DEEP down, we know you want to know if the 2021 Peugeot 308 GT-Line lives up to its long lineage, and that it scores the punchy 1.6-litre 165kW power plant of its sportier big brother, the GT.
Sadly, the answer to both is no. Instead, the GT-Line is the middle ground between the base model Allure and the beefier GT. It keeps the 1.2-litre engine found in the Allure, and simply gets improved looks and styling.
And to add further salt to the wound, the 308 GTi hot hatch is no longer available (you can insert a sad face emoji here, readers). It’s not all bad though as the 308 GT-Line’s new styling is still aggressive looking, as it should be.
It also comes with a healthy list of standard equipment on board, including a panoramic glass sunroof that spans almost the entire roof. LED headlights and fog lights, red interior highlights and a sports exterior styling pack.
This adds a fancy front bumper, side skirt extensions, a different grille and exhaust tips. In addition to that, it is actually a lot of fun to drive! The petrol engine produces 96kW of power and 230Nm of torque, and is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The sports mode button makes it super responsive and aggressive with any input into the throttle too. We did notice that occasionally the transmission would get confused at low speeds. Likewise, if you are shifting gears with the gear lever, it missed driver inputs.
All these issues were only at low speed. At higher speeds there are no issues, and the test car was on song. A nice touch would have been to install paddles so that you can keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Maybe that’ll happen in 2022.
Peugeot claim fuel consumption of 5.0-litres/100km combined, however this will quickly diminish if you keep it in sports mode for extended periods and drive it accordingly. The best consumption we achieved was 8.0-litres/100Km..
That’s a little thirsty for a car of this small, and with this engine specification. The 308 GT-Line does hold its own on the road though, and feels very confident, with good levels of noise suppression in the cabin from the road and tyres.
The brakes did a fine job in hauling the Pug to a stop and never showed any evidence of fading. The steering is electric though and lacks the required feedback you might expect, and it can feel a little dull when putting the car through its paces.
In the driver’s seat, the cushioned fabric upholstery is comfortable, but at the price point a leather trim to match the GT-Line’s perforated leather-bound steering wheel would have been a welcoming touch.
The driver seat is also only manual operated as opposed to electric, which is a bummer. In the technology department, the advanced Peugeot iCockpit is on board while a 9.7-inch touchscreen controls the audio, climate control, and vehicle settings.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard, as does satellite navigation, digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity. The central unit can be frustrating to use, especially when trying to adjust air-con settings whilst on the move.
We like the fact that there are one-touch up and down windows for every passenger though, and there is ample legroom in the rear, which is great for people of standard height. Push past 6-foot, and you’ll definitely have a problem though.
The rear seat does all of the normal clever 60/40-split folding stuff, which extends the 308’s cargo load to as much as 1,274 litres, which is pretty monstrous for a car this size. It does have an aid in doing this though, utilising a false floor hidden in the boot.
A number of safety features that are standard too, including autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and driver attention alert.
The 308 range comes with Peugeot’s 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with roadside assist and ‘Peugeot Price Promise’ servicing. Overall, the 2021 Peugeot 308 GT-Line is well, not as bad as we first thought.
While it doesn’t come with the 1.6-litre turbo engine, or the same sort of performance, it is still a great little car, and still packs a punch. Trimmings and the overall design are great too.
We just hope to see some more up market inclusions, such as leather interior, or at least leather accents, in future models, especially at this price point. We’d also love to see the return of the 308 GTi, but we’re not sure that’s going to happen.
The 2021 Peugeot 308 GT-Line is priced from $37,358 (drive away) and is available in Hurricane Grey, Artense Grey, Magnetic Blue, Nera Black, Pearl White and Ultimate Red (as tested).
Our 2021 Peugeot 308 GT-Line was provided by Peugeot Australia. To find out more, contact your local Peugeot dealer. Pictures courtesy of Mushroom Owl Photography.