In-depth reviews

Peugeot 308 hatchback review

"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

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

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 latest Vauxhall Astra.

It’s offered as a petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid version, but only available with an automatic gearbox, meaning there’s no low-cost entry-level manual option to compete with the more basic versions of the Focus or Golf. Peugeot is aiming to become a more upmarket brand in the Stellantis group, which also explains the sleek redesigned badge that has been in use since 2021. Despite this, you might be able to find the 308 cheaper on finance than the equivalent Volkswagen Golf.

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The 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine has 128bhp and will suit most drivers, but there is also a four-cylinder 1.5-litre diesel option with the same power, which might suit frequent long-distance drivers better. Both plug-in hybrid options make use of the same 1.6-litre petrol engine – the standard hybrid offering 178bhp. However, if specced with the upgraded electric motor, this figure increases to 222bhp. These plug-in models can travel up to around 37 miles on electricity alone, and their lower emissions make them a cheaper tax proposition for company-car drivers. Speaking of electric power, an all-electric Peugeot e-308 is on the way and should manage 250 miles on a charge.

The hybrids 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 around £300), 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.

Yet 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 new 308 is available in Active Premium, Allure, Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium trim levels. 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.

The 308 isn’t the most spacious family car around - it’s bigger inside than a Toyota Corolla but 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 not the best value for money 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.

For a more detailed look at the Peugeot 308, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.

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