From £15,6598
New three-cylinder petrol performs well in the 308, adding extra appeal to this stylish and upmarket family hatch

Our Verdict

Peugeot 308

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

What is it?

The Peugeot 308, equipped with one of the French firm's new 'PureTech' petrol engines, a range of three-cylinder turbocharged and naturally aspirated powerplants. They'll eventually appear in models like the 108, 208 and 2008 crossover, but for now are confined to the 308 and its SW estate sibling.

Peugeot says its PureTech 1.2-litre engine can give you all the power of a 1.6, handy since it'll go on to replace the current 1.6-litre THP unit in Peugeot's range. It's tested here in e-THP 130 form, meaning there's 129bhp on offer, alongside 170lb ft of torque. 

The real headline figures here though come with the car's fuel efficiency, with Peugeot tempting buyers with claims of 58.9mpg on a combined cycle and CO2 emissions of just 110g/km. All the while, the 308 must also live up to its Car of the Year credentials in offering a premium and stylish driving experience.

What's it like?

Relaxing, even when the engine is pushed into the upper limits of its rev range. It never feels too strained, and there's a decent throttle response from low-down in the range. 

It's also very comfortable, with the 17-inch alloy wheels fitted to our test car absorbing the lumps and bumps of a roadwork-stricken motorway very well. Even at lower speeds, the 308 feels composed. We've praised the new 308's cabin many times before for its tremendous leap in quality. The Allure car comes with a leather steering wheel and gearknob, as well as extra kit including front parking sensors and a reversing camera. That's not to mention the Peugeot's integrated satellite navigation which also comes with lesser Active specification. All of those functions are controlled via Peugeot's 9.7-inch touchscreen interface, and doing so means the rest of the cabin is relatively button-free.

On a spirited drive through the Surrey countryside we found this 308 to be particularly light on its feet, thanks to its smaller engine, but the compromise comes with cornering. Perhaps because of the loss in weight the 308 feels a little unsettled, a little too keen to roll about. The steering is quick and well weighted, but there's little feedback through the wheel.

Other minor issues come with the six-speed manual gearbox. We struggled with some gear changes, especially from second to third, where the 'box felt unwilling to engage. 

Still, most buyers will be more concerned with saving money on their fuel bills, and while we didn't match Peugeot's official claimed 58.9mpg we did manage over 45mpg figure after a mix of countryside and urban routes.

Should I buy one?

If you're after a stylish but economical family hatchback, then this should certainly be on your shortlist. While rivals like the Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost and Volkswagen Golf 1.2 TSI might have more agility and dynamic focus, this is still a commendable effort by Peugeot.

The Focus might also have the edge over this 308 when it comes to running costs. The average annual cost of fuel for this three cylinder 308 over 12,000 miles would be £1278, compared to £1258 for the Focus and £1306 for the Golf. But while the Focus emits 114g/km of CO2 in six-speed manual form, the 308 puts out just 110g/km. Where the Peugeot also shines is inside, with a more premium cabin than the Ford.

This is a 308 which feels well placed to take on its hatchback rivals, competing on economy as well as on premium style. The addition of its frugal new three-cylinder engine only sweetens the deal, too.

Peugeot 308 Allure e-THP 130

Price £21,270; 0-62mph 10.3 sec; Top speed 125mph; Economy 58.9mpg; CO2 110g/km; Kerb weight 1370kg; Engine 3 cyls, 1198cc, turbocharged, petrol; Power 129bhp at 5550rpm; Torque 170lb ft at 2750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
12

23 April 2014
£ 21,200 ouch.

23 April 2014
They've done that stupid "dials hidden behind the steering wheel where nobody can see them" thing again.
Somebody should tell Peugeot there is a reason they are the only company that is doing this abomination to their cars (and it ain't because it is any good).

23 April 2014
martin_66 wrote:

They've done that stupid "dials hidden behind the steering wheel where nobody can see them" thing again.
Somebody should tell Peugeot there is a reason they are the only company that is doing this abomination to their cars (and it ain't because it is any good).

I sat in one and had no problems seeing the dials.

23 April 2014
For those ape like people with long arms who like to hang their arms up in the air, the conventional driving position with a high large steering wheel so that you can peer through to the dials may suit them.

But for others a small, low steering over which you look works just fine. In fact I would be more inclined to less incline the steering wheel. This is a much more ergonomic position. Do you ever wonder why trucks and buses uses a similar position albeit with an oversized wheel?

24 April 2014
martin_66 wrote:

They've done that stupid "dials hidden behind the steering wheel where nobody can see them" thing again.
Somebody should tell Peugeot there is a reason they are the only company that is doing this abomination to their cars (and it ain't because it is any good).

Have you actually sat in the new 308? The dials aren't hidden behind the steering wheel they're above it, anybody with more than a couple of brain cells to rub together can position themselves comfortably without obscuring the dials. I much prefer the small steering wheel to the hgv sized one on my old Golf.

23 April 2014
(sorry, me again!). That interior is just awful, probably the worst I have ever seen on any car. I appreciate that they are trying to clear the clutter from dashboards (they needed to - theirs were absolutely covered in buttons on previous models), but how on earth to you turn the air conditioning on? How do you change radio channels? How do you put warm air on your feet? You shouldn't have to go onto a computer screen and start scrolling through menus - the buttons to do this should be right there and clear and easy to use. This is just plain awful, Peugeot.

24 April 2014
martin_66 wrote:

(sorry, me again!). That interior is just awful, probably the worst I have ever seen on any car. I appreciate that they are trying to clear the clutter from dashboards (they needed to - theirs were absolutely covered in buttons on previous models), but how on earth to you turn the air conditioning on? How do you change radio channels? How do you put warm air on your feet? You shouldn't have to go onto a computer screen and start scrolling through menus - the buttons to do this should be right there and clear and easy to use. This is just plain awful, Peugeot.

Yes, you again...I'll ask the same question - have you sat inside the new 308? Judging by the above quote I'm guessing you haven't been near a new 308 much less sat inside one and used the touch screen. You don't have to scroll through *any* menus to do any of the above! If you can bare to look at a picture of the "awful" interior you'll notice they're touch sensitive buttons either side of screen which takes you to the aircon, radio, sat nav, etc without a scrollbar insight.

The aircon screen itself is a lot easier to use than the rotary knobs and buttons in other cars I've tried with dual zone climate control. The temperature is clearly displayed in a big font unlike other cars where the temp is displayed on a tiny and dim screen taken off a pocket calculator. And when you want to demist the screen there is a physical button to the side of the hazards button.

I suggest you actually go and try the interior out before commenting again as you're making yourself look silly :-(

24 April 2014
triptyz wrote:
martin_66 wrote:

(sorry, me again!). That interior is just awful, probably the worst I have ever seen on any car. I appreciate that they are trying to clear the clutter from dashboards (they needed to - theirs were absolutely covered in buttons on previous models), but how on earth to you turn the air conditioning on? How do you change radio channels? How do you put warm air on your feet? You shouldn't have to go onto a computer screen and start scrolling through menus - the buttons to do this should be right there and clear and easy to use. This is just plain awful, Peugeot.

Yes, you again...I'll ask the same question - have you sat inside the new 308? Judging by the above quote I'm guessing you haven't been near a new 308 much less sat inside one and used the touch screen. You don't have to scroll through *any* menus to do any of the above! If you can bare to look at a picture of the "awful" interior you'll notice they're touch sensitive buttons either side of screen which takes you to the aircon, radio, sat nav, etc without a scrollbar insight.

The aircon screen itself is a lot easier to use than the rotary knobs and buttons in other cars I've tried with dual zone climate control. The temperature is clearly displayed in a big font unlike other cars where the temp is displayed on a tiny and dim screen taken off a pocket calculator. And when you want to demist the screen there is a physical button to the side of the hazards button.

I suggest you actually go and try the interior out before commenting again as you're making yourself look silly :-(

Looks like the same screen fitted to the wifes new picasso. Very easy to use on the move for things like climate and the radio. Yes you can dig into to the settings a bit more but surely you would be stationary to do this like any car.

The short cut keys take you to the menu you want which for example the climate brings up the temp for the driver and passenger with up and down arrows and AUTO, Feet, Face etc. This is all you should need on the move. There is also a secondary menu behind that where you can change the intensity of the fan speed and change it from dual zone climate to single and whether you want or need the rear blowers on. Nothing over difficult about that.

Same with the stereo. Screen pops up if on FM for example, the station you are on and tuning arrows for left and right. You have a source buttom in the top right for DAB, Streaming, Hard drive etc etc and you just repeat, again not that difficult on the move and there are secondary menus where you can tweak things etc, again in any car you should really be doing that stationary.

It obvious you have not used the system. I have and happy to answer any questions.

23 April 2014
That doesn't look as messy as Peugeot;s of the past. Especially where it felt like Peugeot of the past took the very first hand sketched interior design and turned it into a reality.

Not sure about price? Obviously being Peugeot that'll price will never be achieved (discount frenzy), but what else do you get for a similar price?

24 April 2014
Don't want to criticise as I love French cars generally, but does this car look less boring in the metal?

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