Seemingly ready to bait both hot-hatchback and luxury diesel rivals, the 2015 Peugeot 308 GT arrives in Australia priced from $41,990 plus on-road costs.
With 151kW of power and 285Nm of torque, the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine is available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
Those outputs are 11kW/65Nm adrift of the hot-hatch stalwart the Volkswagen Golf GTI, though missing an ‘i’ on the end of its badge is the greatest indication the new Peugeot 308 GT is about sports-luxury more than just sports – and that is something the brand insists, pitching the new range flagship as a true Grand Tourer and cautioning any direct dynamic comparisons with the German car that has a GTI badge, a competitor that gets far less standard equipment than the new, sports-luxury Pug.
There is also a 308 GT diesel available for those who don’t want to shift gears manually, the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, six-speed automatic priced from $42,990 plus on-road costs.
With 133kW of power and 400Nm of torque, the 308 GT diesel closely rivals the Mazda 3 XD Astina (which in auto form costs an almost identical $42,230 and has 129kW/420Nm), though again Peugeot says it did not directly target that Japanese hatchback for price and specification.
The 308 GT petrol manual weighs just 1200kg, which astonishingly is still 9kg less than a base Golf 90TSI.
Peugeot claims a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 7.5 seconds for the petrol and 8.5sec for the diesel; and combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres for the petrol and a staggeringly low 4.0L/100km for the diesel.
Both Peugeot 308 GT grades take it to the 3 XD Astina for standard equipment, and far exceed the standard equipment on the Golf GTI.
Shared with the also newly launched Peugeot 308 Allure Premium grade are standard full LED headlights, active cruise control, emergency collision alert, automatic braking (only in concert with active cruise to a minimum of 25km/h, not to completely avoid a crash), blind-spot monitor, and keyless auto-entry with push-button start; all of which is not standard on Golf GTI. A reverse-view camera with front and rear parking sensors is also standard, in addition to a feature not available at all on the Mazda – semi-automatic reverse parking.
Foglights and 18-inch alloy wheels (with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres) are standard on the outside, and satellite navigation (with 9.7-inch coloured touchscreen and chequered flag/Redline red colour theme) and dual-zone climate control are included inside.
Unique items to the 308 GT include a Magnetic Blue paint colour, cross-hatch front grille with the Peugeot lion at its centre, twin sports exhausts, alloy pedals, and red interior dials (with digital boost pressure, cornering G-force, power/torque and acceleration gauges) and stitching for the Alcantara-clad front sports seats. Massage front seats are a segment exclusive, though full leather trim with front seat heating is a $2500 option and the 308 GT ditches the Allure Premium’s standard panoramic sunroof.
Compared with regular 308 grades, the 308 GT sits 7mm lower at the front and 10mm lower at the rear, with springs and dampers between 10 and 20 per cent stiffer depending on the drivetrain. The exhaust is “amplified and sportier”, the power steering gets a “firmer” retune, and the accelerator pedal is said to be more responsive.
The 308 GT diesel picks up standard paddleshifters and has different, sportier shift mapping compared with other 308 automatics.
The Peugeot 308 line-up is now complete in Australia with 308 Allure Premium grades coming on-line to fill the gap between the 308 Access, Active and Allure, and the new 308 GT.
At the same time the 308 Allure ditches its 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine for a more powerful 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol that produces 110kW and 240Nm. Available with a six-speed automatic only, the 0-100km/h dash is reduced from 9.1sec to 8.5sec, while consumption increases from 5.1L/100km to 6.5L/100km.
Prices for the 308 Allure rise from the previous $30,490 to $32,790 plus on-road costs, but in addition to the larger engine you also get more equipment such as 18s, sat-nav and full LED headlights. And unlike the hatch-only 308 GT, you can choose the bigger Allure engine in Touring wagon format from $35,490. The new 308 Allure Premium slots in from $36,440 hatch/$39,140 wagon, both sharing all of the above active safety features with the 308 GT.
Buyers can continue to option the same 2.0-litre diesel in Allure ($35,290 hatch/$37,990 wagon) and Allure Premium ($38,940 hatch/$41,640 wagon).
CarAdvice is at the local launch of the Peugeot 308 GT in Albury, New South Wales. Stay tuned for the full review.
2015 Peugeot 308 (all plus on-road costs):
308 Access 96kW e-THP manual: $21,990
308 Access 96kW e-THP auto: $23,990
308 Active 96kW e-THP auto: $28,340
308 Allure 110kW THP auto (NEW): $32,790
308 Allure 110kW BlueHDi auto: $35,290
308 Allure Premium 110kW THP auto (NEW): $36,440
308 Allure Premium 110kW BlueHDi auto: $38,940
308 Touring Allure 110kW THP auto (NEW): $35,490
308 Touring Allure 110kW BlueHDi auto: $37,990
308 Touring Allure Premium 110kW THP auto (NEW): $39,140
308 Touring Allure Premium 110kW BlueHDi auto: $41,640
308 GT 151kW e-THP manual (NEW): $41,990
308 GT 133kW BlueHDi auto (NEW): $42,990