Peugeot 308 review

Exterior

Design cues on the new Peugeot 308 are inspired by the cool and sporty looking Onyx concept car that was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.

The Peugeot 308 is 4.25m in length long, 1.46m in height and is slightly shorter and lower than the outgoing version of the small family car.

Interior

Four trims including the entry-level Access, Active, Allure and the flagship Feline are available to choose from.

Standard kit on the entry-level Access grade includes steel wheels, manual air conditioning and a standard dashboard layout, DAB radio, central locking and Bluetooth connectivity.

The second trim level on the 308 range is the Active trim and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, the 9.7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth interface and aircon and removes the need for a cluster of buttons on the central console.

Choose the Allure trim and this adds 17-inch alloys, front fog lights, 31 LED front headlights and reversing camera.

Allure adds bigger alloy wheels as standard, LED front headlights and daytime running lights, reversing camera and electric folding door mirrors.

The flagship Feline grade gets all of the above plus a panoramic sunroof with a full-length electrically powered blind, 18-inch alloys plus Alcantara trim on the interior and a driver comfort pack including cruise control, emergency collision alert and emergency collision braking system.

On the road

Five engines are available from launch on the Peugeot 308 range including three petrol units (82bhp 1.2-litre VTi,125bhp 1.6-litre and a 155bhp 1.6-litre) and two diesel (92bhp 1.6-litre and a 115bhp 1.6-litre e-HDi) power plants.

Highlights of the range include the most powerful petrol car, the 155bhp 1.6-litre THP as it can get from zero to 62mph in 8.4 seconds while it has a top speed of 132mph. The most powerful diesel engine, 115bhp 1.6-litre e-HDi, will reach the benchmark sprint in 11.9 seconds and will go on to 118mph. Peugeot has confirmed that more engines will follow after the car goes on sale in January 2014.

The latest generation Peugeot 308 has shed 140kg when compared to its predecessor enhancing agility and performance. The handling credentials are much improved. The 308 is good to drive, but it's not as much fun as a Ford Focus.

The all-new 308 is one of the most practical cars in the sector. With seats in place it has a load space of 470 litres of load space and when you fold the rear bench flat the luggage space expands to 1,309 litres. There are plenty of cubby holes to stow nik-naks and MP3 players.

Overview

The most frugal engine on the 308 range from launch is the 1.6-litre HDI 92 diesel engine as it has a claimed average of 91.1mpg and it emits 82g/km of CO2. Prices start at £14,495 for the Peugeot 308. It is more upmarket than ever and will certainly win a lot of buyers over with its classy looks.