Motoring: New PEUGEOT 308 Goes Upmarket

By Declan Glynn

by Gazette Reporter
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The all-new PEUGEOT 308 was chosen by the French vehicle manufacturer as the very first model that would wear the new PEUGEOT brand coat of arms in a grille entirely dedicated to it.

Credited as being a design and technological evolution, the new name-badge houses the radar for driving assistance systems, so it brings form and function together in a dynamic way. Available in traditional hatchback or load-lugging Station Wagon (SW) body styles, the new 308 is sure to appeal to an even greater audience than ever before.

Three Trim Levels.

The new PEUGEOT 308 is available with a choice of petrol or diesel powertrains – both of which come with an 8-speed (EAT8) automatic transmission as standard – along with a petrol/electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The new 308 is available in a choice of three trim variants – Active, Allure and GT – all of which are equipped with an impressive array of safety, security, lighting, visibility, comfort, convenience and infotainment features as standard. The 1.2-litre PureTech petrol, and 1.5-litre BlueHDi turbo-diesel engines both produce 130hp, and are available across all trim levels, as is the 180hp PHEV. However, buyers of the sporty GT variant can also opt for a PHEV powertrain with 225hp for an even more dynamic driving experience. Having previously reviewed the new 308 PHEV, it is the petrol variant that is the focus of this review.

Impressive Space & Tech.

Boot space behind the rear seats measures in at a decent 412-litres, but this can extend to 1,323-litres when the rear seatbacks are folded. There are plenty of storage bins dotted around the 308’s upmarket cabin, along with the added convenience of concealed storage underneath the front centre armrest. The ingenious PEUGEOT i-cockpit™ is standard across the new 308 model range, and it has been enhanced and modernised for even greater ease of use. From the Allure grade, the new 308 includes fully configurable virtual i-toggles which enable drivers to create their preferred shortcuts. Positioned opposite the central screen, they provide a unique level of technology in the family car market segment.

Car on Review.

My review car was a new 308 Allure 1.2-litre PureTech 130hp which attracted lots of admiration in its Olivine Green metallic paintwork (a no-cost option). The 3-cylinder petrol engine is quiet and enthusiastic in equal measure, and it enables a 0-100km/h sprint to be completed in just 9.7-seconds, while an official WLTP fuel efficiency figure of 5.7l/100km on a combined driving cycle is equally impressive. Unlike some small-engine automatic cars, the new 308 maintains its smooth and refined nature whether it is weaving through congested city streets or cruising at motorway speeds. The slick eight-speed automatic transmission is surprisingly fluid, even under hard acceleration, and a drive mode selector button next to the gear lever enables the driver to choose between Eco, Normal and Sport modes for a more personalised driving experience. With the new 308, PEUGEOT continues its push towards premium positioning in the car market, and the cars’ upmarket cabin design and high quality feel certainly echo this sentiment. The small steering wheel does give the 308 a sporty feel, and the steering responses are quick and direct, but Peugeot has managed to mix sportiness with a comfortable ride, too. There is plenty of grip in corners, and minimal amounts of body roll, while the car glides over rough roads in a composed manner.

Key standard features in mid-spec Allure trim include rear privacy glass, a 180-degree colour reversing camera with front & rear parking sensors, keyless entry, push-button start, multi driving mode selector, 17-inch alloy wheels, gloss black rear cluster connecting strip, Connected 3D Navigation, PEUGEOT i-Connect (activated by using “OK PEUGEOT”), wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay™, driver and front passenger comfort seats, high beam assist, and signature LED daytime running lights, along with Active Safety Brake, and a Drive Assist Pack consisting of Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and Long Range Active Blind Spot Detection.

Verdict & Pricing.

The new PEUGEOT 308 is one of the most striking cars in its class, and its sharp new look, along with its fuel-efficient powertrain offerings and smart on-board technology, transform it into a contender good enough to worry the best in the business. The new 308 is priced from €31,765 and is on sale now. All PEUGEOT passenger cars come with the reassurance of a comprehensive 5-year/100,000km warranty as standard.

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