If there’s one area where the advantages of taking existing components and refining them comes to the fore, as has occurred with the 308, it should be here. And that should be welcome news indeed for Peugeot owners because the 307 was, according to customer satisfaction surveys, anything but a delight to own and drive.
Still, it is well priced and well equipped compared with its European rivals, while depreciation is par for the course for a car sold to fleets in big numbers. What the Peugeot cannot match is the pricing or warranty offered by Kia and Hyundai.
It’s safe, though: most versions come with seven airbags as standard and the 308 was awarded the maximum five Euro NCAP test stars.
That safety should also make the 308 a cheap car to insure; in its entry-level 1.4 VTi form in base Access trim, it can be found in Insurance Group 10. The most basic Hyundai i30 is two groups higher.
Prices start from around £15,500 for the base 1.4-litre petrol model, the cheapest diesel coming in at almost £17,000 for the 91bhp 1.6 HDi version.
The frugal flagship is the e-HDi version, with an economy figure of 70.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 104g/km. That latter figure is disappointing, given how many of the 308’s rivals have dipped below the magic 100g/km threshold.
But most worrying about this version is the cost: it’s alarmingly close to VW’s Golf Bluemotion, which is also cleaner on CO2 emissions.