New Peugeot 308 and Renault Megane on way

30 Oct, 2012 6:16pm Jack Rix

Our images reveal a radical new look for the next-generation 308 and Megane, ahead of their arrival next year

Just when you thought the new VW Golf had the family hatchback class sewn up, the French are coming out fighting.

Peugeot and Renault plan to build on the momentum of their 208 and Clio superminis with radical replacements for the 308 and Megane next year.

As you can see from our artist’s illustrations, it’s the Peugeot 308 – set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next September – that will get the most extreme overhaul. Our sources say it’ll be shorter and lower than the current 308, with a more dynamic silhouette.

Peugeot’s new design language will give it a smaller grille, narrower headlights and a series of bold creases along the bodywork. The company will continue with the 308 name as part of a new strategy that sees all its models end in 1 or 8. Using a development of the current car’s platform, the 308 will initially only be offered as a five-door hatch, with estate and drop-top models to follow. Engines will include 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels, plus a three-cylinder 1.2 petrol and a diesel-electric HYbrid4.

The new Megane, due around the same time as the 308, will follow the latest Renault family design, with a big lozenge badge and full-width front grille flowing into the headlights. But it won’t shake things up like the 308 – as Anthony Lo, Renault VP of exterior design, told us. “We don’t want to change the Megane radically,” he said. “We have to do more of the same and resist making it bigger.”

As with the current range, the new Megane will be offered as a five-door, three-door (which will spawn a Renaultsport version) and an estate. And like the 308, it will use a three-cylinder petrol engine.

The rivals

VW Golf: The new Golf shifts the goal posts yet again, with class-leading quality, technology, practicality and value for money.

Nissan Sunny: Set to arrive in 2014, Nissan’s Golf rival will be built in the UK. A hot Nismo version will take on the Golf GTI.

Toyota Auris: Toyota’s top seller is lighter, better-looking and more efficient than before. Unlike Golf, there’s a hybrid.

Audi A3 Sportback: Five-door A3 is more sophisticated, yet just as practical as a Golf – but also more expensive to buy.

SEAT Leon; New Leon is based on the same platform as the A3 and Golf, but gets dynamic new styling.

BMW 1 series: Our current class leader is brilliant to drive and comes very well equipped. It’s definitely not cheap, though.

Mercedes A-class: The attractive A-Class breaks new ground for Mercedes. An AMG version arrives next year, too.

Skoda Octavia: The value pick if you’re after a well built, spacious hatch, it comes next year with VW engines and tech.

Vauxhall Astra: A recent facelift has bolstered the line-up, with its wide range of bodystyles and powerful, efficient engines.

Ford Focus: The Focus is the current best seller and available with everything from a frugal 1.0-litre to a 247bhp 2.0-litre turbo.

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This looks a bazillion times better than the oddly proportioned 308, not so sure about the Megane though.

better than the old 308 I mean

2 more Kia/Hyundai thanks.

Peugeot is definitely no Kia/ Hyundai

That's true, KIA/Hyundai sit near the top of reliability surveys, Peugeots are always in the bottom ten.....

The Peugeot looks far better than the existing model, but that isn't exactly difficult to achieve. The Megane just looks like a heavy facelift of the present model. I wonder why Renault say they don't want to change it radically, is it because the current one has been such a success?

When we're mentioning Kia/Hyundai.. Where are they on the list of competitors? It seems that only carbuyer makes objective tests.

These are better but they are playing catch up to the likes of Kia / Hyundai. People are not being so much badge snobs anymore and other manufacturers have caught on now. (bit late really)

Value for money but also reliability. The car may look good but are they as reliable as the likes of Kia / Hyundai.

Recalls are not a good thing so only time can tell when people own them and reviews are given.

I will wait and see...

Oh really? And most Hyundais I know that are over ten years old are boarded and Peugeots are still on duty thirty years on! No survey needed. Plus they are crap to drive compare to Peugeots. Sheesh, since when did Peugeot become a cuss word!

It became a cuss word daily when I worked at a main dealers and the useless electrics and crap build quality was thrown in my face several times daily by errant owners!

Well, sorry for your experience. However, my uncle's 307 (the model with the worst reputation accoriding to the net) came down with only one electrical failure -electric power steering pump after 7 years of use, We took the steering down and on disassembly, we suspected that it was secretly swapped. the rest of the car- intact. Guess who is the manufacturer of the pump- JTEKT- a Toyota owned company.

Dull as ditchwater, thats a no for me.