Regular readers will probably get the hint. And for newcomers, I advise you to check out the first Peugeot 308 presentation article and a detailed test drive of the Opel Astra. After all, these two cars always go hand in hand: they appeared almost simultaneously in Europe, arrived in Ukraine almost simultaneously, share a common technical platform and diesel engine, and cost similar money. Twin brothers! Or competitors? This time I will try not only to talk about the Peugeot 308, but also to compare the cars in absentia. Even if this couple was separated by a few weeks, there are still many observations and comparisons to be made.
Design: Peugeot Fangs’ own style
The new Peugeot 308 is instantly recognizable thanks to the “fangs” that have already become a characteristic feature of modern cars of the French brand. Plus, a large grille that visually unites the headlights on the latest models. As well as characteristic headlights with narrow red stripes – by the way, they are sometimes called “lion claws” or “lion claw marks”. The Peugeot 308 was also one of the first cars to wear the new logo, which found a place even on the front fenders.
Interesting: Peugeot’s signature design style has no specific name, but the car is recognizable at once! The new Peugeot 308 features soft body curves and distinctive “muscular” wheel arches, plus the aforementioned “fangs” in front and “claws” behind. You won’t be able to confuse it with others!
In terms of dimensions, the Peugeot 308 is a typical European C-class hatchback: length – 4.37 meters; width – 1.85 meters; height – 1.44 meters; wheelbase – 2.675 meters. The dimensions of the Peugeot 308 are almost identical to the Opel Astra, but the design is completely different: soft body curves instead of straight lines and angles; predatory headlights and vertical “fangs” instead of horizontal compact optics; deliberately highlighted chrome grille instead of black gloss. An interesting detail is that the cool green color is branded and free of charge for the Peugeot 308; the Opel Astra is offered in basic white, and any other color requires a surcharge. Here’s the first difference: the new Peugeot 308 is a story of brightness and zest.
However, in fact, the exterior was only the beginning, because the biggest “design feast” awaits in the cabin. The front panel combines massive surfaces and curved aluminum décor (rough and pleasant to the touch); in the center there is a horizontal display with an additional touch panel, and below is the center console – by the complexity of the curves, it looks like it was created by maestro Gaudi, no less!
And everything is quite functional. There is a large niche for a wallet, a shelf with wireless charging, and a joystick for the automatic transmission on the ledge. And we haven’t even gotten to the 3D digital instrument panel and the small steering wheel yet. By the way, the latter is low – but you quickly get used to it and then there is a feeling that your hands are not holding the steering wheel to the right/left (position 3/9 or 2/10), but lying on top of it. And finally, I’d like to note the colored interior lighting, which seems to appear behind the central display and illuminates the aluminum decor: it looks cool!
Now the main thing is to sign a contract for the purchase of a Peugeot 308 so that the potential client does not have time to move from the front seat to the back row. Because it’s too tight in the back. Of course, it has improved compared to the previous Peugeot 308, but in general, you will find a low ceiling and minimal legroom. The same goes for the trunk: the useful volume is 384 liters – it seems to be enough, but it is not impressive; plus one side niche. By the way, here’s another comparison with the Opel Astra: the German car has a higher floor and a horizontally extended trunk; its volume is declared at 422 liters, but visually it is smaller than the 308’s.
The front part of the Peugeot 308 cabin is full of imagination: complex surfaces, interesting details. But the rear is already familiar: the space reserve is at the minimum sufficient level and the trunk is similarly minimum sufficient. It’s better to look forward…
Technology: familiar hardware, the latest displays
The technical basis of the Peugeot 308 is already familiar from many other models – we have the EMR2 platform, a transversely mounted 1.5 BlueHDi 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine (130 hp and 300 Nm), front-wheel drive and an 8-speed Aisin automatic. But what makes the Peugeot 308 stand out from other related models is its Peugeot i-Cockpit interior.
The history of this cabin began with the Peugeot 308 and Peugeot 208, but of the previous generation: the main thing is the tiny steering wheel and the dashboard above it. Next came the Peugeot 3008 crossover, which added a fully digital dashboard based on a color monitor with interesting non-format graphics. But that wasn’t the end of the story – the new generations of Peugeot 208 and Peugeot 2008 introduced 3D instruments.
However, the new Peugeot 308 has found something else to add – an i-toggles touchscreen below the main center display! In fact, it is a small additional screen, elongated horizontally and divided into several segments. Each of these segments can be a virtual touch button, the purpose of which can be changed and selected at your own discretion. The result is a very interesting combination of design and usability.
The main feature of the Peugeot 308 is not the hardware (because the platform, diesel engine, and automatic transmission are already well known), but a pair of 10-inch displays with additional “assistants”. The central touchscreen display controls the climate, music, and vehicle settings; it is assisted by a horizontal block of i–toggles. The other display is used as a dashboard, assisted by an additional mini-display and a mirrored surface, all of which together create a 3D image. Let’s compare again: the Opel Astra offers simpler shapes and solutions, and relies on physical buttons to control the climate or music.
Behind the wheel: pleasant handling and good comfort
This is where the two cars are most similar – in terms of road behavior, handling and comfort. I’ll say even more: pleasant handling and good comfort.
For example, the Peugeot 308’s steering wheel makes about three turns from stop to stop: this is not sporty sharpness at all. But the overall pleasant driving experience is provided by how quickly the car reacts to steering wheel turns, its minimal rolls, and the almost complete absence of wear/skid phases – all achieved thanks to the compact and low body. At the same time, the use of a fairly soft suspension and 16-inch wheels with high-profile tires provides good comfort and softness in overcoming road irregularities. Unfortunately, the comfort cannot be called “absolute” because of the sound insulation: you can hear the rustling of tires, engine operation, and aerodynamic noise. Frankly, looking at the luxurious upscale interior, I expected more silence inside.
Speaking of the engine. The turbo diesel is not in a hurry at the start, it does not impress with absolute dynamics from a standstill and pressing into the seat. But on the move, everything becomes noticeably better – the high torque of the diesel engine provides good acceleration during overtaking. And the use of a modern 8-speed automatic ensures smooth and quick gear changes. Again: let’s forget about the hints of sport – but let’s just enjoy the movement.
In the case of the Peugeot 308 and its behavior on the road, everything is very similar to the Opel Astra: good comfort and ease of handling, plus several driving modes to choose from – but even “SPORT” does not turn the car into a sports car. After all, the 1.5-liter turbo diesel engine and 8-speed automatic always promote a calm and measured driving style. Moreover, they provide acceleration to “hundreds” of about 11.7 seconds – there is a minimal loss to the Opel Astra, but still the result is better than promised by the “passport”. Fuel consumption is approximately on par with an Opel Astra: 6-7 liters in the city; on the highway, about 4 liters.
Cost: what is the price of the Peugeot 308 and what are the alternatives
The Peugeot 308 is offered in Ukraine only in the 5-door hatchback body (we do not have the 308 SW wagon), with one engine (the aforementioned 1.5-liter turbodiesel) and transmission (8-speed automatic). However, there is a choice between two trim levels – ALLURE or GT.
Peugeot 308 1.5 BlueHDi 130 S&S EAT8 ALLURE costs from UAH 1.05-1.06 million or about $27.8-28.2 thousand (depending on the issue date). The equipment is immediately good: six airbags/curtain airbags, cruise control, lane assist, dual-zone climate control, a digital instrument cluster based on a 10-inch display, a 10-inch central touchscreen display, fabric/leather interior trim, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, Eco LED headlights, etc.
Peugeot 308 1.5 BlueHDi 130 S&S EAT8 GT costs from UAH 1.15-1.18 million or about $30.5-31.5 thousand. (depending on the date of issue). The following have been added to the package: adaptive cruise, mirror blind spot monitoring system, 3D instrument panel, ALCANTARA interior trim, Full LED matrix headlights, etc. New batches of Peugeot 308 will be more expensive for a reason, but due to the expansion of equipment – for example, for the GT version, 360-degree view, AGR seats with back massage function, etc. are added.
A few words about the alternative. And now I want to focus your attention not on direct competitors (they were analyzed on the example of the Opel Astra and are generally unchanged), but on an alternative – in the form of the Peugeot 408. After all, the absence of more powerful engines and a station wagon body in the Ukrainian Peugeot 308 range is partly explained by the presence of the Peugeot 408 in the range: a more powerful gasoline engine, more space in the rear of the cabin, a larger trunk – but all this is more expensive. Need something cheaper? Don’t need high power and “design frills”? Then we remember the Opel Astraagain.
Peugeot 308 test drive results
The story of the Peugeot 308 is not only the story of one particular car, but also the story of market positioning and the “dilution” of several similar models. If you need a restrained but modern C-class hatchback for less money, then this is the Opel Astra. If you need the most emotional “Frenchman” – this is the Peugeot 408. Where is the place of the Peugeot 308?
Its place is in the hearts of those customers who need the Opel Astra format, but with a brighter and more fanciful interior. At the same time, they don’t want to draw extra attention to themselves, as is the case with the Peugeot 408, and they need the efficiency of a turbo diesel instead of gasoline power. The Peugeot 308 is a story about a traditional, practical, moderate European C-class hatchback, but with additional emotions and “wow” impressions for yourself.