No, this isn’t the Peugeot 309. Despite Peugeot’s usual naming conventions adding an extra number to every generation that emerges, the company is sticking with what it knows this time.
Not that the new 308 is the same as its predecessor – far from it. This time, it’s an entirely new car and all the better for it.
Visually it gains the same cues as other recent Peugeots, but if anything a little more successful.
The front gains a grille design somewhere in between the larger 508 and the smaller 208, and deep swage lines emerge from the front doors and sweep around to the back lights. Proportionally though, we can’t help seeing one rival in particular: The Volkswagen Golf.
That might be a deliberate move to shift the 308 even further upmarket from its previous iteration, but it certainly turns the car into a handsome beast.
The interior is more original than you’ll find on any Golf, taking most of its inspiration from the 208. That means the same love-it-or-hate-it high-set dials – which no doubt will be obscured for some drivers, dependant on seating position – and a small, low-set steering wheel.
A large (9.7-inch) touchscreen also features, though it’s better integrated into the 308’s dash than it is in the 208. It’s flanked by large air vents and sits above a surprisingly button-free centre console, most interior functions now controlled via that screen.
Like the 208, which cut significant weight from the 207 that preceded it, the new 308 sheds an average of 140 kg from the old 308 thanks to a new platform.
No engines have yet been revealed, but a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel units is to be expected. The greenest of these will be a diesel emitting just 85 g/km of CO2.
Priced from: Not yet announced
Available from: Not yet announced
The press and public will get its first proper glimpse of the new 308 at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, on September 10th. If the 208’s success is anything to go by though, there’ll be plenty running about on the roads too.
Improvements in looks, quality, space, economy and driving characteristics should make the 308 a much more appealing car than its ageing predecessor – and an interesting alternative to the Golf, to boot.
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