CAR REVIEW: Peugeot 308 GTi 1.6 (M)

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Text by Cheryl Tay

Photos by Adrian Wong

562485_402369946463915_131620790205500_1203388_190978752_nSome people don’t like to drive manual cars because they find it troublesome for the hands and feet to do extra work. These people then have to try the Peugeot 308 GTi. This 1.6-litre turbocharged five-door hatchback from the French carmaker is such a breeze to drive – with easy engagement of gears and pedal work.


Under the hood, the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine there is the same one that you will find in the RCZ coupe, the beautiful two-door from the same makers. Housing 200 horses waiting to unleash its maximum at 5,800rpm, the 308 GTi has minimal body roll into corners and strong brakes to help handle these horses as well as the ever-ready 275Nm of torque from 1,700rpm up.

549321_402368676464042_131620790205500_1203361_630442926_nWorking the six-speed manual gearbox was simple and straightforward, with smooth and crisp gear changes that can take you from zero to 100km/h in 7.7 seconds.

427879_402370369797206_131620790205500_1203397_106125227_nThe 308 GTi’s sporty demeanour is apparent throughout the car from front to back and inside: Its front hosts a chrome-framed grille with a black bumper and bi-Xenon directional headlights with black housing and boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights; while the rear has dual chrome exhaust pipes, a black diffuser, a chrome strip between its rear lights and a roof spoiler. Inside, the part-leather sports seats come with red stitching and there is a flat-bottomed GTi steering wheel, alloy gearknob and aluminium sports pedals to add to the whole sport performance feel.

403402_402370199797223_131620790205500_1203393_484369427_nWind noise or road noise is kept to a minimum within the cabin which provides comfortable seats for both the front passengers as well as those in the back. The large panoramic glass roof of the 308 GTi allows for copious amounts of natural daylight to brighten up the cabin. But before you start thinking along the lines of greenhouse effect and in-cabin warming, passengers of the 308 GTi would be glad to know that the sunroof glass is UV-tinted and there are also electronic blinds that will help to reduce heat and block out sunlight.

549361_402371426463767_131620790205500_1203424_730649015_nGiving passengers as much pleasure as possible, the 308 GTi comes with Bluetooth, a USB port, aux-in to hook up your personal collection of music, an MP3-compatible CD player, dual-zone air conditioning with rear vents, automatic dimming rear view mirror and automatic rain and light sensors.


Boasting the 5-star Euro NCAP, safety is a definite priority with the 308 GTi – it has six airbags, a collapsible steering column that is able to retract so that the engine and gearbox do not get pushed back into the cabin, along with electronic driving aids such as the Electronic Stability Programme and Electronic Brake Force Distribution that maintains the car stability at all times, even in emergencies.


Driving a manual car is the best way to feel the raw power of the car and have more control over the drive. With technologies getting more advanced and the possibility of self-drive auto-pilot types of cars in the future, I hope that manual cars like the 308 GTi continue to exist so we can appreciate the beauty of driving in its as-natural-as-it-can-get element. In times of such high COE prices, the 1.6-litre turbocharged formula offered in the 308 GTi is perfect – paying for Category A COE but getting the performance of a higher class.


By the way, do note that the “i” in the 308 GTi’s name is in lower case, unlike that of the Volkswagen Golf GTI.


Technical Specifications - Peugeot 308 GTi 1.6 (M)

Engine: 1,598cc 16-valve inline-4 turbocharged

Performance: 200bhp/5,800rpm, 275Nm/1,700rpm, 0-100 7.7 secs

Top Speed: 237km/h

Transmission: Six-speed manual

Price with COE: S$152,800

Testdrive & Enquiries: AutoFrance

Tel: 6376 2288


(+) Easy-to-drive manual car suited for Singapore traffic

(-) COE prices are such a pain now

Verdict: Solid case to convert auto lovers

534795_402369549797288_131620790205500_1203381_513980357_n*This was first published in Wheels Asia.


For more photos of the Peugeot 308 GTi, view here.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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