Peugeot 308 review

Peugeot 308 review

We road test both the hatchback and estate versions of the all-new third generation Peugeot 308

Cards on table time. I had a soft spot for the venerable Mk 2 Peugeot 308. On sale between 2014-21 and winner of the European Car of the Year Award, it was a solid family hatchback (and estate), offering a good, comfortable drive and a choice of solid petrol and diesel engines.

Fast forward to 2022 and Peugeot has got round to rebooting the 308 with the stunning, all-new third generation model which is once again available as a hatchback or estate (branded SW, or Station Wagon).

Unlike its predecessor, the new 308 will eventually be available with a full range of powertrains. So, in addition to basic petrol and diesel engines, there’s a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), with a 100% electric version following in 2023.

Peugeot 308 review

Priced from £24,365, the 308 will once again battle it out with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, plus plug-in hybrids including the Mercedes-Benz A250e and Toyota Prius.

Not only does the 308 usher in Peugeot’s latest design language, it’s also the first model to proudly wear the brand’s bold new logo and feature its latest (and much improved) infotainment system.

If it was judged purely on kerb appeal, the 308 would win any group test hands down. The combination of swooping bonnet, large grille, slimmer headlights and lion’s tooth LED daytime running lights give it serious road presence.

Peugeot 308 review

There’s a nod to the Mk 2 in its athletic profile, while its pert rear is adorned with Peugeot’s signature claw-like LED brake lights. And just in case you’re wondering, the new 308 is 11mm longer and 20mm lower than the outgoing car, but more importantly, the wheelbase has grown by 55mm, theoretically delivering more space inside.

I tested petrol, diesel and PHEV versions of the hatchback and estate, and it has to be said, it looks especially cool in Olivine Green.

Peugeot’s also sprinkled some magic dust over the interior. The highlight is the new i-Cockpit system which features a slick “3D” 10-inch instrument cluster ahead of the driver and a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. There’s also an “OK Peugeot” voice assistant which can control functions such as sat nav and media.

Peugeot 308 review

In short, the new infotainment set-up is a huge improvement, and I like the way Peugeot has stuck with short-cut buttons below the main screen. They may add to the “clutter”, but they are much easier and safer to use than tablet-only systems.

Some things stay the same and, like it or not, Peugeot’s driver setup is as quirky as ever, with a dinky, low-slung steering wheel and an instrument panel set back. Finding the perfect driving position is still challenging, so my advice would be to try before you buy (or lease).

The good news is that the cabin feels roomier with the boot benefitting most, though rear legroom is more adequate than generous.

Peugeot 308 review

At launch, you can choose between 1.2 petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines, with both pushing out 129bhp sent through an eight-speed transmission (there is no manual option!).

The three-cylinder petrol can sprint from 0-62mph is 9.7 seconds and offers fuel economy of up to 52.1mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 122g/km.

The diesel delivers a 0-62mph time of 10.6 seconds CO2 emissions as low as 113g/km and fuel economy of up to 65.4mpg.

Peugeot 308 review

The two plug-in hybrid options use the same 1.6-litre petrol engine, producing either 178bhp or 222bhp. Naturally the PHEVs are particularly tempting for business users looking for tax benefits thanks to low CO2 emissions (down to 25g/km).

The plug-in is the most interesting powertrain option, mating the petrol engine with an 81kW electric motor and 12.4kWh battery and, in theory, offering pure electric travel of up to 37 miles.

Frankly, there isn’t much differences between the two PHEVs – the 178bhp is good for a 0-62mph time of 7.7 seconds, while the 222bhp is 0.1s faster.

Peugeot 308 review

In theory, fuel economy as high as 200mph is possible if your commutes are short and you keep the battery charged up (charging can take as little as 1 hr 55 mins via a 7.4kW connection).

After my test drives, I suspect the real world EV range is closer to 30 miles, which still means your visits to petrol stations could become rare occasions if you’re a low mileage driver.

But remember, PHEVs are most efficient if the battery is charged up regularly. Tackle a long journey with next-to-no charge and you can expect your fuel economy to plummet to 40-45mpg.

Peugeot 308 review

I sampled the 1.2 petrol (hatchback), 1.5 diesel (estate) and most powerful PHEV (estate) and to be frank, there’s little separating the body styles on the road because they drive much the same, even though the hybrids are heavier. Really it will come down to whether you need an estate.

Either way, the hybrid versions have slightly less luggage capacity because the battery pack is stowed under the boot.

Naturally, there’s more divergence when it comes to powertrains. The Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall to name but a few brands) group’s ubiquitous three-cylinder 1.2 petrol is a punchy little performer, only becoming vocal if worked really hard.

Peugeot 308 review

And partly because it’s the lightest of the trio of powertrains, it also feels the most agile on the road.

The excellent 1.5 diesel delivers decent torque and is a refined and relaxed cruiser, but is probably best left to high-mileage users.

The plug-in hybrid is arguably the star of the show, offering an impressive blend of performance and economy. In fact, we suspect the cheaper, lower powered PHEV will suit most customers.

In EV mode it’s just like driving an electric car, while the transition to petrol power in hybrid mode is seamless, even if the petrol motor sounds harsh by comparison – especially when pushed.

Peugeot 308 review

The eight-speed auto box used across the range is occasionally hesitant, but mainly smooth, while quick steering, good grip and minimal body lean give the 308 impressive poise.

The ride is generally on the firm side and it’s at its best cruising comfortably along. There’s still fun to be had, and clearly there’s scope for a hot 308 at some stage in the future.

Verdict: Whether you fancy the stunning hatchback or rakish estate, the all-new Peugeot 308 is right up there with the best-in-class. Comfortable, economical and easy to drive, splash out on the frugal plug-in hybrid for a planet-friendly all-rounder.

Peugeot UK

Peugeot 308 review

Britain’s bestselling cars of 2021

Home / Auto News / Britain’s bestselling cars of 2021

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

The final figures are in and the Vauxhall Corsa was the the UK’s most popular car in 2021, deposing the Ford Fiesta after 12 consecutive years at the top of the charts.

Not only is the Corsa available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, but there’s also an affordable pure electric version (badged Corsa-e) with a range of up to 209 miles.

Latest data from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) showed that 305,000 plug-in vehicles (electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids) were sold last year, accounting for 18.6% of overall market share.

Electric vehicles accounted for 11.6% of the market, or 190,727 cars, meaning that more EVs were registered last year than over the previous five years combined, with the Tesla Model 3 leading the charge.

The overall UK car market only improved fractionally, thanks to the global semiconductor shortage and COVID. In 2020, 1.63 million cars were sold, while in 2021 it was 1.65 million.

  1. Vauxhall Corsa
    2021 registrations: 40,914
    2020 ranking: 2nd (up 1 place)
  2. Tesla Model 3
    2021 registrations: 34,783
    2020 ranking: 14th (up 12 places)
  3. MINI Hatch
    2021 registrations: 31,792
    2020 ranking: 7th (up 4 places)
  4. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
    2021 registrations: 30,710
    2020 ranking: 5th (up 1 place)
  5. Volkswagen Polo
    2021 registrations: 30,634
    2020 ranking: 8th (up 3 places)
  6. Volkswagen Golf
    2021 registrations: 30,240
    2020 ranking: 3rd (down 3 places)
  7. Nissan Qashqai
    2021 registrations: 29,992
    2020 ranking: 6th (down 1 place)
  8. Ford Puma
    2021 registrations: 28,697
    2020 ranking: 9th (up 1 place)
  9. Kia Sportage
    2021 registrations: 27,611
    2020 ranking: 16th (up 7 places)
  10. Toyota Yaris
    2021 registrations: 27,415
    2020 ranking: 15th (up 5 places)

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Sales of second-hand cars are rocketing in the UK, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The amount of used cars changing hands more than doubled in the last few months. Year on year, the market grew 108.6% in the second quarter – that’s a near-record 2,167,504 second-hand vehicles.

The boom is being driven by various factors including pent-up demand after successive lockdowns, a global chip shortage that has dented production of new vehicles and people remaining wary of public transport as they return to work.

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  2. Vauxhall Corsa – 73,366
  3. Ford Focus – 72,105
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 69,582
  5. Vauxhall Astra – 56,189
  6. BMW 3 Series – 48,849
  7. MINI – 48,140
  8. Volkswagen Polo – 40,372
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Their stage 1 remap pushes power from the 2.0-litre TSI up by 64bhp, with torque increasing by 119Nm. Those are seriously impressive figures for a Stage 1 remap, and for £399 fitted that’s a big bang for your buck.

However, something else stands out in the power chart below. Superchips dyno figures are quoting the original power output as 268bhp and torque as 390Nm, which is a big jump from the official figures of 241bhp (or 245PS in metric land) and 350Nm. So is the GTI a lot fitter than VW claim or has something else been done to this car?

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