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Peugeot 308 GT, Citroën DS4, Renault Mégane test

Achim Hartmann
Peugeot 308 GT, Citroën DS4, Renault Mégane in the test
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Oh, là, là, what wild things the French did in the past. All I can say is Renault Clio V6: rock-hard, pig-loud, pretty inoperable - a small car with a mid-engine, nobody has dared to do something like this on this side of the Rhine, over there it was the third 14 years ago. Or let's dig into an even more crazy example from the past: C itroën Visa Mille Pistes. Basically a terribly windy booth, but with an unrestrained four-cylinder, unique all-wheel drive and Group B homologation. Don't you know that thing? Googling! Absolutely! And then of course there is also the Peugeot 205, the GTI, which was not only called that, but, unlike many who have called itself that since then, was still one. Turn in, lift the gas, capture - terrific.

In recent years, however, this sweet madness of yore has increasingly dried up. Instead of really French cars, people now sometimes build really good ones. And instead of exhausting or sometimes overexciting sportiness, people nowadays obviously prefer to encapsulate it.

Peugeot 308 GT with 205 hp

Peugeot, for example, now distinguishes between three degrees of severity : GT, GTI and R - so far not uncommon. The system becomes opaque because the abbreviations are distributed quite unsystematically across the various models. In the RCZ the spearhead wears the R, in the 208 it is called the GTI - and thus just like in the past with the 308. Its new edition, however, has now been downgraded to the GT. All clarity eliminated? Great!

One can only speculate about the reasons for the nominal devaluation. Perhaps you would like to give yourself some leeway for the R model, which you have been dragging across all possible trade fairs as a series-ready study for what feels like five years. We believe, however, that at some point when the Sport-308 was fully developed, the Peugeot people took a lap over in Sochaux and came to the conclusion that it could never be a GTI - not after current standards and certainly not according to the original.

So the Peugeot 308 GT is a bit lost for the time being - as the high end of the model series, without being at all high end. Okay, the 156 PS strong one-six-turbo has packed a lot on the GT, the other work-outhowever, it is limited to lowering the car by ten millimeters and the (optional) sport function for responsiveness and sound. Granted, it all sounds a little undercooked now. It is not meant to be quite that drastic. After all, since Audi's S models and BMW's M Performance program, we've known how much less can be. In addition, dynamism is a relative quantity - especially relative to the environment in which it competes.

But even among compatriots, the Peugeot 308 GT has a difficult role at first - which is obviously due to that there is no clear distribution of the same. At least none between price and performance: The Citroën DS4 is the weakest in the field with a smooth 200 hp, but costs the most, the Renault Mégane GT is by far the cheapest despite 220 hp, while the Peugeot 308 GT is somehow in between: with 205 hp, almost as weak as the Citroën DS4, for at least 4,200 euros more expensive than the more powerful Renault Mégane GT.

Citroën DS4 speaks jaggedly

That one Logic alone was not enough, it was already clear. In the case of the Citroën DS4 , however, it is necessary In addition to this certain ignorance of conventions, there is also a good portion of Francophilia. When asked what it should be, colleague Sebastian Renz once already formulated the perfect answer: 'A somewhat elevated, but not off-road, ambitious coupé, but four-door [...] offshoot of the C4.' The fact that there was no mention of sportiness is because it can't be one of them.

For the bit of driving fun that still comes up in the test, the engine alone can celebrate. The 1.6-liter turbo is the same one used on the Peugeot 308 GT - and despite its age, it's still one of the most pleasing manifestations of the downsizing movement. He speaks really jagged, reaches resolutely despite a lean 275 Nm and sounds quite decent with its four-cylinder dialect. Above all, however, it is one of the fewer and fewer turbo four-cylinders that still turns lively - up to around 7,000 rpm.

On the straights, something like a love affair with the Citroën DS4 could almost develop - not everyone would Time as soon as it starts to crackle, take the next curve in between. There, the Citroën loses all charm, stumbling after its lazy steering, so that the body sinks deep into its soft and rough chassis times a question. What is certain, however, is that there are not only more comfortable and sporty ones in its class,but many that are much more comfortable and at the same time much sportier. So the Citroën DS4 remains a lifestyle gag - a good one after all: with a panoramic window, funny instruments, seat massage, a litany of polyphonic ring tones and - who knows who wants it - rear doors with side windows that cannot be retracted.

We save him a detailed analysis of his racetrack performance. On the one hand, because the test pilot's comments cannot be published here for reasons of youth protection. On the other hand, because he explicitly never promised the sportiness, which we probably wrongly assumed because of his engine performance. Just this much: Despite its impressive slalom performance, the Citroën DS4 circles Hockenheim in 1.21.2 minutes. - although the question arises as to whether the tragic is the lap time as such or rather the fact that the Renault is just four tenths faster despite much better systems.

Peugeot 308 GT with 1.19.8 Minutes on a small course

As a GT, the Mégane is in principle the same relativized sports model as the 308 GT. The only difference is that he also has someone above him, against whom he can relativize himself. In other words: It is not a thoroughbred R.S., but a GT with the addition 'by Renault Sport'. However, the Messieurs dynamics experts should be careful what the marketing department puts in front of them to sign. Because although the Renault Mégane GT is relatively inconsiderate in the test, brakes in a formidable way and pumps forward in such a way that the conspiratorial predisposed here in the house of the engine mapping of the real R.S. suspect, he loses 4.5 seconds per lap - yes, four point five!

Even the steering and gearshifts show that they had to reduce their accuracy a little for the sake of delimitation. The main problem, however, is the ESP. It cannot be switched off and works just as cautiously as it is clumsy, so that you can neither use the energetic steering behavior nor the punch of the engine. It's a shame.

But despite this steep advance from the arch rival, the Peugeot 308 GT is only enough to draw. This is primarily due to the tamer engine and its not quite as powerful brake, but in the end it distorts reality. Because on the track, only he really makes driving fun - especially because of the tiny steering wheel, which can be understood as a real turn-on in the truest sense of the word.

As I said: The Peugeot 308 GT also represents the milder variety Sportiness, but at least does not curb it additionally through the electronics. Instead, he scurries around the small course quite juvenile, wiggles his bottom when the load changes and grabs his forehand safely. At the end a 1.19.8 pops out. Well. As good as the entire car, which ultimately only suffers from the fact that we know what could have become of it in the past.


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