Peugeot 308 SW GT

Line PureTech 130

Peugeot 308 SW GT Line, front, action
Peugeot 308 SW GT Line, front
Peugeot 308 SW GT Line, side
Peugeot 308 SW GT, interior
Peugeot 308 SW GT Line, rear
Peugeot 308 SW GT, interior

PEUGEOT'S 308 still looks fresh and appealing three years on from its UK launch.

Design-wise it might be less adventurous than some of its competitors but its simple and stylish profile has certainly aged well, after being declared the deserving winner of the coveted European Car of the Year award in 2014.

It's also a car that looks equally good in both hatchback and estate form, quite an achievement given estates often sacrifice a svelte profile for added practicality.

As mentioned Peugeot have kept things simple from a design perspective with the 308 but sometimes simplicity can be a surefire recipe for success, even more so when it displays just enough quintessential French design flair to help set it apart.

One of those simple but effective design touches is the liberal use of chrome. It's a material which seemed to go out of favour for a time but has started to make a return and clever but subtle use of it imbues the 308 SW with a real touch of class.

Arguably this is even more pronounced on the estate version where the chrome seems to flow perfectly and accentuate the car's sleek design lines.

Other features which enhance the 308's good looks include a slim grille, flared wheel arches and compact light clusters.

It's probably worth stressing that GT Line trim has some added features which help the car stand out even more, including 18-inch Diamant alloy wheels, twin exhausts, tinted rear windows and side skirts.

The GT Line additions extend to the interior too, with sports seats, a reversing camera and aluminium boot rails among the ‘extras'.

The latest 308 is far lighter than the car it replaced, thanks to PSA's EMP2 platform, and one of the highlights is a far more sophisticated and stylish interior.

It's a high quality environment where soft touch plastics abound and I really like the central touchscreen which controls most of the car's functions.

Another thing you can't help but notice is the smaller steering wheel, which initially made its debut on the 208.

It can feel slightly odd at first but you quickly get to used to it and may actually end up rather liking it, thanks to its go-kart kind of feel.

Engine-wise the three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol unit fitted to this car proved a revelation. While most buyers of a medium-sized estate car would ordinarily err towards diesel this represents a truly tempting alternative, and not just because of the current controversy over diesel power and its future.

It's impressively refined, packs a decent enough punch and returns great economy too.

Overall it's certainly a match for the 1.6-litre diesel option, with a more potent 2.0-litre diesel also available.

In terms of trim levels buyers can opt for Access, Active, Allure, GT Line and GT.

As a practical and versatile estate car the 308 SW certainly measures up.

The cabin is roomy throughout and it boasts 660 litres of boot space with the parcel shelf in place or 1,775 litres with the rear seats folded down.

As a driver's car the 308 SW delivers too. Sharp handling and a supple and agile feel make it an engaging and fun car to drive. A well engineered suspension set-up also ensures it rides smoothly.

In terms of options this car had a couple that are worthy of consideration, including a panoramic glass roof (£500) which looks great and enables a huge amount of light to be let into the car - or kept out if the occasion demands it.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 308 SW GT Line PureTech 130

Price: £23,935

Mechanical: 131bhp, 1,198cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 10.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 111g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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