From £15,6598
Peugeot’s new 308 BlueHDi diesel offers more poke, lower CO2 and an impressive claimed economy of over 70mpg

Our Verdict

Peugeot 308

Peugeot needs its all-new family hatch to be a hit. Is it up to the job?

Steve Cropley Autocar
20 May 2014

What is it?

In a nutshell, this is where Peugeot’s 308 C-segment hatchback – its best effort yet at challenging the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus – meets an all-new range of cleaner, more powerful and more frugal diesels, grouped under the BlueHDi brand name.


If you read newspapers, you’ll already know that turbodiesel engines have been losing their lustre, the decline accompanied by a lot of florid, they’re-killing-our-kids headlines. The truth is, oil burners have always been good news for helping to keep CO2 outputs respectable, but until recently many have given too free a rein to other exhaust pollutants, especially particulates and oxides of nitrogen.

Peugeot, a leader in diesel research from way back, has been fitting exhaust particulate traps on its cars since 2007. Its latest step is to unveil a new diesel family, BlueHDi, which uses a new three-element emission control technology to cut pollutants back to stricter Euro 6 levels that are coming soon. It boosts power and torque into the bargain; the company’s engine men claim it as “the most efficient emission control system on the market”.

A handy way of judging the effectiveness of BlueHDi, is to compare Peugeot’s current 1.6-litre e-HDi-engined 308 (115bhp, 95g/km CO2 and 76.3mpg combined) with the new BlueHDi version (120bhp, 82g/km and 91.1mpg combined), and then factor in the knowledge that the newer one already complies with Euro 6 emissions standards that don’t take effect until January 2016. It’s an impressive step forward.

What's it like?

We drove a new top performance BlueHDi version, the 148bhp 2.0-litre in luxurious Feline spec. It takes 8.9 seconds to achieve 0-60mph and can exceed 130mph flat out, yet still deliver just over 70mpg on the combined cycle - a performance that translates into easy everyday consumption in the 55mpg region, with 60mpg perfectly possible in give-and-take driving, providing you’re willing to make the effort.

The 308 is a pleasant and docile car with a crisp throttle response, very useful and impressive low-end flexibility and very good passing acceleration, provided you remember to change up early: it runs out of puff not far over 4000rpm.

However its refinement isn’t the best: you always hear the engine, and the idle is more rattly than many. The gearchange, though well defined in its action, feels more 'grainy' than most close to the top of this hard-fought class, and its long lever seems rather at odds with the small, low-set steering wheel which is so convenient to twirl in tight, low-speed manoeuvres. 

The 308 is impressive in most other ways, although there are a couple of 'soft' areas: the car isn’t quite as generously proportioned in the rear compartment and boot as the class leaders, although most users will probably find it decent enough. 

Dynamically speaking, its body control is fine but the secondary comfort is disappointing: on the optional 225/40x18inch tyres (17s are standard) our test car picked up surface noise and jitters far more easily than its best competitors.

Should I buy one?

The new BlueHDi engines add a lot to the already-strong Peugeot 308 range. With the new 2.0-litre version fitted, the 308 becomes quite a quick car, especially on difficult B-roads where the engine’s flexibility and quick-acting torque come into play, along with the good handling and quick steering. Seems to us Peugeot is moving steadily through the field towards the front of the pack.

Peugeot 308 BlueHDi 150 Feline

Price £23,045 0-62mph 8.9sec Top speed 132mph Economy 70.6mpg combined C02 105g/km Kerbweight 1490kg Engine 4 cyls, 1997cc, turbodiesel Installation transverse, fwd Power 148bhp at 3750rpm Torque 273lb ft at 2000rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
14

20 May 2014
It would be a lot nicer if Peugeot would really let their hair down and make it available in a colour of some sort.

20 May 2014
- To see a real world comparison test between the old and new 1.6 hdi's. If the new engines are more efficient it should show up on the road with an improved mpg ? Nice to see this new engine offered with a manual box.
The cabin photo also seem to show the steering wheel offset a long way to the Left. Don't remember reading about this in the road tests ?

20 May 2014
Liking what the PSA group are doing at the moment then I saw this cars price, a 308 for over £23,000. especially with the comments "However its refinement isn’t the best: you always hear the engine, and the idle is more rattly than many" from this review.
It's the same price as the A3 2.0 diesel, better start bartering

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

20 May 2014
Audi charge you extra for everything, even on the top of the range trim you're paying extra for such simple features as light sensitive headlights.

The 308 feline includes virtually everything as standard, a quick glance as the spec sheet and the only options I can see are:
Full sized spare wheel (spacesaver standard)
Blind Spot monitoring system (dynamic cruise control, auto braking etc. all standard)
SOS assistance
Nappa Leather seats
CD Player (No, really)

Even the glass roof is standard.

The hatchback version of the 308 doesn't look quite right to me, it'll be interesting to see what the 308 Estate is like looks-wise.

21 May 2014
xxxx wrote:

It's the same price as the A3 2.0 diesel, better start bartering

At first, I thought that was nonsense, and I was right! You can buy an A3 sportback with the 2.0 diesel engine in SE spec for £21885 according their website hahaha :p

In all seriousness, no one will pay full price. Drive the deal already have this car on their site for £18914 for example

20 May 2014
think the fuel cap is open in pic number 3 ;)

21 May 2014
deliver just over 70mpg on the combined cycle - a performance that translates into easy everyday consumption in the 55mpg region, with 60mpg perfectly possible in give-and-take driving, providing you’re willing to make the effort.

wot? someone help my inability please

21 May 2014
At that rate, why on earth would anyone buy the Audi?

21 May 2014
If you want to spend £23,000 and you prefer extras and bling rather than refinement, driving appeal and lower deprication then fine go for the 308. It's your choice.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

21 May 2014
The type-approval deadline for Euro 6 is September 2014. The standard is binding for all cars sold from September 2015. I don't think Peugeot are doing anything radically innovative here, just the minimum that all manufacturers are being required to undertake.

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