Expert Reviews

First Drive: Peugeot 308

Thursday 22 June 2017

First Drive: Peugeot 308
Summary

Here in the UK the 308 has proved to be immensely popular, but it has failed to eclipse the success it has received in its home country where it sits at the top of the segment in terms of popularity.

Here, it certainly lies in the top 10, but, as Peugeot admits, ‘closer to 10 than one’. This latest refresh is designed, therefore, to push it further up those rankings and closer to the top.

Now, it has sharper styling than before as well as Peugeot’s latest range of efficient engines. Inside, its gets a 9.7-inch touchscreen with 3D satnav and new graphics. The car also builds on the five-star Euro NCAP safety rating achieved by its predecessor with enhanced safety technology.

Looks & Image

The new-look 308 looks great, and thanks to sharp styling is a welcome new take on the old car’s design. New elliptical headlamps feature integrated LED daytime running lights, while the rear lights have a new three-claw design to them. Short front and rear overhangs also ensure that the 308 remains maneuverable, giving it excellent inner city handling.

Allure, GT Line and GT models all feature a large glass roof as standard, and this helps keep the 308’s interior light and airy. Everything feels well screwed together and should stand the test of time – though some rivals do offer more interior space.

Space & Practicality

The interior layout of the new 308 hasn’t changed all that much over the previous-generation car – though it remains a comfortable place to be. The car’s i-Cockpit screen layout looks great, but can sometimes be obscured by the steering wheel dependent on its height setting.

All of the materials feel of a high quality, which gives the 308 a distinctively premium feel. It’ll be a big hit with those after plenty of practicality, too, as it’s able to offer class-leading load space at 660 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to an impressive 1,775 litres with them folded down.

Behind the Wheel

We managed to take the 308 GT out on some of Germany’s high-speed autobahns, as well as around some twisty roads designed to put the 308’s handling to the test. It managed to cope with everything we could throw at it, returning a taught and involving driver without ever feeling too firm. The gearbox also had a decent action, making quick gearshifts simple.

Value for Money

The Peugeot 308 has experienced price reductions of around £650 on average when compared to equivalent models in the current range. Some buyers may be able to see savings of more than £1,000, which is an impressive on a new car. Specification levels are generous, too, and the amount of safety equipment included is better than before.

Who would buy one ?

Peugeot will be targeting the 308 directly at families, with its excellent practicality levels and efficient range of engines likely to tempt those who have children to ferry around. That said, professionals who are looking for an alternatively styled hatchback will find the 308 appealing, while the GT and GTi models will no doubt draw in younger motorists after a more exciting drive.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Peugeot 308 GT
Price as tested: £25,010
Engine tested: 1.6-litre THP 205 S&S manual
Power: 205bhp
Torque: 285Nm
Max speed: 146mph
0-60mph: 7.3 seconds
MPG: 50mpg
Emissions: 130g/km

 

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