In-depth reviews

Peugeot 308 hatchback - Engines, drive & performance

The Peugeot 308 is fun to drive, but the company’s main focus was comfort

Carbuyer Rating

3.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Although the Peugeot 308 is quite good fun to drive, Peugeot appears to have focused on making it comfortable. As a result, it has supple suspension, but body control is on par with the best models in its class. The car’s steering can feel unsettled on the motorway, though.

The manual gearbox doesn't feel as precise as the Volkswagen Golf’s and the 308 seems most at home in town, where its soft suspension is a virtue. If you want sportier handling, the GT model is the one to go for, as its suspension has been lowered for better cornering. It’s actually more compliant than you might expect, resulting in a good balance between comfort and handling.

Peugeot 308 petrol engines

The basic and underpowered 1.2-litre petrol has been phased out, which is good news because the 1.2-litre PureTech 110 and 130 engines are a better bet if the car is regularly going to be used for long journeys. They feel much faster, getting from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds and 10.1 seconds.

The 221bhp 1.6-litre THP petrol in the 308 GT model achieved a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds, but it isn't currently offered. It was also rather thirsty, with fuel economy of around 40mpg. With 268bhp, the 308 GTI goes from 0-62mph in six seconds, and returns 37mpg.

Diesel engines

A 120bhp 1.6-litre diesel has been replaced by a smaller 1.5-litre BlueHDI engine with 128bhp. It feels similar to the 1.6-litre, with impressive mid-range power and flexibility, but refinement has improved slightly, with fewer vibrations. As one of the most economical engines in the range, it offers up to 65.6mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 113g/km. It's ever so slightly quicker from 0-62mph than the old 1.6-litre engine, taking 10 seconds.

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