Peugeot 308 Review & Prices
The Peugeot 308 is one of the most eye-catching hatchbacks on sale, and it’s impressively comfy on a long drive. Its tiny steering wheel might take some getting used to, though
Find out more about the Peugeot 308
Just take a look at that front end. It looks like Peugeot’s taken the 308 and dipped it face-first in a bucket of leftover Christmas decorations. Shiny daytime chrome, bright running lights and LED lamps are everywhere, along with a brand-new shield-shaped Peugeot badge.
It’s a similar story at the back, where Peugeot has added some bright red brake-light slashes to the bootlid and a set of shiny chrome exhaust trims to the bumper. Although, peer closer and those square pipes are just plastic add-ons.
Thankfully, there’s little of this fakery inside the Peugeot’s cabin. If a surface looks nice (and most of them look terrific) it’ll almost certainly feel equally plush, too. This applies to everything from the soft dashboard trim and the solid centre console, and to the flashy metal-effect trim around the air vents.
These vents sit right at the top of the dashboard, beside a high-mounted driver’s display that replaces old-fashioned analogue dials.
The steering wheel itself is much smaller than in most cars and sits in your lap rather than at arm’s length. It’s an odd layout that’s tricky to get a good driving position with.
Very lofty passengers might also struggle slightly to get comfy in the Peugeot 308’s back seats, but there’s plenty of space for kids to get comfy and the boot can easily swallow a family’s luggage for a weekend away.
The Peugeot 308 is a comfortable family hatchback that, in typical French fashion, majors on chic style appeal. Its unconventional interior layout may take some getting used to, however
Speaking of which, the Peugeot 308 is comfortable to drive for long periods, and cruises along happily at motorway speeds.
If long drives are a common occurrence, you’ll want to check out the 308’s 130hp 1.5-litre diesel engine. It’s not particularly pokey, but is mostly quiet and returns around 50mpg in normal driving conditions without any great effort.
If you aren’t planning any particularly long road-trips, you’ll be better off with one of the 308’s petrol or plug-in hybrid engines.
The 1.2-litre petrol has 130hp, which is more than enough for town driving and country roads, while the 180hp hybrid is nippier and more economical – so long as you have somewhere to charge its battery up regularly.
Both versions are easy to drive, quiet and comfortable. All Peugeot 308s are easy to see out of and the dinky steering wheel helps make light work of tight inner-city manoeuvres.
Speaking of which, every version comes with rear-parking sensors as standard and you can pay extra for higher-spec cars with adaptive cruise control to help take the sting out of long motorway trips.
That said, even entry-level cars come with plenty of equipment as standard, which helps justify their slightly steeper price tag than some less flashy family hatchbacks.
If you’re looking for something that’ll stand out but don’t fancy a high-riding SUV, then the new Peugeot 308 is well worth a look.
The Peugeot 308 has a RRP range of £28,050 to £42,170. However, with carwow you can save on average £4,056. Prices start at £24,411 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £312. The price of a used Peugeot 308 on carwow starts at £19,287.
Our most popular versions of the Peugeot 308 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.2 PureTech Allure 5dr EAT8||£25,597||Compare offers|
The Peugeot 308 impresses inside, outside and on the road and this quality is reflected in the price. Compared with others in this segment, the starting price is marginally higher than the Volkswagen Golf and more expensive than the Ford Focus.
The 308 range itself features four grades, starting with Active Premium. For an additional £2,000, buyers can get into an Allure, which adds in front parking sensors (in addition to the standard rear ones) and powered folding mirrors. The Allure Premium costs an extra £1,000, but includes a lot of extra tech, such as a wireless charging and adaptive cruise control. Finally, the GT starts at £30,030, but gets bigger wheels, leather steering wheel and sport suspension.
The setup of the 308 makes it great transport either in town or on the motorway, although it’s not as much fun as a Ford Focus
One of the most useful functions in the 308, specifically the plug-in hybrid model, will be the regenerative braking function. One-pedal braking functionality isn't quite possible – the system might slow the 308 down to almost a stop, but you still have to press the pedal for the final bit. When you do, they are a little bit over-sensitive, which can take some getting used to.
Peugeot claims up to 37 electric miles are possible, so it’s important to make the most of them and eek them out as much as possible, especially if you’re concerned about fuel costs. However, if you push the accelerator too hard, the engine kicks in and you’re back burning fuel again.
The steering is nice and light, which helps when moving around town, especially when getting in and out of parking spaces or tackling tight spaces or mini roundabouts.
Visibility is pretty good all around the car – another important attribute in town where drivers could be faced by cyclists, pedestrians or other vulnerable road users.
At low speeds, the 308 is pretty comfortable – the suspension ensures limited body movement when going over bumps, for example. The hybrid system is 300kg heavier than the standard internal combustion engined car, which means the ride quality feels a bit more solid, but not enough to make a huge impact on what is a good level of ride comfort.
The turning circle of 10.5m doesn’t quite match that of other smaller cars, such as the Mini or Fiat 500, but it’s not far off. Plus, it’s much better than its peers in this class such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.
On the motorway
Given the engine options of the 308, the diesel is probably still the one to go for if you’re doing a lot of motorway miles. The hybrid will allow you to run in electric mode here, but the driving range on batteries alone will be limited.
On the motorway, the 308 really impresses. It’s quiet and the seats are comfortable, meaning that long journeys won’t leave you lethargic at the end. The addition of automatic cruise control and lane keeping technology in mid-range 308s and above will be welcomed by drivers doing big mileage. Plus, the Peugeot has the technology that will change lanes for you on the road, simply when you indicate to move in a specific direction.
On a twisty road
The small steering wheel creates a feeling of sportiness in the 308 and the driving experience does back that up. The steering is nicely weighted and direct when going into corners. It might not be as engaging or fun to drive as a Ford Focus, but is not dull by any stretch.
There’s plenty of grip from the 308’s tyres and it inspires confidence when cornering at relatively high speeds. The suspension does its job well when pressing on, which means that the car doesn’t get out of shape and passengers will be comfortable as you go through the bends.
There is a premium feel to the 308’s cabin, but this does mean the ISOFIX points are neatly hidden zipped up pockets, which makes them more difficult to access
There is a lot of storage and practical additions in the 308, especially in the central tunnel in the front of the car. Here you will find a space under the dashboard, USB charging and 12V power ports as well as a charging pad for your smartphone. There’s enough space for fairly large bottles to be stowed in the two centrally mounted cupholders, which are covered by a sliding panel to again keep things neat and tidy. Likewise, under the armrest there’s another storage bin with an integrated USB port. The gear lever is also integrated into this section. It’s fairly small, but effective and sits flush with the rest of the trim, providing a smooth layout and a neat design.
The door bins are a decent size and can easily carry large bottles or other relatively bulky items. Another plus point is the glovebox, which is much bigger than in Peugeots of old. It’s even lined with felt for an extra touch of quality.
Overall there’s a premium feel to the inside of the car, which is sure to impress a lot of buyers and might even persuade people out of more premium models here such as the Audi A3.
Space in the back seats
There’s not a huge amount of space in the rear of the 308, but it’s not too bad a squeeze for passengers travelling behind the front row. While there’s limited leg and knee room, most occupants won’t be touching the seats in front. When it comes to head room, it’s a similar story, and those who are looking for more space around them should check out the Skoda Octavia.
While it is possible to travel with three adults across the back seats, it’s not the most comfortable, which is something to bear in mind if travelling longer distances. Meanwhile, there are ISOFIX points for child seats as standard, but they are hidden behind zipped covers. On the one hand it keeps things neat and tidy, but on the other, they are a bit tricky to access. But the door opening is quite wide, so getting an actual seat in and out is very straightforward.
Another positive is the large rear windows, which let in a lot of light and also help visibility from the front. Elsewhere on the storage angle, there is some space for slim items such as laptops or tablets in the front seat backs and the rear door bins match the front in offering plenty of space for bottles.
In between the rear seats, there’s a pull-down armrest with two cupholders but, as there’s no tab to pull it down, it’s not the easiest to access. There’s also a ski hatch that enables long items to be carried in the 308, but the opening is fairly compact, which will limit what can actually pass through the gap.
At 412 litres, there’s more boot space in the 308 than in a Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and lots of other similar hatchbacks. It’s also a sensible square space, which means that uniform square or rectangular items can fit in easily.
There is a bit of a step down to the floor from the boot line and the distance added by the wide bumper might be a bit of a hindrance when moving heavier items. Under the floor there is additional storage, although there is 50 fewer litres in the hybrid model, compared with the petrol or diesel 308.
Folding down the rear seats is easy and can be done from standing behind the boot. That opens up a huge load area that is relatively flat. The ridge where the seats fold isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it does mean that sliding items right to the back of that area – to just behind the front seats – is made a bit more difficult.
There are also nets and tie-down points in the boot too, however there’s a lack of 12V socket here, unlike almost every other car on the market!
There’s a premium feel to the 308 that is arguably the benchmark in this sector, but the smaller steering wheel – which gets in the way of the driver display – might put people off
The interior of the 308 is superb, with a great design culminating in a swooping clear dash stretching across the width of the car. There’s a nice mix of quality materials, most of which are soft to touch and give the car an air of quality. Choose the range-topping GT and you'll benefit from a leather steering wheel, for example. It’s above and beyond what is offered in the Volkswagen Golf, which, for so long, has been the benchmark among hatchbacks.
However, opinions will be divided when it comes to the dash layout – Peugeot has opted for a small steering wheel that is slightly squared off. For many, it won’t just be the shape that is an issue, more the fact that it gets in the way of the dials behind it. But it adds a more sporty feel to the car and there is plenty of manual adjustment in all directions.
The large central infotainment screen is standard across the range. It is clear, responsive and easy to navigate. A panel at the bottom of the screen makes navigating the different areas of the system straightforward. The menu ‘buttons’ are touch sensitive, but they are quick to react to inputs.
That large screen is susceptible to dirty fingerprints getting left on it though, so be prepared to dedicate a bit of time to cleaning it. While it might not impact on the view of what is being displayed on the screen, the prints are fairly noticeable in certain lights.
Underneath that panel there are also physical buttons for the car’s features that are used most often. They include interior temperature and front and rear screen demisting/heating.
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to engines for the 308, with petrol, diesel or hybrid on offer, and an electric 308 in early 2023. The petrol option is a 1.2-litre with 131hp, while the 1.5-litre diesel offers the same amount of power.
The hybrid options see a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine working alongside an electric motor, which provides either 180hp or 225hp, depending on which version you choose.
If CO2 emissions are a major consideration, the hybrid is the obvious choice, as it emits just 25g/km. Elsewhere, the petrol engine’s rated at from 128g/km, while the diesel is 117 or 119g/km.
All models have automatic transmissions and are all front-wheel-drive.
It’s a four-star Euro NCAP crash test rating for the 308, which doesn’t quite match the Volkswagen Golf or the Ford Focus, which both scored maximum five-star ratings. Where the French model falls short is in adult occupant safety (76%), with child occupant protection faring a little bitter and recording a score close to that of the Golf and Focus (84%). Vulnerable road user protection and safety assist ratings were 68% and 65% respectively.
In terms of frontal crash protection, there is a full complement of airbags and belt pretentioners and load limiters. No knee airbags are offered, however. In lateral crash protection, there are side airbags for head and chest, although not in the rear for the latter.
Autonomous emergency braking is standard to protect vulnerable road users and for car-to-car protection, and all models feature lane keeping assist technology. Another standard feature across the range is a Thatcham category 1 alarm with anti lift sensor. Also, the hazard lights are automatically deployed upon heavy braking, to alert other road users of potential dangers.
All 308 models are covered by the industry standard three-year/unlimited mileage protection. To date – largely because it is a new model – there haven’t been any recalls on the 308, but that could change as previous models have been subject to issues.
Previous versions of the 308 – and other Peugeot models – paint a mixed picture of the car’s quality and reliability levels. Industry surveys have recorded mediocre scores, but that’s not to say the same fate will await the latest model.
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