New Peugeot 308 2017 facelift review

The revised Peugeot 308 family hatch shines, but some gripes still remain

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The changes gifted by this mid-life facelift help the Peugeot 308 keep pace with a pool of talented rivals. But the fiddly infotainment system and challenging ergonomics remain, which is a shame. However, it’s comfortable and good to drive, while boasting one of the bigger boots in its class. This 1.2-litre PureTech model is the pick of the range, too, proving refined and cheap to run.

Since its launch in 2014, the Peugeot 308 has been one of those cars that sat firmly in the middle of the pack. It did most things well, but sporadic failings regarding ergonomics and infotainment let it down.

In an attempt to rectify some of those flaws, Peugeot has given its family hatch a mid-life makeover. So is it enough to beat the best cars in a competitive class?

Best hatchbacks on sale right now

Look closely and you’ll notice the 308’s new, more upright grille and Peugeot badge, as well as the reprofiled bonnet and bumpers. New headlights and integrated running lights also feature, plus revised tail-lamps.

Despite fitting its vastly improved second-generation i-Cockpit in the latest 3008 SUV, Peugeot has kept the same analogue set-up as before in its revised hatch. Their awkward position means you still look over the steering wheel at the dials rather than through it, so some drivers will continue to struggle to get comfortable.

Elsewhere, the minimalist cabin remains. The 9.7-inch touchscreen has been updated to offer new 3D mapping, voice-activated controls and MirrorLink, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s not the most responsive unit, but the functionality brings it in line with more tech-focused rivals such as the SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf.

The 308’s climate controls are still buried within the display, however, making them fiddly to operate. Every car has Bluetooth, DAB radio and sat-nav, as well as automatic lights and wipers, 16-inch wheels and rear parking sensors. Step up to the GT Line (as per our test car) and you’ll add sportier styling, LED lights and a reversing camera.

On the road the 308 feels as agile as ever, while the excellent three-cylinder PureTech turbo petrol engine is punchy and quiet. Grip is good and body control up there with the best hatches on sale; a Vauxhall Astra is marginally more responsive, but the Peugeot runs it close. While the ride is on the firm side, it’s never uncomfortable.

Where the 308 has the edge is on running costs, with this petrol car almost matching some diesel rivals. Official fuel economy of 61.4mpg is impressive, while low emissions make it an affordable company car. The new 1.5 diesel is expected to return 80mpg-plus.

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021
Illegal car modification hotspots revealed
Volkswagen Polo exhaust
News

Illegal car modification hotspots revealed

Gloucestershire has the highest proportion of illegal car modifications, with altered number plates the most common breach
14 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review
Porsche Macan prototype - front
Porsche Macan

New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a prototype version of the facelifted Porsche Macan SUV
13 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland
Nissan Qashqai - front static
News

New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland

Nissan will offer every school child in the North East of England a place on the Nissan Skills Foundation course to mark 35 years of manufacturing in …
14 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development

The Land Rover Defender FCEV prototype will be assessed for off-road and long-range zero-emission motoring
14 Jun 2021
New SsangYong Korando e-Motion breaks cover with electric power
SsangYong Korando EV
Electric cars

New SsangYong Korando e-Motion breaks cover with electric power

The new SsangYong Korando compact electric SUV will be on sale later in 2021, says the financially stricken South Korean manufacturer
15 Jun 2021