Peugeot 308 hatchback
Price £14,995 - £25,945
- Large boot
- Comfortable ride
- Very efficient diesel engines
- Not much fun to drive
- Questionable reliability
- Interior quality disappoints
At a glance
"The Peugeot 308 is a practical and economical family hatchback with a comfortable and relaxed ride."
The Peugeot 308 is a good-looking, five-door family hatchback car that competes with the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. However, with its classy, largely well-made interior, a range of smooth, economical engines and a comfortable ride, it takes particular aim at the Volkswagen Golf. And like that model, it's not especially cheap to buy.
The 308 is quite a light car and is relatively fun to drive as a result (although not as good in this respect as the Ford Focus). You can make it a little more entertaining by specifying the optional Driver Sport Pack, which, at the press of a button, provides additional performance and sharpens up the steering.
There's a range of engines to choose from, all of them economical. Among our favourites is the 1.2-litre PureTech 130 petrol, which is smooth, quiet and responsive – and returns 58.9mpg. Another is the 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 diesel, which, with economy of 91.1mpg, is more frugal than the impressive VW Golf BlueMotion diesel.
A range-topping Peugeot 308 GTi was launched in summer 2015. There are two versions, each powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine. One makes 247bhp and the other 266bhp (the latter also has a system that increases traction in corners). The GTi sits lower than the other models in the 308 range and has a far sportier interior.
But if you can’t stretch to the GTi, there's the Peugeot 308 GT, available in 202bhp petrol and 178bhp diesel forms. If you fancy a few sporty touches without sacrificing fuel economy, there's also the attractively styled yet less powerful GT Line. The 1.2-litre PureTech 130 petrol fitted with the Driver Sport Pack is especially good.
When it comes to interior space, the 308 is a mixed bag. There's reasonable room in the front and the boot is big for the class, but the rear seats are quite cramped.
You can have your 308 in a variety of trims, ranging from basic Access to range-topping GTi. All have air-conditioning, cruise control and DAB digital radio. However, our pick is Active (one up from Access), which has 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and a 9.7-inch touchscreen featuring satellite navigation.
The 308 feels very well built, and Peugeot's reliability record is improving all the time. The model earned the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing, thanks to safety features including seatbelt warning buzzers, six airbags and anti-lock brakes.
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