In-depth reviews

Peugeot 308 hatchback - Engines, drive & performance

The 308 strikes a balance between fun handling and comfort on bumpy roads

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Peugeot 308 isn’t the most fun car of its type to drive, nor is it the most comfortable, but it falls into a happy middle ground between the two. It’s not as fun on a twisty road as a Ford Focus, nor is it as smooth over a bumpy road as a Skoda Octavia, but it’s comfy and enjoyable enough for almost anyone. We’ve not tried it in the UK just yet, so we reserve final judgement on that.

The 308 is smooth at speed on the motorway and the interior stays quiet too, so it’s a good companion for long trips. If you’re only planning to do short journeys, the hybrid version is best as its low-speed electric-only running means it’s very relaxing; it’s ultra-quiet in traffic.

Peugeot 308 petrol engines

Peugeot's 1.2-litre PureTech three-cylinder engine is used in many other models including the Citroen C4, and it’s likely to be the most popular choice overall. It has 128bhp and as with all versions of the 308, is only available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

When the car is stationary and cruising, the engine stays nice and quiet, but it’s a bit noisier than the small petrol engines in the SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf. It’s fast enough for most - 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds - and it’s punchy from low revs so you don’t have to rev it too much. 

The automatic gearbox is smooth enough for the most part, although at low speeds it can be a little abrupt - though this is also true in the DSG automatic in the VW Golf, SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia.

Diesel engines

The 1.5-litre diesel engine has the same 128bhp as the 1.2-litre petrol. We’ve not tried this engine yet, so check back soon for more information when we’re able to test it.

Hybrid engines

There are two hybrid models, one with 178bhp and one with 222bhp. Both use the same electric motor and battery, it’s only the power from the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that changes. The battery allows a 37-mile driving range on electric power, which should be more than enough for the average daily commute, and it does so in near-silence. 

There’s a 3.6kW charger as standard or a 7.4kW one as an option, which cuts the time to recharge the battery in half to about two hours.

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