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“Apart from track days, where do you get as much fun”? That’s what my mind kept reciting each time I got behind the wheel of this exciting motor.

Everything about the new Peugeot 308 GTI is so electrifying – right from the minuscule, sporty steering wheel to the grip the car has around corners. I really feel Peugeot is back on track with its contribution to the hot-hatch market. Way back in the 205 GTI days the French car maker had that particular market sewn up – and the 205 was, and still is, an icon in the motoring world.

The 308 GTI will become a legend too; no doubt about it. It has the looks, feel and performance of a true celebrity as well as all the safety gadgetry you need for modern day motoring.

My test car looked superb cloaked in a metallic ‘Magnetic Blue’ paintjob, combined with dark leather effect and Alcantara sports seats. The 18 inch alloys appeared satisfyingly sizable against its medium sized, muscular body, and its double chrome tailpipes looked ‘the dog’s’.peugeot-gti-wheel-small

On starting the engine, the 1.6-litre turbo petrol lump, pinched from the RCZ-R sports coupe, has a willingness to rev, and once you engage first gear and take off, you know this car is not your usual motor. For a start, the gearshifts feel precise and jaunty, and the car is eager – it’s like a dog straining at its lead until it can find an open stretch. Then, when you do find a suitable uncluttered bit of road, you can set the 308 GTi free. That’s when it sits back on its haunches for a moment before launching into a scorching attack on the asphalt. The 248bhp is certainly apparent and the 0-62 mph comes in just 6.2 seconds, climbing where legal, (German autobahns calling?) to 155mph.

This 308 is certainly the embodiment of an exciting new direction for Peugeot. No surprise then that there has been an incredible and positive response to the new car, with plenty of orders so far. The 308 also obtained five stars from Euro NCAP, certifying its safety credentials.

So, if you still want hatchback practicality but you are also after a uniquely intuitive and pleasurable driving experience, stop off at your local Peugeot dealer and take the 308 Gti for a test drive. You won’t be disappointed.

PROS ‘N’ CONS

Quick

Attractive

Entertaining

Safe

The UK has a 70 mph limit

FAST FACTS

Max speed: 155 mph
0-62 mph: 6.2 secs
Combined mpg: 48.1
Engine: 1598cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo petrol
Max. power (bhp): 248
Max. torque (lb/ft): 243
CO2: 139 g/km
Price: £26,555 on the road

Registered office: The WMS Group Ltd,
Oxford House, Oxford Road, Thame, Oxon OX9 2AH
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01844 293 810
sales@safeandsound.co.uk