And yet the fact that the 308 so readily reminds us of an overhauled version of its predecessor is, ultimately, a disappointment. Bettering the old car is simply not enough when faced with such accomplished rivals.
While the 308’s weaknesses are individually not enough to warrant damning criticism - the performance lacks a little enthusiasm, the ride is occasionally troubled and the handling lacklustre - most of its competitors just do it all better.
To its credit, the 308 is spacious, well equipped, well priced and has a quality feel, but these positives can’t cancel out the negatives. There are plenty of other hatches we’d rather buy.
It’s luck then that the SW estate version is a saving grace for the 308. Estate-bodied variants of a C-segment hatches tend to get a bit lost among the hordes of headline-grabbing mini-MPVs and the like, but in truth there’s no reason to rule it out.
It may not be the first choice for the driving enthusiast, but the 308 SW is a refined, economical and pleasant enough small estate that’s also practical and, with those optional third-row seats added, exceptionally versatile.