Peugeot 308: A Wonderful Hatch from France

Peugeot 308

If you want to rule the selling charts in the American market make a crossover, however if you want to be at the top of the UK market make a family hatch. This says a lot, probably Americans are a little bit more extravagant, while the English come off a little more efficient. The family hatch segment is a hotly contested category that seems to hit up every new model year. The Peugeot 308 is pitted against the likes of the Astra, Octavia and the Golf. Though this may seem like a tall order the 308 easily rivals any of the aforementioned.

The History

The 308 was launched in 2008 as the replacement model of the Peugeot 307. It went on to have a facelift in 2011 where it was unveiled at that year’s Geneva Motor Show, while featuring a new front end and subtle changes in the engine. During this facelift the other body-styles of the 308 also got a facelift. In full, the 308’s run lasted 2008-2013. The 308 does come in a wide range of body-styles:

  • 3-door or 5-door Hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • 5-door station wagon/estate
  • 2-door coupe cabriolet

It’s important to note that the coupe cabriolet is known as the 308 CC and it replaced the 307 CC in the spring of 2009. The four door sedan is available in China only and is produced by Dongfeng.

Current Model

Currently, the 308 has reached its second generation and it was unveiled in the autumn of 2013. It was launched together with the 508 and 208. The current 308 featured Peugeot’s new numbering system, with the final digits of its models made permanent, whereas the 8 is for the mainstream models, while 1 is for the emerging markets. An example of one of the cars available in the emerging markets is the Peugeot 301.

Later in 2014 the 308 was awarded Car of the year in Europe beating the Tesla S and BMW i3 along the way.

The Variants

Here are all the variants of the Peugeot 308:

  • Access
  • Active
  • Allure
  • GT Line
  • GT GTI 250 by Peugeot Sport
  • GTI 270 by Peugeot Sport

Peugeot 308 Interior

The Powertrain

Powering the 308 are three cylinder and four cylinder variants. The most powerful engine in the 308’s lineup is the 1.6L turbo four cylinder petrol engine which belongs to the GTI 270. This engine is able to produce a total of 272 hp. As for the most powerful diesel engine it is a 2L four cylinder that produces 150 hp. All the engines depending on their models utilize either a 5-speed, 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto.

Interior

Peugeot should pat themselves on the back for pulling off a really premium looking interior, so much so that it edges over the Volkswagen Golf. Great materials and finishes have been laid out here to perfection. Gazing at the fascia you’ll be impressed with the instruments display where the rev counter goes anticlockwise to the speedometer’s clockwise turn. At first odd, but after getting familiar with it really is a smart touch. Also, you have a smaller steering wheel so you can see the dials easily. Finally, the 308 is loaded up with lots of tech that can be a bit complex to use.

Exterior

From outside this hatch looks great and has a contemporary feel to it. Interestingly for the entry-level trims the 308 is positioned just above the grille, however for the more premium trims it is at the center, inside the grille. Taking a keen look, I like the nicely curved headlights, I believe they are the highlight of its front. The front-end of the Peugeot 308 feels warm and friendly.

Our Verdict

Interestingly, the 308 HDi is the current holder of the Guinness World Record for the most fuel-efficient mainstream car that is still presently being produced. Now with awards left, right and center there is no doubt about the value the 308 offers. It’s great to drive, has great styling and it’s really efficient. However, it does have some faults chiefly among them is the rear seats don’t have enough headroom, which kind of makes its practicality wane. Also, the infotainment is a little too complex to use. Apart from all that, this is a great car to have and will offer you value for money.

If you are thinking of paying for a new family hatch the Peugeot 308 will cost you from £ 15,495.

Which would you pick the Peugeot 308 or the Volkswagen Golf? Have your say, leave a comment.

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Cris Shaki

Passionate about cars, tech, people, business, history, art & writing. I also enjoy being a graphic designer and web designer.

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