Peugeot 308 hatchback
Price £14,995 - £28,025
- Cheap-to-run engines
- Great ride quality
- Big boot
- Cramped rear seats
- Rivals are better to drive
- Pricier than some competition
At a glance
"The Peugeot 308 is an appealing family hatchback with a large boot, a comfortable ride and very efficient engines."
The Peugeot 308 is a five-door family hatchback that rivals popular models such as the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus. It's more stylish than most of its competitors, though, plus it has a spacious, well-built interior and a range of smooth and efficient engines. Throw in a comfortable ride and it's up there with the Volkswagen Golf in terms of being a classy all-rounder. But like the Golf, it's also priced a little higher than average for the class.
Peugeot has made the 308 as light as possible, so it's quite nimble on the road, although it isn’t as good to drive as class leaders such as the Ford Focus. The optional Driver Sport Pack sharpens up the handling and includes a button that makes the steering more responsive.
There's a big choice of petrol and diesel engines, all of which are very efficient. Our pick of the former is the 1.2-litre PureTech 130, which is very refined, smooth and returns a claimed 58.9mpg. Of the diesels, the 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 is extremely impressive, as it manages 88.3mpg and is free to tax, so it's a credible rival to the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion.
Peugeot launched the flagship 308 GTi, of which there are two versions, in summer 2015. Both models have the same 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, making 247bhp and 266bhp respectively, while the latter also has a system improves grip in corners. The GTi also has lower suspension, some minor styling tweaks and a sportier cabin than the standard 308.
Though it doesn’t quite have the power of the GTi, there's also the 308 GT, which is available with 202bhp petrol and 178bhp diesel engines and is a ‘warm’ rather than a hot hatchback.
The GT Line trim level also looks slightly sportier, but is available with many of the more economical engines in the range, such as the aforementioned 1.2-litre PureTech 130. Adding the Driver Sport Pack to this car makes for a sharp little all-rounder.
The amount of space inside the 308 depends on where you’re sitting. There's a lot of room in the front and the boot is huge for the class, but that comes at the expense of the back seats, which are rather cramped.
Trim levels start with the basic Access and finish with the flagship GTi. Every 308 comes with DAB digital radio, air-conditioning and cruise control, but we recommend the mid-range Active, which adds features such as rear parking sensors, sat nav, 16-inch alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control.
Peugeot's once-poor reliability record is improving and it has put in some very respectable performances in our annual Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. The 308 also scored the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests and includes standard safety equipment such as six airbags and seatbelt warning buzzers.
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