Peugeot 308

Hatchback Allure

Premium

Peugeot 308, 2023, front, action
Peugeot 308, 2023, front, static
Peugeot 308, 2023, side, action
Peugeot 308, 2023, rear
Peugeot 308, 2023, rear, action
Peugeot 308, 2023, interior

PEUGEOT'S 308 model has been a familiar sight on our roads over the last 16 years but it's never looked as sleek and sporty as it does today.

The designers of the latest version of this popular compact hatchback have excelled themselves with a creation that appeals to both sexes and all age groups.

It's already won a series of accolades including taking the 2022 Women's World Car of the Year title and being listed as a finalist in last year's European Car of the Year, ensuring that the descendant of the popular 307 model is set for an even brighter future.

It's a car that really stands out in the crowd thanks to its dramatic deep grille, swept back headlights and low sporting front.

A tapering roofline and deep cuts and curves in the metal give it plenty of kerb appeal.

And the 308 has the accolade of being the first model to wear the brand's new roaring lion's head logo on the grille, a feature now taken up by the new generation of the larger 408 model.

What's not so widely known is that the big cat's face hides a secret. Not only does it proudly shout Peugeot but it disguises a whole series of radar sensors which are used for the car's onboard safety systems.

The model driven here is the Allure Premium - the middle model of the range line up - powered by the company's popular 1.2-litre, 130bhp, three cylinder engine.

It's a powerful little unit which not only punches well above its weight but is particularly responsive at low revs and yet has a nice throaty roar to it.

It's mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and comes not only with paddles behind the steering wheel for more sporty driving but also a choice of three driving modes.

Take the driver's seat and you are faced with Peugeot's futuristic i-Cockpit with its 10-inch digital instrument panel as well as a 10-inch touchscreen.

In keeping with the current climate in car design it's a very minimalist cabin with few actual switches as most features are controlled from the touchscreen.

The centre console houses an electric handbrake and a very neat and compact gearshift.

The new 308 retains Peugeot's compact steering wheel, albeit in a slightly new format, which allows you to look at the instrument panel over the top of the wheel rather than through it as with other manufacturers.

It can seem strange at first but you soon adapt to it and in my case actually warm to it because of its more sporting feel.

And it works well with a car which has relatively firm suspension, allowing it to flow easily through sharp bends and corners with little if any body roll.

And if you do push on with enthusiasm you'll find you're held firmly in place by very comfortable seats with excellent side support.

With a top speed of 130 mph and a respectable 0-62 miles per hour time of 9.7 seconds this 1.2-litre is no hot hatch but always feels enthusiastically quick yet easy and comfortable to control.

Ambient lighting with a choice of eight colours makes the 308 a cosy place after dark and if you enjoy lighting effects you have five screen colours to choose from.

And this is a car whose attractive jewel-like daylight running light strips ensure you can always identify it as a Peugeot .

As a family car there's a generous 412 litres of luggage space but if you need more the 308 SW (or estate) offers 608 litres and has all the attributes of its hatchback sibling.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 308 Hatchback Allure Premium

Price: £29,660

Mechanical: 130 bhp from 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving afront wheels via seven speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 130 mph

0-62mph: 9.7 secs

Combined MPG: 43.5 - 52.1

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 129 g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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