Peugeot 308

The Essentials

  • Price from £15,345
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 67.3mpg
  • What is it? Stylish small family hatchback has some good diesel engines but more than a few drawbacks

Great

  • Safety kit will reassure even the most nervous passengers
  • Quiet diesel engines don't demand refuelling too often
  • You'll feel as though you're in a more expensive car

Gripes

  • Simply not that much fun to drive
  • Driving position feels all out of kilter
  • Pack light: it's not as spacious as a Focus or Golf
  • Drive

    Not the car's strong point. Good choice of engines but feels cumbersome and unsettled on the road

  • Inside

    Seating arrangements won't suit all drivers but it all feels good quality and looks classy

  • Safety

    Six airbags and stability control as standard

  • Reliability

    Smart and solid

  • Space

    Great for two plus kids; tall adults may feel squashed in the back, and boot sill makes loading tricky

  • Standard and extras

    All trim levels are pretty generous

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Peugeot 308 isn't as good to drive as small family cars like the Ford Focus or VW Golf. Grip is good, but the car feels heavy and cumbersome and the steering could be more responsive. The overly firm suspension, means the ride is unsettled over most surfaces and fairly punishing over bumps.
    There's a good range of engines, though. For the best balance of power affordability and economy, go for the 110bhp 1.6 diesel. Some of the petrol engines become loud at higher revs, and although the diesel engines are smooth, the 2.0-litre versions are less fuel efficient and cost far more in road tax.

  • What's it like inside?

    Even as small family cars go, the Peugeot 308 is on the small side, with limited rear knee-room and average boot space. The boot has a high sill that makes loading more difficult than it needs to be, too.
    The driver's seat isn't quite aligned with the steering wheel and pedals, and that will have an impact on your long-distance comfort. The dash can be tricky to navigate, while some of the controls are hard to reach and fiddly to use. The chunky window pillars don't help visibility, either. It's not all bad, though  the seats are supportive and the interior feels well built and looks good.
    Entry-level Access trim includes air-conditioning, all-round electric windows and CD player as standard, but Active trim adds cruise control, alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, as well as Bluetooth. Top-of-the-range Allure trim is quite luxurious, which comes with part-leather seats, climate control and parking sensors.

  • How reliable is it?

    The 308 was rated 'above average' for mechanical reliability in the latest JD Power survey which is reassuring.
    Crash protection isn't so impressive, though: the Peugeot scored 82% for adult crash protection and 81% for child safety  the Ford Focus (92%/82%) and the VW Golf (97%/84%) do better. Six airbags and stability control are standard.

  • Should I buy one?

    The 308 is a popular company car and it's priced competitively. However, resale values can't match those of a VW Golf. Running costs, particularly for diesel models, will be easy on the pocket thanks to good fuel economy and low emissions.