Since it’s original incarnation as the 307, then renamed the 308 this car has been a great seller for Peugeot on a worldwide basis yet never really managing to upstage and outsell say the VW Golf, Ford Focus or Toyota Auris for example.
Well that may be about to change with the launch of the all new Peugeot 308 range and winning the prestigious Car Of The Year title will no doubt help!
The new range has the usual offering of excellent low emission petrol and diesel engines across three trim levels, Access, Active and Allure.
Standard specification is greatly improved and a new range of colours are on offer. All in all then initial impressions of the all new Peugeot 308 are very good.
I wrote about the 308 at the beginning of the year when they launched the car to the Irish motoring press in Kilkenny. Now I have had the opportunity to give the car a full and complete road test and as when I first drove the car I have come away very impressed.
This week I am road testing the new 308 Allure.
The style of the new 308 is conservative and yet attractive. From some angles it even resembles a VW Golf. Is that deliberate?? There are some exciting new colours in the range, which also goes to create a fresh new image for this good-looking newcomer
Overall then its a modern stylish 5 door hatch.
The first impression on hopping inside the new 308 is the great space and quality feel of the cabin. Headroom is excellent, while leg and elbow room both front and rear are very good for a car in this class. The dashboard, which houses a full complement of instruments, is clearly and logically laid out. I liked the driving position and visibility is generally good. Standard goodies are comprehensive and include air conditioning, electric windows all round, remote entry, immobiliser, front fog lights, alloy wheels, multi function steering wheel, on-board computer, heated mirrors and a lovely iPad style centrally mounted touch screen.
On the safety front the list of standard equipment is quite simply excellent, and includes, front airbags, side curtain airbags, lateral airbags, ABS with EBFD/Brake assist, all round head restraints and seat belt pre-tensioners.
There are three main engine options a 1.2 VTi petrol and two 1.6 HDi diesels offering either 92bhp or 115 bhp as tested here. Mated to a very good 6-speed gearbox this proves a perfect combination.
The 1.6 HDi 115 bhp with auto stop start proved that this is both a good performer and very frugal returning 5.9 litres per 100km on the launch test route. Road tax is just €180.00 per annum.
Peugeot always made a good handling car and the new 308 model is no different. It rides and handles very well indeed. Levels of refinement are high with wind, road and engine noise well suppressed. The aforementioned cabin is big, roomy and well finished; the car just feels good around you. As I got out of the new 308 I could not help but feel that Peugeot finally have a car that is a very real direct rival to the legendary Golf or Focus. It is very very good and is a car that you would actually desire to own.
The new Peugeot 308 range offers a real and attractive alternative to some of its more mainstream rivals.
I really like this car. It is stylish, very well equipped, it handles well and feels well put together. The level of standard equipment is better than many rivals.
The new 308 range is available from just €18,990 for the 1.2 Vti petrol. The car on test here, 1.6 Hdi 115 bhp Allure costs €25,890. If you are looking for an excellent 5 door family hatchback that offers plenty, take a test drive in the new Peugeot 308.