Peugeot 308 review, prices and specs

The 308 is a polished and competitive family hatch, but could irritate buyers with iffy ergonomics

Evo rating
from £15,930
  • Better to drive than you might expect
  • Not the most excitingly styled hatch

The second generation Peugeot 308 is a very different prospect to its blobby predecessor, offering a svelte, sophisticated and entirely convincing rival to the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus. Unlike Peugeot’s prior naming structure, it has decided to stick to the 308 nomenclature rather than move up numerals to try and introduce a bit of Golf like consistency, but don’t mistake the lack of a name change for lack of progress.

With PSA’s growing success in European and Chinese markets, the 308 was the French marque's first move towards offering a more premium, VW Golf-like product in the family hatchback class. Aside from the styling which strays a little too close to the Golf for some, step inside and this couldn't be anything other than a modern Peugeot.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Based on the EMP2 platform which has now spread throughout the PSA passenger car range, the 308 is shorter, wider and lower than the old 308, having more than a whiff of the sophisticated style of Peugeot icons like the 205 and 306. The question is whether in channelling the Golf, the 308 is just another VW clone or an offering with enough substance to back up its premium aspirations.


Peugeot 308: in detail

Performance and 0-62mph time > The 308 offers a wide range of engines from a 90bhp three-cylinder up to a 267bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four. Bookends of the 0-62mph performance range are 12.9 seconds for the former and 6.2 for the latter.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Engine and gearbox > Offered with a range of three and four-cylinder units, the 308 has a largely impressive spread of engines although avoid the lowest powered models as they struggle when under load.

Ride and Handling > A polished performer, the 308 has suspension that is well judged helping the 308 feel agile and spritely. Those after ultimate handling prowess in the class will do better with a Focus, but it out-drives most rivals with conviction.

MPG and running costs > Thanks to a low kerb weight and frugal engines, the 308 is one of the most cost effective options in the class. Even residual values are stronger then past Pugs.

Interior and tech > Featuring a pared back interior shorn of buttons, the theory is sound, but infotainment and ergonomic issues limit the 308’s appeal.

DesignThe 308 looks like a chic VW Golf from some angles. It lacks the wow of newer Peugeot models, but should resist dating too quickly as a result.


Prices, specs and rivals:

The 308 has been designed to wholeheartedly fit the family hatch template, so along with its Golf-lite styling, comes Golf-lite pricing. The base Access version starts the range off at just above £16,500, with another four trim levels sitting between it and the range-topping GTi.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The model is available with both diesel and petrol engines, ranging from the turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol unit in either 81, 108 or 128bhp configurations, to the 266bhp range-topping GTi - the GT sits just below the GTi with 202. 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel units give you 98 or 118bhp, and 148 or 179bhp respectively.

Click here for more on the Volkswagen Golf

Entry-level 308 models are sparsely specified, only including basic features like air con and cruise control as standard. Active models cost an extra £1700 engine-for-engine, but also give you the option of brawnier powertrains as well as strong equipment levels, including dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels, embedded sat nav, parking sensors and auto wipers.

Go above this level of trim and you’ll find prices start to creep uncomfortably close to those of a Volkswagen Golf, a car that in Mk7.5 form, has all the same equipment and more yet feels considerably more expensive both inside and on the road, than a similarly-priced 308. The Renault Megane is another rival, offering a more interesting interior and better equipment as standard, with the Ford Focus and Mazda 3 being dynamically superior.

Though Peugeot does offer an estate version of the 308, should you want a bit more space, we’d go for the more accommodating Skoda Octavia if that’s your concern.


More on 308

Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot Sport 308 Racing Cup revealed ahead of Frankfurt motor show

304bhp hot hatch to succeed RCZ race car. With gallery and video
27 Aug 2015
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 GT review - prices, specs, 0-60 time

Greater things are in store for the 308 nameplate, but the new GT is a promising start
26 Mar 2015
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 GT – hottest 308 yet debuts at £23,995

Peugeot's sub-GTi hatchback makes its debut in the UK in March
22 Jan 2015
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 SW specs, UK prices and pictures

Peugeot has revealed the larger SW variant of the new 308 hatchback. UK prices, specifications and pictures here
6 Jan 2014
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 prices, specs and news

The all-new Peugeot 308 will challenge the VW Golf and Ford Focus with sharp looks and less weight. Full details, pictures and UK prices here
3 Oct 2013
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 R pictures and news: Frankfurt motor show 2013

Peugeot has shown the 308 R concept at the Frankfurt motor show. The mid-sized hatch gets 270bhp and a lightweight body. Specs, pictures and details h…
10 Sep 2013
Peugeot 308 hatchback

New Peugeot 308 hatchback revealed

Peugeot reveals its updated 308 hatchback, SW and CC ahead of its 2011 Geneva motor show launch
8 Feb 2011
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 GT revealed

An all new Peugeot hot hatch, the 197bhp 308 GT THP 200, with the engine from the RCZ coupe
14 Jul 2010
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot RCZ road test review

We drive the 197bhp turbo version of the Peugeot RCZ. Is it a drivers' car?
16 Mar 2010
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot reveals road-spec TT-rivaling RCZ sports coupe - it's just like the concept
17 Aug 2009
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot teases us with shots of its Audi TT-rivalling RCZ performance coupe
14 Jul 2009
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 RCZ spy shots

Peugeot's Audi TT-rivalling sports coupe is spied out testing
16 Jun 2009
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308CC

First footage of Peugeot's new four-seat convertible
31 Jul 2008
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 CC

After the introduction of the 308 hatchback in summer last year, Peugeot is now going full throttle on the development of the 308 CC
16 Jun 2008
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 GT

A lukewarm makeover but the end result outweighs the sum of the parts
25 Apr 2008
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot 308 RC Z

Coupe concept with promise of return to exciting handling
6 Mar 2008
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Geneva 2008: Peugeot 308 RC Z

The proportions of Peugeot's 308 RC Z concept car combine dynamic design with great road holding
4 Mar 2008
Peugeot 308 hatchback

Peugeot's 308 RC Z: Peugeot's cut-price TT

308 RC Z concept could become a production reality within two years
28 Aug 2007