, while a Sport button on the centre console is designed to enhance the driving experience.
On the road, the GT will feel familiar to anybody who has driven a Feline-spec model. The ride is relatively comfortable considering the large wheels, and the chassis is designed for cruising rather than performance. Switch to Sport mode, and the dials turn red, while a fake engine rumble is piped into the cabin.
The steering is given more weight, although it still doesn’t feel as direct or responsive as rivals, and throttle response is improved, too. But take manual control of the gearbox, and the shifts are vague, with a delay between selecting a gear and when it engages.
It’s not helped by the paddleshifters, which are small and attached to the steering column, so aren’t easy to use unless the steering wheel is dead ahead.
Keep the gearbox in auto mode, and it makes the most of the performance on offer. However, with a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds, the 308 GT doesn’t quite have the muscle to take on hot diesel estates such as the Ford Focus ST.