Peugeot 308 (2014 – 2021) Review

Peugeot 308 (2014 – 2021) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The margins in the family hatchback class are extremely tight, and in many respects, the 308 is still very competitive. Find an early one that’s come down a lot in price and you could have a bit of a bargain on your hands.

+Some truly brilliant engine choices including impressive 1.2 Puretech petrol, large family-friendly boot, interior looks and feels posh, five star Euro NCAP rating.

-Fiddly infotainment system and awkward driving position, tight passenger space in the back, standard safety kit could be more generous, increasing number of 1.2 PureTech engine problems.

Insurance Groups are between 9–29
On average it achieves 72% of the official MPG figure

The Peugeot 308 does really well in some areas, with a big boot, a posh interior and several engines that provide a brilliant blend of performance, efficiency and refinement. It’s pretty good to drive, too, with decent ride comfort and stable, assured handling. However, an awkward driving position, a fiddly infotainment system and tight rear passenger space count against it, as does the fact that more of the safety kit available should be standard-fit. A very solid choice when compared to rivals like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, if not the most well-rounded.

Looking for a second opinion? Read heycar's Peugeot 308 review.

The great British public loves a hatchback, and year after year, that’s proved beyond all doubt in the sales charts.

And when it comes to the humble hatchback, few firms have a history as illustrious as Peugeot. Cars like the 205, 106 and 306 are still held up as desirable classics today, while even the ones that weren’t quite as good - we’re looking at you, 206 - turned out to be smash hits in terms of the numbers sold.

It has to be said, though, that there was a period when the French manufacturer lost its way, especially with its midsize offerings. The 307 and the first-generation 308 were unutterably dull contraptions, especially considering what had gone before, with very few points of merit to mark them out against the legion of very talented - and no less affordable - rivals.

In 2014, however, an all-new 308 was introduced that changed the game for Peugeot. Here was a car with real glamour. Here was a car with real desirability. Here was a car that was interesting. And for all the virtues that rivals had, there weren’t many cars in the class that could make the same claim.

The reason? Well, the looks, mainly. For the time, the 308 looked smart and chic in equal measure, while on the inside, the mixture of unconventional minimalist design and impressively high-grade materials gave a hugely classy feel. We may be several years down the line now, but even by current standards, the 308’s interior still looks impressively sharp.

It did other things well, too. The engine range contained some absolutely stunning low-capacity petrol and diesel offerings that defied belief with their mix of performance, efficiency and refinement, while the boot was also (and still is) one of the biggest in the class.

It was pretty good to drive, too, with a comfortable ride and impressive all-round rolling refinement, although now it’s a bit long in the tooth, the 308 has been caught up - and in many cases passed - by newer rivals.

Granted, there were things it didn’t do so well. Many will struggle to get to grips with its unconventional driving position, while rear space is tight by class standards.

And while safety standards were fine back in 2014, there are several items of safety equipment - such as automatic emergency braking - that remain on the options list to this day that most rivals give you as standard. Still, at least most other luxury kit is present-and-correct.

Ask Honest John

What's the best family car for £12,000?

"I'm looking at buying a used car for a young family, so ideally a five-door with ample boot space for a pram, plus extra for holidaying at home. It must be petrol as mileage will be around 8000/year and budget is around £12,000. Looking at running costs and reliability leads me to the Fabia Estate, but I'm not sure I could live with how dull it is. My partner doesn't want anything huge, which probably rules out Mondeo/Superb unless it has parking sensors/reverse camera. I'm scared of high mileage petrol cars, but should I be? Is a Peugeot 308 SW a good choice or is there something obvious I'm missing that would be reliable/cheap to run at higher mileage? "
A Skoda Fabia is a functional if unexciting choice - although you might be surprised how quickly you'll grow out of it as a family! It's quite a small car, even as an estate. We rate the Peugeot 308 (and 308 SW) - it'd be a good purchase and practical enough for your needs. Alternatively, a Honda Civic would be a very reliable and practical used car, especially if you can find a 2017 model within budget. We'd also recommend a Skoda Octavia - it's a very practical family car that represents excellent value for money. With regards to mileage, there's no need to be too concerned about high mileage, provided it's got evidence of regular servicing (and, obviously, the price reflects the higher mileage).
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is a petrol or diesel car better value?

"What’s better, the petrol or diesel Peugeot 308?"
Generally speaking petrol versions of the Peugeot 308 will be cheaper to buy than diesel versions, but the diesel will likely offer better fuel economy. If you cover a lot of miles the increased fuel economy will save you money in the long run, otherwise we would suggest the petrol as this will avoid any potential issues with the diesel particulate filter.
Answered by David Ross

How much does a cambelt replacement cost?

"When should the cambelt be changed on my Peugeot 308 and what should I expect to pay?"
We recommend changing the belt, pulleys and water pump every 5 years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first). The cost depends on two factors: who’s doing the work and the make and model of your car. It'll likely cost between £200 and £1000, depending on hours of labour, cost of labour, cost of parts etc. Typical cambelt replacement costs are in the region of £300 to £400 — but the most substantial part of your bill will generally be labour costs. These are high because changing a cambelt involves taking apart the engine block and putting it back together again, which can take a number of hours.
Answered by Georgia Petrie

My daughter wants a diesel hatchback. Can you recommend a used model?

"My daughter's leased MINI is coming up for renewal but she's leaning towards buying a 2 or 3-year-old car, with a diesel Golf in mind. Diesel due to her business travel of between 15k-20k miles per year. She likes the higher-spec cars, manual gearbox, preferably a five-door as a bit more space is best suited and for her black labrador who goes in the boot. Which model would be best suited and which models should she avoid? What insurance rating would the said model(s) be? Would servicing be similar on all models? What similar other car/model may be a good match for the Golf as mentioned? Many thanks in advance."
Sounds like a sensible choice for that kind of mileage. The 2.0 TDI would be the best bet - very efficient yet punchy enough for motorway driving. The 1.6 TDI is pretty good, too, although isn't quite as powerful as the 2.0-litre. Servicing on a diesel Golf should be relatively affordable, no matter which model your daughter chooses. This should give you an idea of insurance groups: (It's worth getting some quotes, though, as insurance groups don't always mean a great deal). We'd also recommend a SEAT Leon (it's very similar to the Golf and shares engines) as well as the Peugeot 308 and Hyundai i30 (particularly the latest model, which went on sale in 2017).
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Peugeot 308 (2014 – 2021) cost?