By on 2021-05-28 -
Peugeot 308 - Used
I'VE always had a soft spot for the present and much underrated Peugeot 308, which is about to be replaced.
I still remember how enjoyable it was at the launch and every variation I've driven since then has only reinforced that.
It's a good looking, still up to date five door hatch with low running costs and the biggest boot in the small family class.
But if yours is a family with large teenagers or adults who regularly travel in the back, bear in mind that space is surprisingly limited.
Whatever the engine you choose from a very wide range, performance and handling stand up well against the wide range of accomplished opposition in the class.
It is also, and this is more important for many, very comfortable over all surfaces and at all speeds - something which some others can't match.
The wide range of engine power output is matched by a large collection of trim specifications - only some of which are available with some of the engines. So make sure you get all the kit you want before you sign on the dotted line.
And of course - here I go again - don't make the same mistake I did recently and buy without full service history!
For the first time in years I let my heart rule my head and have found a number of problems that have had to be fixed.
Petrol engines are all called PureTech or THP and they start with the well known 1.2-litre 3 cylinder turbo, which always sounds lovely.
It's available in 110 or 130bhp forms, both giving low emissions, and both capable of around 52 miles per gallon.
The 110 reaches 60 from rest in 9.8 seconds and the 130 brings that down to 8.8.
There is also a 1.6THP in earlier cars with 123bhp. It covers the sprint in 10.1 seconds and is also capable of 52mpg.
Now we come to the diesels - three engine sizes and a number of power outputs - all of which have very low emissions.
The list starts with the earlier 1.6HDi that has 100bhp. It reaches 60 in 10.9 seconds and is capable of a superb 78mpg!
There is also a 120bhp version of the same unit that covers the sprint in 9.4 and can also manage 78mpg.
The 1.6 was supplemented by a new 1.5 part way through production and this has 130bhp. It sprints to 60 in 9.5 seconds and will do 76mpg at best.
Finally in the diesel list there is a 2.0-litre HDi with 147bhp. It's capable of 74mpg and is the fastest accelerating in the range apart from the GTi, reaching 60 in 8.3 seconds.
The piece de resistance of the range is that GTi - a scorching, tarmac rippling hot hatch that produces a staggering 270bhp from a heavily breathed upon version of the same 1.6THP petrol turbo.
It gets to 60 in well under 6 seconds and yet is still supposed to be capable of 47mpg! But despite the huge amount of fun it offers, it also has rather hard, uncompromising suspension to help handle the power, and this affects comfort.
Inside, the 308 has a simple and straightforward layout and later models have the Peugeot i-Cockpit dash introduced in the 3008, with instruments adjustable by the driver.
Everything else, including sat nav, climate control and audio, is controlled by a central touchscreen, but this can sometimes take its time to respond.
But it does come with standard smart phone connection and both Android auto and Apple carplay.
Mid-range Active Premium spec has audio remote, cruise, parking sensors, loads of airbags and other safety devices, traction control, very good seat adjustment and heated mirrors.
Pay about Â£5,800 for a '16 16-reg 1.2e-THP 110 Active, or Â£10,300 for an ‘18 18-reg 1.5 BlueHdi 130 GT-Line.
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