Advertisement
Car group tests

Peugeot 308 GT vs Renault Megane GT 220 & Kia Cee’d GT Tech

Don’t need a full-fat hot hatch? We try three warmed-up models with both pace and comfort

If you’re after a fun-handling hatchback with plenty of performance, there’s no shortage of options on offer, with a host of powerful new contenders on the market. 

However, there’s also a growing group of ‘warm’ hatchbacks that deliver driving thrills on a cut-price budget, without affecting usability.

Best hot hatchbacks

Advertisement - Article continues below

The latest challenger is the Peugeot 308 GT. It’ll be a while before we see a more focused 308 GTi, so for now the £24,095 GT is the fastest 308 on sale. 

Hot on the Peugeot’s heels is the recently released Renault Mégane GT 220 hatchback. It’s more powerful and slightly cheaper, at £23,250, and promises some Renaultsport-inspired magic on the road.

Both cars will face a firm test, though, in the form of the popular Kia Cee’d GT. It boasts a similar power output, added style and family friendly practicality. So does the new 308 GT have what it takes to rise to the top?

Peugeot 308 GT review

Renault Megane GT 220 review

Kia Cee'd GT review

Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which warm hatch comes out on top...

Head-to-head

Cash vs quality

The 308 is easily the most luxurious car on test – but so it should be, as it costs £26,450. Still, even without the options, it has a classy feel inside and mixes this with decent practicality. The Kia is cheaper, but look beyond the smaller boot and the cabin is spacious. Unfortunately for the pricey Renault, its interior is short on premium appeal.

Styling

It’s the Cee’d GT that’s most recognisable as a tweaked version of the standard car, with its sporty design add-ons. The 308 is more understated, but the extra few touches make it look smart and muscular. Again, the GT 220 falls short – it doesn’t look as racy as the other two.

Sport mode

Where the Renault claws back ground is with its optional RS Monitor (above), which adds features like a G-force meter and a lap timer. The Cee’d has a GT mode for its digital dash, while 308’s Sport setting sharpens the engine and steering.

Verdict

1st place: Peugeot 308 GT

The 308 GT comes out on top thanks to an enticing mix of quality, refinement, practicality and performance. It’s the slowest car in a straight line, but the balanced chassis means you can carry lots of speed, and don’t have to rely on the engine so much. While the cabin layout won’t please everyone, and it’s pricier to buy than the Kia or Renault, it feels more upmarket and is a cut above its rivals.

2nd place: Kia Cee’d GT Tech

Overlook the Cee’d GT’s polluting engine, and it’s an appealing package. It looks great, handles with composure and is quicker than the raw figures suggest, despite the lacklustre engine note. The kit list is generous and, despite its fuel economy, the GT’s running costs are fair. Kia’s class-leading seven-year warranty should give peace of mind for owners, too.

3rd place: Renault Megane GT 220

The Mégane GT 220 leads the way here for driving thrills, with a gutsy engine and sparkling chassis – but its age counts against it. The interior is practical, although the package feels old next to the refined Peugeot and solid Kia. Plus, the styling isn’t as interesting or striking as its rivals. You get less equipment for your money, too. Fuel thirst seals the Renault’s fate.

Same price: other options for similar money

New: SEAT Leon 1.8 TSI FRPrice: £21,040 Engine: 1.8-litre 4cyl, 178bhp

SEAT Leon front

For less than all three of our test cars you could go for SEAT’s sporty Leon FR. Its 1.8 turbo engine is down on power in this company, but the on-paper performance is similar. Plus, you can spend the cash you’ll save on options, like the smooth DSG automatic gearbox (£1,350).

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

USED: Volkswagen Golf GTI Price: £24,500Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 217bhp

Volkswagen Golf GTI cornering

With a budget of £25,000 you’ll be able to pick up a five-door VW Golf GTI with just 10,000 miles on the clock. We wouldn’t expect any wear at this age, and with 217bhp on tap, it’s quick. Opting for a higher-mileage model will get you a Performance Pack version, with even more power.

Key specs:

 Peugeot 308 GTKia Cee'd GT TechRenault Megane GT 220
On-the-road price/total as tested£24,095/£26,450£23,400/£23,405£23,250/£24,370
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)£8,325/34.6%£8,326/35.6%£8,851/38.1%
Depreciation£15,770£15,074£14,399
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£1,010/£2,019£1,337/£2,674£1,282/£2,565
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,843/£3,071£2,078/£3,464£2,017/£3,362
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost26/£348/D/£11029/£354/H/£20531/£359/H/£205
Servicing costs£13 per month (3yrs)£399 (3yrs)£399 (3yrs)
    
Length/wheelbase4,253/2,620mm4,310/2,650mm4,302/2,641mm
Height/width1,457/1,804mm1,470/1,780mm1,471/1,808mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,591cc4cyl in-line/1,998cc
Peak power202/6,000 bhp/rpm201/6,000 bhp/rpm217/4,750 bhp/rpm
Peak torque285/1,750 Nm/rpm265/1,750 Nm/rpm340/2,400 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel53 litres/space saver53 litres/space saver60 litres/sealant
Boot capacity (seats up/down)470/1,309 litres380/1,318 litres405/1,162 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,200/590/1,400kg1,382/488/1,400kg1,381/473/1,300kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient10.4 metres/N/A10.6 metres/N/A11.1 metres/0.69Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/1yr7yrs (100,000)/1yr4yrs (100,000)/4yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers20,000 (1yr)/30010,000 (1yr)/17018,000 (1yr)/153
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.14th/9th7th/10th15th/14th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars92/79/64/589/88/61/55/4/2/5 (2008)
    
0-60/30-70mph7.7/6.7 secs7.4/6.4 secs7.1/5.9 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.3/4.2 secs3.1/4.2 secs2.7/4.1 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th6.0/7.1 secs5.5/6.9 secs5.1/6.5 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph146mph/2,750rpm143mph/2,750rpm149mph/2,600rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph50.1/33.0/9.2m49.3/36.7/9.1m49.7/34.4/8.8m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph56/57/66/71dB54/61/67/74dB60/57/68/59dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range33.5/7.4/391 miles29.7/6.6/346 miles30.6/6.8/404 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined38.2/61.4/50.4mpg29.1/46.3/38.2mpg29.4/47.1/38.7mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined8.4/13.5/11.1mpl6.4/10.2/8.4mpl6.5/10.4/8.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket195/130g/km/21%220/171g/km/29%213/169g/km/28%
    
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/yes/yesSix/yes/yes/yesSix/yes/yes/yes
Auto box/stability/adapt cruise controlNo/yes/yesNo/yes/yesNo/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/£1,200*/£1,200*Yes/part/yesYes/£1,250*/£1,250*
Metallic paint/xenons/keyless go£525/LED/yes£490/yes/yes£525/no/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/£250/yesYes/yes/£240/yes
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Land Rover Defender Hard Top van opens for business
News

New Land Rover Defender Hard Top van opens for business

The Defender Hard Top is the commercial version of Land Rover’s new Defender with a load carrying rear end.
30 Jun 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift arrives with design and tech updates
Volkswagen Tiguan

New 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift arrives with design and tech updates

The facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan adds plug-in hybrid power and a hot 316bhp ‘R’ model to the SUV’s line-up
30 Jun 2020
New Audi Q5 facelift means fresh looks inside and out plus extra tech
Audi Q5

New Audi Q5 facelift means fresh looks inside and out plus extra tech

The updated Audi Q5 features a range of styling and technology tweaks, including a smaller radiator grille and a larger infotainment system
29 Jun 2020