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In-depth reviews

Peugeot 308 review – premium family hatchback

"The Peugeot 308 is a comfortable, stylish family hatchback with a great interior but it’s not the most practical”

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Good to drive
  • Pleasant interior
  • Tech is easy to use

Cons

  • Less practical than some rivals
  • Unusual steering wheel size and position
  • No manual gearbox pushes prices up

Verdict – is the Peugeot 308 a good car?

The 308 isn’t the most spacious family car around – it’s bigger inside than a Toyota Corolla yet less practical than the last 308 – but it’s a great all-rounder that brings together comfort, efficiency, smart looks inside and out, enjoyable handling and plenty of hi-tech equipment. It’s also not the most affordable family hatchback, but if you want an automatic or hybrid car, it’s well worth considering. There’s also a 308 SW estate version with more boot space and similarly striking looks, should you need it, and the E-308 if you’re looking to make the switch to an electric car.

Peugeot 308 models, specs and alternatives

The latest Peugeot 308 is a family hatchback that’s eye-catching to look at, but there are more reasons to consider buying one than just its looks. The 308’s rivals include the Ford Focus, SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf, and it shares many of its components with the Citroen C4 and the latest Vauxhall Astra.

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The Peugeot 308 engine range has always been diverse, with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and an all-electric E-308 version (that we’ve reviewed separately), but that didn’t stop Peugeot from adding a mild-hybrid petrol engine for 2024 – that means there’s an incredible amount of choice for buyers.

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The 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine has 128bhp and will suit most drivers, but the latest mild-hybrid option costs under £1,000 more but boasts improved fuel economy and performance, so it looks worth springing for. The 1.5-litre diesel is £600 more expensive than the mild-hybrid but doesn’t boast much better fuel economy and is only really suited to high mileage drivers.

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The plug-in hybrid uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor for a total of 178bhp. This model can travel up to around 37 miles on electricity alone, and its lower emissions make it a cheaper tax proposition for company-car drivers.

The hybrid can be recharged at home overnight at a standard rate of 3.8kW, and unlike some plug-in hybrids, the 308 is available with faster charging as an option. Equipped with a 7.4kW charger (for £400 at the time of writing), you can use a home wallbox or public charger to fill the battery in about two hours. 

The new 308 is good to drive, striking a nice balance between handling and comfort. The Ford Focus is often considered to be the benchmark in the class for handling and the Skoda Octavia is the same for comfort. The 308 sits somewhere in between the two.

Peugeot is in the process of positioning itself as a more premium brand than before, and it’s safe to say that one of the best aspects of the 308 is the interior. It feels well made and the materials are good quality, much like you’d find in a more expensive car like an Audi A3. There are some areas that look a little drab but its design is mostly excellent.

There’s also a 10-inch display with a second touch-sensitive panel below it. This looks very modern and is easier to use than the screens in other Peugeots (such as the 3008 SUV). It’s very responsive too, in a big improvement over the previous model.

The 308 is available in Active, Allure and GT trim levels, though the plug-in hybrid and electric E-308 are unavailable in base-spec Active, starting from mid-range Allure and above. All are well equipped; you get a 10-inch digital dial display, smartphone connectivity, LED headlights, climate control, 16-inch alloys and plenty of safety kit even on entry-level versions. As you move up the range, luxuries such as wireless phone charging, sat-nav, keyless entry, larger alloys and a 360-degree parking camera are added.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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