The current Peugeot 308 has been due an overhaul for a little while now having been on sale in essentially the same form since 2013, albeit with a couple of facelifts along the way. Now in its third generation, the new Peugeot 308 is a more exciting and dynamic looking thing, and “sets the tone for future Peugeot models” as well as coming equipped with class-leasing technology and safety features.
Peugeot is offering the new 308 with two PHEV options: the HYBRID 180 e-EAT8 and the more powerful 225 version. Both powertrains are effectively the same, using Peugeot’s 1.6-litre turbocharged engine combined with a 108bhp electric motor, with the difference coming in the petrol engine’s state of tune.
The 308 HYBRID 225 gets a total system output of 221bhp whilst the HYBRID 180 makes do with 178bhp. Both cars have a 12.4kWh battery enabling the 225 to travel up to 36 miles and the 180 37 miles on a charge with respective WLTP emissions of 26g/km and 25g/km. From empty, the battery can be charged in less than two hours via the optional 7.4kW on-board charger, however, a 3.7kW unit is standard.
The 308 is now undoubtedly a good-looking car not only in the C-segment, but full stop. It gains 55mm in the wheelbase but has had 20mm chopped from its height, helping to create a longer and lower stance. Perhaps the most obvious and beneficial change to the overall look of the car comes at the front where the standard LED headlights combine with the daytime running lights to frame a larger, distinctive grille. This is flanked by chin air intakes and lower apron.
A feature line tracks back from the front of the bonnet and down the sides of the car along the base of the windows. This helps elongate the car further and culminates at the rear lights which have Peugeot’s ‘three claw’ signature. All of the bodywork has been designed with aerodynamics for a final drag coefficient of 0.28 which should help the PHEVs in EV mode.
Inside, the interior has a more premium feel, designed for both comfort and ergonomics. Materials such as mottled fabric, technical mesh, Alcantara and Nappa leather can be specified, whilst the longer wheelbase (by 55mm) provides more legroom. A total of 412 litres of luggage space is available with the seats up, or 1323 with them folded flat.
As well as an all-new design and cleaner powertrains, Peugeot has totally overhauled the 308’s tech and driver aid offering. It comes with the new Peugeot i-Cockpit which comprises a 10 inch digital instrument cluster, available with a 3D display on higher-spec GT models. It is fully customisable and can display things like navigation and powertrain energy flow.
The multifunction steering wheel is small and ergonomically designed and can detect the driver’s grip when using other driver aids. A central 10 inch touchscreen display is standard across the range and, on Allure-level cars and up, features i-toggles which can be configured as shortcuts to operate regularly used controls such as air conditioning or radio stations. Peugeot i-Connect deals with smartphone connectivity, including screen mirroring. Inductive phone charging is an option, whilst two USB sockets are standard for connectivity and charging.
A smorgasbord of driver aids and conveniences is available – especially when options are taken into account. As standard, however, the new 308 gets long-range blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a high-definition 180-degree reversing camera, Peugeot Open & Go keyless entry, heated windscreen and steering wheel, and indexing rear-view door mirrors when reverse is engaged. Branch out for the Drive Assist pack and some semi-autonomous functions come available, including adaptive cruise, semi-autonomous lane change, anticipated speed recommendation and curve speed adaption.
Prices for the UK market will be released closer to the on-sale date, which is going to be later in 2021 – including a buy online option.
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