RE: Peugeot 308 GT THP | Shed of the Week

RE: Peugeot 308 GT THP | Shed of the Week

Friday 25th October 2019

Peugeot 308 GT THP | Shed of the Week

Warm hatches don't often outshine their hot counterparts; the 308 GT was one of the exceptions...



You're only as good as the company you keep. Shed isn't sure where that saying comes from, but given the company he keeps, he knows that it often makes him feel quite depressed about himself and his life prospects.

Sometimes, however, a bit of disreputable company isn't such a bad thing. As long as you can keep your own profile low, you'll look good if you stand next to somebody who's making a complete drongo of themselves.

Peugeot's 308 GT THP is a good example of this. When the 308 came out in 2007, public expectations off the back of the essentially terrible 307 were as low as a rattlesnake's belly. For the same reason, when the 308 GT 'warm hatch' arrived, there was widespread fear that it would be as disappointing to drive as the smaller sporting Peugeots of the time, the 207 GT and GTI, which in relation to the torch-bearing 205 were about as appealing as a Dnepr motorcycle sidecar combination.


Well, that might be overstating it a bit, but compared to the feel-free 207 with its over-electrified steering, the hydraulic-with-electric-pump-steered 308 GT felt positively athletic and much more directly connected to the road. Suspension stiffened by 35% and lowered by 10mm plus 225/40 R18 tyres meant that the GT was more than tolerable even on our cart track roads, along which it would bustle at up to 140mph with a 0-62 time of 8.3sec.

The hotter GTI model's version of the GT's 1.6 direction-injection THP turbo motor - the N14 'Prince' unit that was also used in the Mini Cooper S - produced 200hp for a 0-60 time of 7.7sec, but the GT's 175hp unit was still surprisingly OK in a 1370kg car, even if it didn't give up its maximum power until a boomy 6000rpm.

Why? Because there was a 180lb ft spread of torque from 1600 to 4500rpm, with a 195lb ft overboost available in short squirts. On top of that you had a genuinely excellent six-speed manual gearbox and a usefully soft and progressive traction control system. It all meant that you didn't have to kick its teeth in to make significant progress. And although the Mini was 166kg lighter than the 308, lack of heft isn't always desirable in a poky little front-driver. The Mini came with more torque steer than the Peugeot.


THP stands for Turbo Haute Pression, by the way. For some, that might ring alarm bells when it comes to long-term ownership, but your fears may be misplaced. 308s generically have been recalled for work on the brakes, headlights and electrics, and the cooling systems have not always been perfect, but generally speaking 308 owners seem to love their reliability. Well, the ones that go onto review sites anyway.

Mind you, Shed did find one whose engine had failed three times, twice under warranty. The owner didn't say which model that was, or whether he monitored the oil on a regular basis. That's important in THPs, not only to make sure the level is right - they do use some in the normal course of events - but also to help stave off intake valve coking, which can be a thing with these. There's also some evidence of weakness in the cam chain department, with knocking from cold and reports of tensioner fragility, either or both of which may sound familiar to Cooper owners. 308 batteries seem to blow too.

Otherwise, these Peugeots seem pretty strong. The MOT history on this particular car paints a picture of a blameless sort of life, with just a leaking rear shock this year and a busted coil spring last year standing out from an otherwise standard (and short) list of consumables.


The GT spec level was high, literally so in the case of the ginormous standard glass roof with electric blind. You also got bi-xenon lights, dual-zone aircon, parking sensors, aluminium for the gear knob and the (slightly too high) pedals, Recaro-style half-leather seats, moo on the wheel and better than expected plastics. Which leaves this question. Apart from business user-choosers looking for lower running costs and lower tax rates, why were there so few UK buyers for the 308 GT?

Shed reckons it was down to three things: misgivings about Peugeot's ability to build an enjoyable car; the price, which was a fiver under Β£19,000 for the three-door (the Focus ST was Β£750 cheaper); and the fact that even in its more attractive 3-door format, the gen-one 308 GT could never be described as much of a looker. Even so, at Β£1495, Shed would prefer to bang one of this car's five doors than any of the ones at home.


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Author
Discussion

the_hood

Original Poster:

460 posts

144 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Looks ok, but I'd always be worried as older French cars don't have a great reputation for reliability.

miken2k8

127 posts

33 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
the_hood said:
Looks ok, but I'd always be worried as older French cars don't have a great reputation for reliability.
Well it's a load of rubbish, it's not an older french car. After 2005 or so french cars are just as reliable as anything else. Thanks to these opinions the rest of us can pick up a bargain.

waftycranker

58 posts

10 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Third!

Sparky137

573 posts

131 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
miken2k8 said:
the_hood said:
Looks ok, but I'd always be worried as older French cars don't have a great reputation for reliability.
Well it's a load of rubbish, it's not an older french car. After 2005 or so french cars are just as reliable as anything else. Thanks to these opinions the rest of us can pick up a bargain.
As a person who has previously owned three French cars that were made after 2005, all I can say is that if other cars were as reliable as French cars the roads would be empty!!! You are more than welcome to the 'bargain'. At least you will save enough money to be able to afford a recovery service subscription, just hope that there aren't limits on how many times you can use them in a year!!.

Lessons learned, never again.

Cambs_Stuart

752 posts

34 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Good find.
Nice spec with good seats and that sunroof, its got a bit of go, decent MOT history. Plus it's rare. I like it.
Obviously you're going to need to do some maintenance, but that's true of all sheds.

GTEYE

1,519 posts

160 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Will these be remembered as fondly as the 205 and 306 in the future?

No chance, it’s just an automotive white good which will be thrown away and forgotten.

Hateful thing.

sgtBerbatov

1,818 posts

31 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
The electronic power steering pumps in these are a death trap. When I had my Peugeot 3008 (which is essentially a parts bin build of this) I was doing 50 mph when the power steering encountered a failure. When this happened it turned off the pump, meaning I had no power steering. At 50mph. I'm a big guy, I'm not weak, and I struggled to turn the wheel. I got it to the side of the road and turned it off and on again and it resolved the issue. Until I got home and it failed again when turning on to the drive.

The cause? One mechanic said the ECU had died and it needed to be refurbed at the cost of £300. A new pump from Peugeot cost £800. But apparently, from reading a few things online, this can happen if one tyre has more or less pressure than the other, causing the pump to panic and turn off. How is that even remotely safe?

So, like most Peugeots of this era, unless you hate money you're best to avoid such a hateful thing.

Lotusgone

173 posts

77 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Loving the big pan roof.

Turbobanana

1,710 posts

151 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
Will these be remembered as fondly as the 205 and 306 in the future?

No chance, it’s just an automotive white good which will be thrown away and forgotten.

Hateful thing.
...says the person who owns a Ford Focus!

Shed needs to be viewed in the here and now: very few of his offerings will be bought for investment potential. This looks like a good buy for the money - I had no idea they existed in anything other than pedestrian spec.

Off topic a bit, but it's interesting to look on US sites like Jalopnik, for their take on what they perceive as a "reliable" car. Generally speaking the all-hailed (in the UK) German stuff gets a beating. Granted they don't get a lot of European stuff like Peugeots and Renaults, but it's Japanese all day long there.

mrtwisty

2,684 posts

115 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Pricey when new! Who in their right mind purchased one of these instead of a cheaper,well regarded and more powerful Focus ST?

Also, I'm not at all convinced that 18" 40 profile tyres will add up to anything less than a bone shaking ride in this.

Just about the only redeeming feature is the pano roof.

A firm no from me I'm afraid.


Halmyre

7,840 posts

89 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Shed said:
Even so, at £1495, Shed would prefer to bang one of this car's five doors than any of the ones at home.
Has Mrs Shed lost her allure?

MrGeoff

318 posts

122 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
sgtBerbatov said:
The electronic power steering pumps in these are a death trap. When I had my Peugeot 3008 (which is essentially a parts bin build of this) I was doing 50 mph when the power steering encountered a failure. When this happened it turned off the pump, meaning I had no power steering. At 50mph. I'm a big guy, I'm not weak, and I struggled to turn the wheel. I got it to the side of the road and turned it off and on again and it resolved the issue. Until I got home and it failed again when turning on to the drive.

The cause? One mechanic said the ECU had died and it needed to be refurbed at the cost of £300. A new pump from Peugeot cost £800. But apparently, from reading a few things online, this can happen if one tyre has more or less pressure than the other, causing the pump to panic and turn off. How is that even remotely safe?

So, like most Peugeots of this era, unless you hate money you're best to avoid such a hateful thing.
That sounds just a little bit worrying. Begs the question how safe are steering systems these days?

drdino

531 posts

92 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Not everything you read online is true. I have a 307 and a 308 (the GTi version of the Shed, incidentally), and have had flat tyres/low pressure on the front axle and never did the assist switch off. Probably a duff pump assembly, which can happen to any car with the same end results (even if an HPAS pump fails in a way that it doesn't provide hydrailic pressure, you will lose assistance). Also, turning the wheel on a 307 or a 308 is not that difficult if you are not at parking speeds.


mrtwisty said:
Pricey when new! Who in their right mind purchased one of these instead of a cheaper,well regarded and more powerful Focus ST?

Also, I'm not at all convinced that 18" 40 profile tyres will add up to anything less than a bone shaking ride in this.
It's not bad, I was in an A6 S-Line the other day and it was much worse than mine. laugh It's firm, but doesn't provide free kidney stone-clearing services.

Snubs

864 posts

89 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
...

Off topic a bit, but it's interesting to look on US sites like Jalopnik, for their take on what they perceive as a "reliable" car. Generally speaking the all-hailed (in the UK) German stuff gets a beating. Granted they don't get a lot of European stuff like Peugeots and Renaults, but it's Japanese all day long there.
Agreed, I find Doug DeMuro's take on reliability quite interesting when he rates cars. The only ones he ever thinks are reliable are anything and everything American and Lexus:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsqjHFMB_JYTaEnf_...

yme402

59 posts

52 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
French cars maybe more reliable than they were, however I would be cautious about saying they can top the Koreans when it comes to dependability.

Crumpet

1,915 posts

130 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
miken2k8 said:
Well it's a load of rubbish, it's not an older french car. After 2005 or so french cars are just as reliable as anything else. Thanks to these opinions the rest of us can pick up a bargain.
Hmmm, my last French car (2007).....



And that was a few months after the offside front suspension collapsed sending my wife veering into oncoming traffic.

That being said, I’d have a DS5! And if I was in the market for a shed I’d not be put off by a big French car with comfy seats and soft suspension.

Gary29

2,674 posts

49 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Well I think it looks decent for £1500, well worth a punt, I do have a soft spot for French cars though, for my sins.

Limpet

3,601 posts

111 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
My understanding was that the Prince engine was to be avoided at all costs, particularly these earlier ones.

Otherwise looks like a nice car for the money.

drgoatboy

1,022 posts

157 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
For £1500 I think that looks great!
I have never had the pleasure of driving a 308 though, the 307 was possibly the worst car I have ever had the displeasure of driving. My 306 on the other hand was brilliant (oh and that had 127k miles on the clock and I didn't get stranded or die in a unexplained ball of fire or anything!!!)

stickleback123

5,434 posts

139 months

Friday 25th October 2019
quotequote all
Crumpet said:
Hmmm, my last French car (2007).....



Isn't that the picture for August in the Peugeot Owners Club calendar? hehe