Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Hidden Hero: Peugeot 307 GT Feline

Published 13 September 2019

Back in the Eighties and Nineties, Peugeot had a catchy advertising slogan. “The Lion goes from strength-to-strength”, it claimed. And with good reason, for those two decades were a bit of a purple patch for the French manufacturer. 

The 2000s, though, were not so. Instead, the Lion went from strength to kitten-soft, its once class-leading models being systematically replaced by varying degrees of banal. Blandness of which the 307 was a first-class (but second-rate) example. Boring, badly built, indifferent to drive and not even nice to look at, the mid-size Peugeot was a box of horrors that had very few redeeming features. Even the clock was an overcomplicated pain in the nether regions to adjust.

Peugeot 307 GT Feline (5)

If a redeeming feature could be found, it was in its chassis. No 307 was utterly engaging to drive, but they did have a good ride and an impressive amount of grip. Dynamically (if you could get used to the horrid driving position), it was at the upper end of passable.

In 2005, aware that the 307 had been chastised about as much as its 306 predecessor had been praised, Peugeot decided it was time to apply some lipstick to its pig. Along came a facelift, where the original rather soulless snout was replaced with a new wide-mouthed frog look that was not much of an improvement, and the fiddly centre console controls were made even more confusing with the addition of an LCD display screen. 

Peugeot 307 GT Feline (3)

Amid all this was Peugeot’s almost apologetic attempt at a ‘hot hatch’. The 307 GT ‘Feline’ was a three-door model with a pretty respectable 177bhp under that ski-slope of a bonnet, enough to get it from 0-60mph in a sniff under eight seconds and on to a top speed of double the national speed limit.

It hid its light under a bushel, too, for apart from slightly bigger rims (styled to look as insipid as the smaller alloys in the 307 line-up) and part-leather seats with slightly thicker bolsters, it didn’t look like much of a performance car. It was almost as if Peugeot had tried to make the 307 interesting and then apologised halfway through, putting the boring bits back in place.

Peugeot 307 GT Feline (2)

The 307 GT Feline is, as a result, a very rare car today. Just 300 were imported to start with and of those only around half survive. They’re utterly worthless, but that’s part of the appeal. While rival hot hatches of the mid-2000s are already catching on with collectors, this is the forgotten also-ran, and as such it costs pennies to pick up. You’ll get one for less than a grand, easily. And at that price, 180bhp suddenly seems quite attractive, regardless of what’s on top…


lance1a    on 25 February 2020

TBH...I just bought a Feline and after getting it back on the road am using it as a daily, amongst a raft of other much earlier stuff like 91 BMW E30 318iS, 95 Audi Coupe V6, Alfa 145 and 155 TS, and E36 328i M-sport coupe. I like the underratedness of the car, the decent push from the motor, the very pleasing (for a Pug, and most anything really) interior, the gadgets I rarely come into contact with being a Classic car nut, the good handling and just plain ease of use. Mine's a dark grey with saddle leather interior, all the bells and whistles and I have to say....I'm impressed that I'm impressed by a Frenchie. I still can't figure out how the display works properly though.

   on 5 December 2020

I have had a 307 Feline 180 for five years, the longest I've owned any car. My car is on adjustable coilovers with poly everything, wider tyres, mild engine mods. The reviews of this car are a joke. It's a good-handling car that is fun to drive quickly. Granted, in standard trim it's pudgy and prone to roll (issues long since eliminated by mods), but now it can tear around Donington Park at 90mph in the rain with confidence and the grip is astounding. The driving position is fine. If you can't work the dashboard, you presumably failed all your GCSEs. The car is vastly cheaper than a copy-paste Golf, its interior is far more characterful and you get more kit. When standard it will keep up with modern 2.0 TDi hatchbacks that seem to be everywhere; modified, it will effortlessly leave them. The engine note is absolutely gorgeous. It's never been off the road and I cancelled my breakdown cover years ago. Is it a perfect car? Hell no. But is it terrible at anything? Hell no. This thing carried me to loch ness and back (a 1000-mile round trip) with no complaints and runs better now than many cars of its age. It has been reliable because I looked after it, something many Pug owners fail to do. It has always brought me safely home.

Add a comment


Compare classic car insurance quotes and buy online. A friendly service offering access to a range of policies and benefits.

Get a quote