Peugeot's 308 has been on sale in the UK since 2007 and, though it's not quite as accomplished as the Ford Focus or the Volkswagen Golf, it's still regarded as one of the big players in the family hatchback market.
Now, Peugeot has upped the tempo by fitting the 200bhp turbocharged engine from its RCZ coupé to turn the 308 into a bona fide hot hatchback.
What are its rivals?
Fellow hot hatchbacks for around the same price include the basic RenaultSport Mégane, the Ford Focus ST, the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the SEAT Leon Cupra to name but a few.
There are too many rivals to list in this segment, as the sporty hatchback market is one of the most hotly contested in the UK. We Brits just can't get enough of anything quick and fun to drive that still has enough space to fit kids and shopping in the back.
How does it drive?
The handling isn't quite as crisp as it was in legendary Peugeots of old like the 205 GTi or the 306 GTi-6, but it's not bad. There's plenty of grip, body control is good and the steering is very responsive. However, the ride is firm, so the 308 GT can feel quite uncomfortable on rough roads. Its weight counts against it, too, as the Peugeot feels quite bulky next to more agile rivals like the RenaultSport Mégane.
The engine is more impressive, though. The 200bhp unit is very responsive indeed and makes the 308 good for 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. The addition of a turbocharger means it's punchy in any gear, even from very low revs.
As we mentioned, the potent engine is a real plus point, as is the level of equipment that Peugeot supplies. Standard kit in the GT THP model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and half leather sports seats - among other things. The cabin itself is well built and the dash materials are of good quality.
Running costs are quite low for a petrol hot hatchback, too. Peugeot quotes 40.8mpg on average and emissions of 159g/km.
We've already said that the ride and handling could be better for a hot hatch and, with so many established and desirable rivals for similar money, the Peugeot could do with being a little cheaper than its list price of £22,445, if it's to be a serious competitor. That's not outrageously expensive, especially when you take into account the generous amount of equipment, but it's not really tempting enough to lure buyers away from rivals.
Should I buy one?
If you want a sporty hatchback with a petrol engine, practicality to boot and reasonably low running costs, then the 308 GT THP is well worth a look. However, if it's an entertaining hot hatch you're after, then the reality is that there are more than a few rivals available for similar money that are more fun to drive and have the desirability factor that the Peugeot lacks.