Peugeot 308 SW 1.5

BlueHDi Allure

Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, rear
Peugeot 308 SW, rear
Peugeot 308 SW, rear
Peugeot 308 SW, interior

IN a world well and truly conquered by crossovers of all shapes and sizes it's sometimes easy to forget the vehicles that were once the mainstay of motoring for many people.

Hatchbacks and smaller estate cars used to be the go-to choice for many families looking for affordable motoring in a suitably stylish package and Peugeot has always been one of the manufacturers which excelled in this regard.

A lot has changed since Peugeot's 308 was launched four years ago.

Back then crossovers were something of a sabre-rattling contender to the family car crown but now they are fast becoming the mainstream.

In 2014 the Peugeot 308 won the European Car of the Year award.

Whether it would win it now as a result of changing automotive fashions is an interesting question.

Also, does it still have a place in the much changed automotive marketplace?

It's interesting that Peugeot now seems to be putting all its efforts into its crossovers and SUVs with the new 3008, quickly followed by the 5008. Both follow on from the French car maker's first crossover foray in the shape of the 2008.

The 308 has aged well it's fair to say and still looks pretty appealing in either hatchback or estate form.

Some nice design touches help set it apart, particularly the liberal use of chrome.

On the estate version it really does accentuate the car's sleek design lines.

Other stand-out features include a slim grille, flared wheel arches and compact light clusters.

The 308 is characterised by a modern and sophisticated interior. Soft touch plastics abound and an intuitive central touchscreen controls most of the car's functions.

I also like the smaller steering wheel as part of this i-Cockpit set-up.

Technology includes full smartphone connectivity with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also a TomTom 3D sat nav with live traffic updates, voice recognition and a 9.7-inch colour touchscreen.

Other features include dual zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and a decent sound system.

The cabin has a nice open and roomy feel, augmented by the panoramic sunroof fitted to this car.

It's practical too, boasting 660 litres of boot space with the parcel shelf in place or 1,775 litres with the rear seats folded down.

This car had by a 1.5-litre 131bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and it proved a capable, smooth and refined unit.

As a driver's car the 308 SW is surprisingly decent.

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.

Overall it might be less fashionable than a crossover but it is still more than capable of giving one a run for its money.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 308 SW 1.5 BlueHDi Allure

Price: £22,975

Mechanical: 131bhp, 1,499cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 126mph

0-62mph: 10.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 74.3

Insurance Group: 22

C02 emissions: 100g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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