Peugeot 308 hatchback
Price £15,195 - £28,155
- Cheap to run
- Comfortable ride
- Plenty of boot space
- Some rivals are cheaper to buy
- Lack of space in the back
- Rivals are better to drive
At a glance
“Stylish, cheap to run, comfortable and practical, the Peugeot 308 is a tempting alternative to other small family hatchbacks.”
As a small family hatchback, the Peugeot 308 has plenty to recommend it. It looks good, is cheap to run and has a pretty comfortable ride, too. But, when you consider its seriously high-quality opposition in the shape of the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Skoda Octavia, you realise it has to be pretty good to stand out.
On the face of it, the 308 makes a very good fist of things. It's a handsome car, in a refined sort of way, rather than being particularly distinctive, while it also rides nice and comfortably and has a classy, well built interior. Not everyone will be a fan of the slightly unusual driving position, however: the steering wheel is smaller than average and sits lower than you might be used to.
Peugeot made a great effort to reduce weight in the 308 and this has translated into a fairly impressive driving experience: it's nimble on the road, without compromising ride comfort. It's not quite as good as the Ford Focus to drive, however. You can add the optional Driver Sport Pack, which sharpens up the drive and makes the steering more responsive at the touch of a button.
One thing the 308 doesn’t lack is a wide choice of engines. There's a grand total of 11 – including the hot GTi models – and they’re all impressively efficient. Our favourites, however, are the 1.2-litre Puretech130 petrol and the 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 diesel. These manage 58.9 and 88.3mpg respectively and the diesel is completely free to tax, while the petrol will only set you back £20 a year on that front.
Not including the hot GTi models, there are five 308 trim levels to choose from – Access, Active, Allure, GT Line and GT – all of which come with DAB digital radio, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and cruise control. In our opinion, however, mid-range Active is the best of the bunch. This adds niceties such as rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, sat nav, automatic headlights and dual-zone climate control.
Safety won’t be a concern, either, thanks to the 308's five-star Euro NCAP rating. There's a multitude of airbags as standard, as well as the mandatory traction control, anti-lock brakes and stability control. Peugeot's somewhat hit-and-miss reliability reputation shouldn’t cause you too much worry, either, as the 308 came 18th overall (out of 200) in our 2015 driver power customer satisfaction survey and finished an impressive 30th for reliability and 24th for build quality.
Significant weight savings make the Peugeot 308 cheaper to run than the 307
The Peugeot 308 is fun to drive, but the company’s main focus was comfort
Interior is a huge improvement on the old model, but some of the Peugeot 308’s controls are tricky to use
Peugeot 308 has a massive boot, but it comes at the expense of rear legroom
The Peugeot 308 feels well built and scored well in our Driver Power survey