The Peugeot 308 is a compact car produced by French automaker Peugeot since 2007. It replaced the Peugeot 307 and was initially available as a 5-door hatchback model. Over the years, Peugeot has introduced multiple body styles and generations of the 308.
The first generation 308 was produced from 2007 to 2013. This model featured sleek styling and came with a range of petrol and diesel engine options. Popular trim levels included the Access, Active, Allure and GT.
In 2013, Peugeot introduced the second generation 308. This model brought more modern styling, improved interior quality and new technology features. The second gen 308 is still in production today and available as a 5-door hatchback or SW station wagon. Engine options include 1.2L and 1.6L petrols along with 1.5L and 2.0L diesels.
Overall, the Peugeot 308 has proven to be a successful model for the brand globally. As of 2022, Peugeot has sold over 1.8 million 308s worldwide across the two generations. The 308 competes against models like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra in the European C-segment.
First Generation (2007-2013)
The first generation Peugeot 308 was introduced at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show as a replacement for the Peugeot 307. It was available as a 5-door hatchback or estate. There were a range of petrol and diesel engine options:
- 1.4L VTI 95 hp petrol
- 1.6L VTI 120 hp petrol
- 1.6L THP 150 hp turbo petrol
- 1.6L HDi 90 hp diesel
- 1.6L HDi 110 hp diesel
The 308 featured a range of safety features including up to 8 airbags, ABS, ESP, and emergency brake assist. In terms of comfort and convenience, higher trim models offered features like automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors, and automatic headlights and wipers.
The 308 received generally positive reviews, with praise for its stylish exterior design, comfortable ride, and fuel efficient engines. However, some criticisms included cramped rear legroom and uninspiring handling.
Second Generation (2013-present)
The second generation Peugeot 308 was unveiled in May 2013 and debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show that year. This new generation model was built on PSA’s EMP2 platform, allowing weight savings of up to 140 kg compared to the previous generation. The exterior styling reflected Peugeot’s new design language first seen on the 208 and 508 models, with a prominent front grille and LED daytime running lights.
At launch, engine options included a 1.2 liter PureTech turbocharged gasoline engine and 1.6 liter BlueHDi diesel units. Transmission choices were 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Trim levels initially were Access, Active and Allure. Peugeot later added the sporty GT Line and luxurious GT trims.
In 2015, Peugeot introduced a mid-cycle refresh of the 308. This included exterior styling tweaks, upgraded interior materials and technology, and two new higher performing engines – the 1.6 liter THP turbo gasoline and 2.0 liter BlueHDi diesel. These allowed Peugeot to add new sporty GT and GT Line trim levels.
Additional upgrades and variants were added over the model years. These included station wagon variants (SW), a GTi performance model, and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions. By 2021, Peugeot had sold over 1 million second generation 308 models worldwide.
The Peugeot 308 offers a range of engine options that provide solid performance and driving dynamics. The base 1.2L 3-cylinder gasoline engine produces 130 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque, allowing a 0-60 mph time of 9.7 seconds according to Top Gear . Peugeot also offers a 1.6L 4-cylinder making 180 hp in higher trims, providing a quicker 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds.
For drivers looking for an even sportier experience, Peugeot offers the high-performance GT model which uses a 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder making 263 hp. This allows the 308 GT to reach 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph according to Parkers . Reviewers praise the 308’s responsive steering and composed cornering abilities, making it feel nimble and engaging on winding roads.
The 308 utilizes Peugeot’s EMP2 platform which provides a rigid chassis and sophisticated suspension for confident handling. Models are available with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. Overall, the Peugeot 308 provides a satisfying blend of power and poise for an engaging driving experience.
The Peugeot 308 offers respectable fuel economy across its engine lineup. According to Parkers, the diesel models achieve the best MPG ratings. The 1.5L BlueHDi diesel with manual transmission is rated at 65.7 mpg combined under the WLTP testing cycle. The automatic diesel achieves slightly lower ratings at 62.8 mpg.
The petrol engines offer decent, if not outstanding fuel economy. The 1.2L PureTech petrol with manual transmission is rated at 47.1 mpg combined. The automatic version comes in lower at 44.8 mpg. Real world fuel economy data from Fuelly shows Peugeot 308 owners achieving an average of 36 mpg across all models.
Overall, the 308 offers good fuel efficiency for its class, especially in diesel guise. Consumers looking to maximize MPG will want to opt for the smaller diesel engine paired with a manual transmission.
The current generation Peugeot 308 has received high safety ratings from independent testing organizations. In 2022 safety tests by Euro NCAP, the 308 received a 5-star rating, the highest possible. Euro NCAP praised the 308’s strong performance in crash tests, noting maximum points for both adult and child occupant protection.
According to the Euro NCAP tests, the 308 scored 91% for adult occupant protection, 86% for child occupant protection, 76% for vulnerable road user protection, and 85% for safety assist features. The 308 offers good occupant protection in frontal, side, and rear impacts, with low risk of injuries.
The 308 comes standard with safety features like lane keep assist, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, attention assist, and tire pressure monitoring. Available advanced safety options include a driver monitored alert system, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, parking assist sensors and camera, and night vision assist.
Overall, the current Peugeot 308 provides high levels of occupant protection and the latest standard and available active safety technologies to help avoid collisions and minimize injuries.
The Peugeot 308 offers a stylish and modern interior with high quality materials. There is ample passenger space, especially for front seat occupants. The current generation 308 has a wheelbase of 2,620 mm, which allows for generous legroom in both the front and back seats.
The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with standard height adjustment and lumbar support. Taller drivers have plenty of headroom. The rear seats can accommodate three adults comfortably, although the middle seat is quite narrow. There is decent legroom and headroom in the back thanks to the long wheelbase.
Cargo space is average for the hatchback segment. With the rear seats up, there is 412 liters of trunk capacity. Folding the 60/40 split rear seats down expands the space to 1,323 liters, allowing you to haul larger items.
The Peugeot 308 comes well equipped with the latest tech and convenience features. Highlights include:
- 10-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Digital driver display screen
- Dual zone automatic climate control
- Heated front seats
- Wireless smartphone charging
Overall, the Peugeot 308 offers a stylish and spacious cabin for both front and rear occupants, with ample cargo room and the latest technology features.
Base prices for the 2023 Peugeot 308 start from $43,990 driveaway for the Allure 5-door hatch with a six speed manual transmission. Opting for an eight-speed automatic transmission adds $2,000 to the price.
Pricing ranges up to $49,990 driveaway for the top-spec GT Premium model with an eight-speed auto. The entire 308 hatch lineup comes standard with a 1.2L three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.
For the 308 SW wagon, pricing starts at $47,490 driveaway for the Allure variant with a six-speed manual. The range-topping GT Premium wagon is priced from $54,990 driveaway. The 308 SW lineup comes standard with a more powerful 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
Key standard features across the range include LED headlights, 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a suite of active safety tech. Higher trim levels add extras like panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging, adaptive cruise control, and massaging front seats.
Reliability & Ownership Costs
Overall, the Peugeot 308 has proven to be a fairly reliable car. According to a recent survey by WhatCar?, the 308 was ranked as one of the most dependable models in its class, with an 87.7% reliability rating.
In terms of common issues, some problems that have been reported by 308 owners include:
- Faulty door locks
- Electrical glitches
- Issues with the automatic gearbox
However, most of these problems tend to be minor and inexpensive to repair. Maintenance costs are reasonable for the segment, with services coming in around $200-300 on average based on user forums and reviews.
Brake pads and tires are consumable items that will need periodic replacement, but overall the 308 does not seem to suffer from any widespread mechanical faults or hugely expensive issues according to WhatCar?.
So while no car is 100% trouble-free, the 308 has proven to offer fairly good reliability for the class. Maintenance costs are affordable, and major issues seem to be uncommon based on owner experiences.
The Peugeot 308 hatchback faces competition from other popular compact hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and SEAT Leon.
The Golf and Focus have long been top sellers in the hatchback segment, while the Leon offers sporty styling and engaging handling. However, the 308 distinguishes itself with its stylish exterior design and high-end interior materials not always found in this class. It also provides a comfortable ride and responsive steering.
While the 308 trails the Golf and Leon for cargo space, its fuel efficiency is class-leading. The Peugeot also comes well-equipped even at base trim levels, with features like touchscreen infotainment, advanced safety systems, and leatherette upholstery.
Overall, the 308 is a strong competitor in the compact hatchback space, appealing to buyers looking for standout styling, premium interior ambiance, efficiency, and driving enjoyment.