Peugeot 308 Review logo

Peugeot 308 Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2014
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Stylish and refined French hatchback”

Best bits

  • Some truly brilliant engine choices
  • Large, family-friendly boot
  • Interior looks and feels posh

Not so great

  • Fiddly infotainment system and awkward driving position
  • Tight passenger space in the back
  • Standard safety kit should be more generous

Read by

Peugeot 308 Right Side View

Overall verdict

Peugeot 308 Front Interior

On the inside

Peugeot 308 Right Front Side View

Driving

Peugeot 308 Back View

How much does it cost to run

Peugeot 308 Dashboard

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Peugeot 308 does 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. 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."

Peugeot 308 Right Side View

The Peugeot 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 claim the same.


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.


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

Is the Peugot 308 right for you?

Do you want a car that feels bang-up-to-date, but you don’t want to pay a king’s ransom for it? If so, then the 308 could well be the answer. As a new car, it’s still competitive with most rivals in most areas. However, not many current competitors have been around as long as the 308, so you can find used examples for considerably less cash.


What will you like? Its style for one thing, both inside and outside, and you’ll also like the generous standard equipment, the big boot and the fizzy, responsive and frugal engines. You might be less enthusiastic about the poor ergonomics, the clunky infotainment system and the tight rear space, but you might just put up with those foibles for a bargain pricetag.


If you need more space, there's the Peugeot 308 SW plus there's the performance version in the form of the Peugeot 308 GTI.

What’s the best Peugot 308 model/engine to choose

Whatever engine you pick, just make sure it’s suffixed by the number 130. Both the Puretech 130 (petrol) and BlueHDi 130 (diesel) engines are absolute crackers, blending strong, flexible performance and super-impressive refinement with really strong fuel economy and emissions. High-mileage drivers will want the latter, while those who only do short hops will want the former.


Things are a bit less clear-cut on trim level. Those on a budget will be absolutely fine with entry-level Active trim as it provides pretty much all the creature comforts you really need, but we could understand if you went to the Allure instead thanks to its sports seats, part-leatherette upholstery and its panoramic roof. However, if you can find a Tech Edition car, it might be worth spending the little bit extra it costs over Allure, purely because of all the extra safety kit it gets, which should really be standard across the board.

What other cars are similar to the Peugot 308?

Britain buys more of this kind of car than pretty much any other, and with carmakers from all over the world trying to get themselves a piece of the sales action, there’s no shortage of choice for buyers in the market for a family hatchback. In no particular order, other than that in which they spring to mind, there’s the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Honda Civic, Skoda Octavia, SEAT Leon, Mazda 3, Renault Megane, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, Kia Ceed and Fiat Tipo. You also have premium offerings like the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class, plus all the small SUVs that are proving so popular with young families these days.

Learn more

Peugeot 308 Front Interior

On the inside

Peugeot 308 Right Front Side View

Driving

Peugeot 308 Back View

How much does it cost to run

Peugeot 308 Dashboard

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

What is the Peugeot 308?

It’s effectively French for Volkswagen Golf. That is to say, it’s a sensible, roomy family hatchback that is smart to look at, feels reasonably posh inside, and comes with a variety of efficient engines.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

When did the Peugeot 308 come out?

The first generation 308 (2007-2013) came out well over ten years ago, and was a much larger, more sensible and better appointed successor to the small, boxy 306 from the 90s. The latest model arrived in 2013, and was given a major refresh and new styling in 2017.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

Is the 308 a good car?

The 308 faces very tough competition, and it struggles to stand out compared to its rivals, despite being a good all rounder. Good looks, a nice cabin and big boot are its key strengths.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady