Peugeot has problems, especially in Germany. The second oldest still active car maker is currently celebrating its 125 anniversary, but is losing market share, also because the brand no longer shows its own face. The French want to take action against this with sporty types such as the 308 GT. With him, the lion emblazoned on the radiator grille as before, this Peugeot is also the first protagonist of the new brand claim "Impress yourself". The strongest compact from Sochaux is not quite as wild as the long-like Peugeot driver, who is impressed by the 308 GT in the ads. This can be seen in the range of engines made up of almost bourgeois 151 kW / 205 PS petrol engines (from 29.950 Euro as a five-door sedan or 31.100 Euro as SW station wagon) and 133 kW / 181 PS developing diesel (five-door models from 32.000 Euro, station wagon from 33.150 Euro ). However, Peugeot wants to add more, stronger lion models are already sharpening their claws in order to compete against racers like the VW Golf R from autumn. Until then, the 308 GT, which is particularly interesting as a station wagon, marks the performance time. It offers a unique position as a space giant: with 610 liters of loading volume when fully seated, it outperforms the competition by at least 20 percent, sometimes even twice!
For so much space in the 4,59-meter express freighter, fathers and recreational athletes have to pay more than the competition demands. At least for the base price, Peugeot demands a surcharge of up to 7.000 euros compared to the competition. Only premium models like the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake are even more expensive. All others, including Skoda Octavia Combi RS, Ford Focus Tournament ST or Renault Mégane Grandtour TCe 220, entice with lower costs and often more power. To compensate, Peugeot offers lush standard equipment with navigation, cruise control and LED headlights. Features that otherwise often have to be paid extra, as well as the six-speed automatic that comes as standard with diesel. The Peugeot station wagon can also save on driving thanks to favorable fuel consumption figures, which in the standard cycle of 4,1 liters per 100 kilometers are even a class record for diesel Also among the best in the 5,8 liter petrol engine.
Our test drives were still frugal seven or nine liters, because we gave the 308 GT the spurs on free highways and the lonely mountain roads of the Palatinate Forest and Northern Vosges. On the other hand, the fastest of all current Peugeot station wagons made it clear: they are not up to the pace and temperament of really sporty, fast-paced rivals. Which is not quite as relevant for the 308 SW with the 1,6 liter petrol engine (Vmax 235 km / h, 0-100 km / h in 7,6 seconds), but makes the Diesel SW pant like the VW Golf Variant GTD. In fact, it is the smoothly switching automatic system that turns the diesel GT into a glider that is limited to 218 km / h and 8,6 seconds.
The French duo, on the other hand, are not hesitant about the driving experience with the sports button activated. Then the actually subtle sound of the diesel engine is transformed into a snarling V8, at least the electronics simulate such a sound image. The petrol roars not so energetically, but it also gives the Peugeot passengers a racing feeling, even in the thickest city crowds. Of course, the sports switch also sharpens the driving experience. While the power steering now requires unnecessarily more effort, the accelerator pedal is noticeably more sensitive, with the diesel the automatic reduces the shift times when changing gears, the dials of the round instruments glow red and the G-forces can be displayed on demand.
The suspension setting does not change the sport button. But the GT, which is already tighter anyway, has its sights set on unpolished wagging, which the combi convinced us of when hunting wildly on winding paths. The fun factor can be so great that it is sometimes quite good if the combination back seat crew calls for moderation. Especially since the ESP intervenes surprisingly late in the 308 GT. Red seat seams, aluminum pedals and a metallic blue in the style of previous racing paintwork are optical joy donors and make you forget the lack of temperament. The talents that all 308 SW have without a GT logo are also just useful. For example, the large luggage capacity mentioned, which is supplemented by a large number of practical shelves and thus ensures a tidy landscape in the exemplary passenger noise-insulated passenger compartment. Or the slim and convincing cockpit design after acclimatization, with the instruments placed at the top in the direct field of vision and the handy, small steering wheel underneath.
Author: Wolfram Nickel / SP-X