The Peugeot 308 is a small family hatchback that harks back to the late 1960s when the initial “300” series (Peugeot 304) came out. The 304 was succeeded by the 305, the 306, the 307, and the 308 back in 2007. As such, the “300” series of small Peugeot cars has been out and about for quite a while now, but is the Peugeot 308 a good car?
The Peugeot 308 is one of the best cars Peugeot offers because it was recently completely overhauled and is now a really competitive small family hatchback that can rival the likes of some more expensive German models. The engines on offer are plentiful and include gasoline, diesel, and hybrid powertrains while a full-on e-308 EV is going to come in 2023.
The design of the new 308 is really attractive and attention-grabbing which is in stark contrast compared to the first generation of the 308. In addition to that, the 308 is also available as an estate (308 SW). The interior is sharp, modern, and well-equipped with all the goodies you’d expect. The 308 also drives well as it is comfortable, quiet, and even relatively agile.
Reliability has been improved since the initial 308 came out while value and practicality are what you’d expect from the segment. Overall, the 308 is a well-rounded family hatchback with good engines, good looks, and lots of technology.
Peugeot 308 – The Powertrain
Likely the most interesting aspect of the new 308 is the engine palette which consists of the entry-level 1.2L 110 PureTech engine with 110hp, but this 1.2L engine is also available with 130hp for the PureTech 130. You can still get the 308 with a diesel engine which includes the 1.5L BlueHDi with 130hp, but this engine is going out of production soon enough.
The 308 is also available in hybrid form. You can choose between the 308 GT Hybrid 225 with 225hp or a more sensible 308 Hybrid 180 with 180hp. All of these come with a front-wheel-drive setup from the factory and a manual gearbox, but the 8-speed automatic is available as an option for those wanting a more consistent experience.
Peugeot is also coming out with a fully electric e-308 model in 2023 which should share the familiar Stellantis-EV platform. All of these engines are fairly quiet and efficient, and the most efficient of them all is the Hybrid 180 which returns up to 200MPG combined while the least efficient 130 PureTech can also return an impressive 40MPG.
Peugeot 308 – Design and Driving
The very latest 308 came out in 2021 and it now looks as good as it ever did. The previous generation is also fairly modern and good-looking which wasn’t the case with the initial model. The 308 comes with sharp-looking LED lights, great-looking wheels, and a choice of plenty of exciting colors. The interior features modern sculptures, good materials, and lots of tech.
The 308 also comes in SW estate form which retains all of the above but adds extra practicality. The driving experience is quiet, subtle, and fairly agile for a Peugeot 308.
Peugeot 308 – Reliability and Common Issues
Continuing the theme of overall improvements, the 308 is now a fairly reliable car as recent Peugeot polls indicate that the brand is now much more reliable than it once was. However, there are some issues that do plague the 308 which include engine issues, transmission issues, electrical issues, DPF issues, and issues with the car’s turbocharger/EGR.
These are mostly found on older 308 models which means that the very latest one is much better. All in all, if you take proper care of it, the 308 should be able to last you a really long time without breaking down.
Peugeot 308 – Value and Practicality
The Peugeot 308 is priced £27,130 – £39,640 in the UK while the price in Germany is around €30,000. When the e-308 comes out, it is likely going to cost more than other 308 variants and push the 308 into a higher-end category. Used examples of the 2nd generation model have depreciated quite a bit which now makes them really good used cars.
Practicality is fitting for the segment, but the 308 is not the best for tall passengers thanks to that stylish roofline. However, it does make up for it due to having one of the largest trunks in its segment.
Which Peugeot 308 should I buy?
The best Peugeot 308 to buy right now is likely the Hybrid 180 model which offers more than enough power and is the most economical 308 in its lineup. Lowest CO2 emissions also mean the lowest emissions taxes and fees which lower the overall price similar to non-hybrid models. However, if you want the very best version of the 308, you should wait a few months until the electric e-308 comes out.
The e-308 is going to be perfect for a daily driver for those living in cities as it is going to offer you the lowest running costs and likely the best reliability out of all 308 models out there.
Is the Peugeot 308 SW better than the normal 308?
If you are buying the Peugeot 308 to be your family car, the 308 SW is the better choice as it is much more practical than the normal 308, especially in regard to rear-seat headroom. However, if you prefer the style and you want to buy the car for yourself, the normal 308 is the better-looking one.
Which cars rival the Peugeot 308?
The compact affordable family hatchback segment is arguably the most competitive segment on the market as it also consists of the ever-popular VW Golf, the Seat Leon, the Renault Megane, the Toyota Corolla, the Honda Civic, the Kia Ceed, the Hyundai i30, the Ford Focus, the Citroen C3, the Vauxhall/Opel Astra, and the Mazda 3.
All of these cars have something to offer which is why choosing the best car here is really difficult. I’d guess the purchasing decision for most people is going to revolve around reliability, the deal itself, the design, and badge loyalty.