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Drive

The Peugeot 308

A deserved best seller for Peugeot. It’s on-road refinement and exceptional economy stands out the most
The chrome grille adds a little proud tradition to the styling. It’s subtle, inoffensive, yet distinct

The most economical 1.2 version is capable of an amazing 91 mpg and a record low of 82g/km of CO2. There’s remarkable engine flexibility from the 1.2 litre petrol engine, our slightly higher powered 1.2 Turbo test car providing more sprightly performance than any similar powered family saloon we’ve tested.

Acceleration through the mid-range gears is surprisingly keen for this amount of power too, and taking account of its’ length (4253 cc), its width (2043) and big-saloon like cabin comfort, the progression and driving refinement  of the 308 is remarkably impressive. It is not often that the ride quality of a supposedly average saloon sparks such immediate enthusiasm, but this one did.

De-clutter

Taking a glance inside, and as you’ve probably seen on  the TV ads -  Peugeot have removed most of the usual push-button gadgetry and clutter from the dash.  The in-car techno-wizardry, increasingly commonplace on modern motor cars, is cleverly concealed. Air con, audio, sat-nav, media and phone technology are all housed in a 9.7 inch touch screen located dead centre of the dash. Once familiar, it makes good sense – your attention need only focus on the essential driving related info, such as speedo, rev counter, engine temp and fuel gauges, all tucked neatly ahead of the rather small but user friendly steering wheel. It’s a different interior cabin feel to what most of us are accustomed to, by default (but actually by design) focusing the driver’s attention more so on the road. Innovation and safety go hand in hand here.  

The cabin itself is comfortable, neat, and stylish.  Spec and trim levels start with ‘ACCESS’ progressing to ‘ACTIVE’, ‘ALLURE’ and the top of the range ‘FELINE’ version featured here comes with massaging seats. Yes please! Then there’s the upmarket fit and finish. Like all Peugeots these days the exterior of the car is well finished with subtle eye catching styling cues. The front LEDs complement the subtle chrome inserts around the doors, and the chrome grille adds a little proud tradition to the styling. It’s subtle, inoffensive, yet distinct.

Rewarding

Our test car was powered by the 1.2 Turbo petrol engine option generating 129 bhp – and proving inspiringly adequate from a performance point of view, yet whetting the appetite for the more powerful 1600 cc petrol or diesel alternatives. Refinement is this car’s fundamental DNA,  and the bigger engines enhance ride and refinement quality even further.

Whilst not intended to be a performance tool, the 308 is a surprisingly rewarding and involving car to drive, encouraging you to harmonise your driving style with its capabilities and enjoy your time on the road.  Again, the effort put in to chassis refinement shows. This new Peugeot 308 is unlikely to disappoint; it’s a good value all round package, and arguably Peugeots best four door hatchback to date.

- Kevin Haggarthy

The Peugeot 308 Feline E-THP 130

0-62 mph: 10.3 seconds. Top Speed: 125 mph. Average Consumption: 58.9 mpg. CO2:110 g/km. Engine: 1199 cc, Petrol. Insurance Group: 16E. Price: £20,995.