Review: Peugeot 308 (2014)
Quiet and refined. Big improvement in quality over previous 308. Impressive 1.2 Puretech petrol engines. Five star Euro NCAP rating. European car of the year 2014.
Clunky manual gear change. Not much rear seat legroom.
Peugeot 308 (2014): At A Glance
- New prices start from £23,014, brokers can source from £16,206
- Contract hire deals from £205.70 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 9–29
- On average it achieves 72% of the official MPG figure
This 308 is the closest Peugeot has yet come to building a car that's genuinely good enough to compete with the likes of the Honda Civic and ever-popular Ford Focus.
Compared to its ugly predecessor, the latest 308 is a huge step forward in every regard, particularly design and quality. It's off to a good start too being crowned, albeit somewhat surprisingly, European Car of the Year for 2014.
In terms of looks the 308 has a neat if unadventurous design but it is much better proportioned than the old model and loses the ugly front end. But it's inside where you notice the biggest change.
There's a completely new layout that's far more stylish than before with an innovative cabin and a minimalist design. The decluttered look is a welcome change at a time when cars are laden with buttons and controls. Instead, the majority of functions are controlled through a large colour touch screen.
Like the smaller 208, the 308 also adopts Peugeot's small steering wheel which isn't to everyone's taste but does have a quality feel to it. In fact that quality feel is prevalent throughout the interior with a solid finish and tactile materials. It's a practical hatchback too with good rear passenger space and a useful 470-litre boot
The new 308 is considerably lighter than its predecessor thanks to a new chassis and this aids the handing which is far better. The steering has a nice weight to it and it's assured in corners. The ride is another highlight with the 308 very smooth even on rough roads with little wind noise. Only a clunky manual gear shift lets it down.
There's a wide choice of engines in the 308 with impressively efficient HDi diesels - the 1.6 BlueHDi emits just 82g/km of CO2 yet still develops 120PS. But it's the new 1.2-litre THP petrol engine that really stands out. Despite its small size the three-cylinder engine is a real gem and gives strong performance with the top version producing 130PS yet with official economy of more than 60mpg.
What does a Peugeot 308 (2014) cost?
Peugeot 308 (2014): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the new 308 is a perfect example of minimalist design. Peugeot has avoided the button-heavy look with a decluttered design and the result is a modern and distinctive cabin that's very different from the competition.
The reason Peugeot has been able to do away with lots of switches is down to its clever touchscreen system. It's an impressive 9.7-inches and looks like a tablet, neatly integrated between the air vents in the dash.
It doesn't take too long to work out where the various functions are and the screen itself has a high resolution with a bright colour display. It can sometimes be frustrating, for instance if you jump in the car and quickly want to turn the air conditioning temperature up for short journey, you have to go to the right screen and then tap the plus button. However, on the whole it makes a lot of sense and adds to the modern feel of the 308.
The quality of the interior is impressive too with a solid feel to the switches and a nice 'thud' when you close the doors. We're less keen on the metal finish to the gear lever on higher spec models but the same finish works well on the air vents and steering wheel.
The small steering wheel echoes the 208 and it too has a quality feel to it. The instrument dials are placed high on the dash top - the idea being that they're easier to see at a glance. The problem is that, depending on your height and driving position - the dials can be obscured by the steering wheel.
There's decent room for rear passengers and the back seats, like those in the front, are comfortable which is particularly noticeable on long journeys. The boot is practical too with 470 litres which is far more than a Volkswagen Golf which has 380 litres.
Access models come with air conditioning, remote central door locking, cruise control with speed limiter, DAB digital radio, LED daylight running lights and Bluetooth connectivity.
Active adds dual zone air conditioning, electric handbrake, rear parking sensors, integrated 9.7-inch touchscreen and satellite navigation.
Allure comes with full LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera and front parking sensors.
Feline is the top-of-the-range model and has a panoramic Cielo glass roof, Alcantara trimmed sports seats and the Driver Assistance Pack with Dynamic Cruise Control, Emergency Collision Alert and Emergency Collision Braking System.
Child seats that fit a Peugeot 308 (2014)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Peugeot 308 (2014) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.2 Puretech 82 to 2.0 BlueHDi 180 Automatic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 31–72 mpg
Thanks to the use of lightweight materials, the 308 weighs a considerable 140kg less than its predecessor. It also uses a new chassis which it shares with the acclaimed Citroen C4 Picasso.
Add in a lower centre of gravity along with new suspension and it's no surprise that the 308 is a revelation compared to its predecessor. It's impressive through corners with a nice weight to the steering, feeling surefooted even in the wet.
Other hatchbacks may be more fun to drive but the 308 feels composed and it's a very easy car to drive. A further highlight is the excellent ride quality which irons out uneven roads and rough surfaces with ease. In town the 308 is easy to manouevre into tight spots although rear visibility isn't great due to the narrow rear window - fortunately parking sensors are standard on all but the entry-level Access trim.
On the motorway it's a very relaxed car with little road or wind noise. That's helped by good sound insulation and an aerodynamic design which means little wind drag. The only criticism of the 308 is the rather clunky manual gearchange which isn't as slick as you'd expect given how good the rest of the car is.
There's a good choice of engines in the 308 and the good news is that all of them are economical and cheap to run. The HDi diesels will for many be the default choice and the 1.6 HDi is particularly good. It's not the quickest of engines but is quiet and ideal for relaxed driving.
The BlueHDi version of the 1.6-litre is the most economical engine in the 308 range with an incredible claimed 91.1mpg. CO2 emissions are just 82g/km which is remarkable given it has 120PS. A 2.0 HDi with 150PS is offered and is also available with a six-speed automatic.
The entry-level petrol is a 1.2 VTi with 82PS while the sportiest is the 1.6 THP. But the engine that really stands out is the new 1.2 e-THP petrol. This is a three-cylinder Puretech engine that punches well above its small size thanks to the fact it's turbocharged. There are two versions available - one with 110PS and a more powerful 130PS - and both get start/stop as standard. The more powerful 130PS gets a six-speed gearbox but both have plenty of torque and pull well from low revs.
It's very refined for a three-cylinder engine. In fact in everyday driving you'd be hard pressed to tell, such is its quiet nature. It's still nippy though and enjoyable to drive while it's not out of its depth on the motorway either. Economy is strong with an official 64.2mpg for the 110PS versions and CO2 of just 104g/km for both mean cheap VED. If you're interested in an HDi model we'd suggest trying the 1.2 e-THP engine as a comparison. It suits the 308 perfectly.
|1.2 Puretec 130 Automatic||63 mpg||9.1 s||117 g/km|
|1.2 Puretech 110||57–71 mpg||10.1–11.8 s||95–115 g/km|
|1.2 Puretech 130||54–63 mpg||9.6–10.3 s||104–112 g/km|
|1.2 Puretech 130 Automatic||54–63 mpg||9.1–9.8 s||106–123 g/km|
|1.2 Puretech 130 EAT8||52–54 mpg||9.1–9.8 s||119–124 g/km|
|1.2 Puretech 82||57 mpg||13.3 s||114 g/km|
|1.5 BlueHDi 100||76 mpg||-||98 g/km|
|1.5 BlueHDi 130||76–81 mpg||9.8–10.2 s||96–100 g/km|
|1.5 BlueHDi 130 EAT6||76 mpg||9.4 s||98–102 g/km|
|1.5 BlueHDi 130 EAT8||76–79 mpg||9.4 s||94–98 g/km|
|1.6 BlueHDi 100||79 mpg||11.3 s||94 g/km|
|1.6 BlueHDi 120||74–91 mpg||9.7–10.3 s||82–98 g/km|
|1.6 BlueHDi 120 Automatic||72–79 mpg||9.5–10.2 s||92–101 g/km|
|1.6 e-HDi 115||74–76 mpg||10.2–11.9 s||95–100 g/km|
|1.6 HDi 115||74–76 mpg||10.2–11.9 s||95–100 g/km|
|1.6 HDi 92||79 mpg||11.3 s||93–95 g/km|
|1.6 THP 125||50–52 mpg||10.4–10.7 s||125–129 g/km|
|1.6 THP 156||49 mpg||8.4 s||129–134 g/km|
|1.6 THP 205||50 mpg||7.5 s||130 g/km|
|1.6 THP 225||50 mpg||7.4 s||132 g/km|
|2.0 BlueHDi||71–74 mpg||8.6–8.9 s||99–108 g/km|
|2.0 BlueHDi 150||72 mpg||8.9 s||102–103 g/km|
|2.0 BlueHDi 150 Automatic||69 mpg||8.6 s||108 g/km|
|2.0 BlueHDi 180 Automatic||64–71 mpg||8.4–8.6 s||103–130 g/km|
|2.0 BlueHDi Automatic||69–71 mpg||8.6 s||107–111 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Peugeot 308 (2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Peugeot 308 (2014)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
What five-door hatchback should we buy?
What Cars Are Similar To The Peugeot 308 (2014)?
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star 50%
- 4 star 17%
- 3 star 17%
- 2 star 17%
- 1 star