New 2022 Peugeot 308 goes on sale from £25,270
Peugeot’s latest 308 retains an estate variant and gets hybrid power for the first time
This third-generation 308 is the first car to feature the brand’s new logo as part of its recent rebrand to push Peugeot upmarket. However, the new 308 - available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time - will retain its relatively affordable price tag at the lower end of the range.
The costly technology required for plug-in models and the availability of an SW-badged estate means prices will rise up to £40,670 for the range-topping 225 Hybrid SW model.
The 308 uses the same platform as its predecessor, but the latest version of the EMP2 architecture - developed by the PSA division of the Stellantis group - has seen heavy development since its introduction in 2013, when the second-generation 308 was the first Peugeot model to use it.
The introduction of electrification isn’t the only big change for this new model. The new 308 features an interior overhaul to support the brand’s push upmarket, while there have also been steps forward when it comes to infotainment and driver assistance technology.
Design and practicality
Peugeot has recently introduced an evolution of its latest design language on the facelifted 3008 SUV, and though the 308 is smaller and sportier, it’s still in keeping with its higher riding and more practical sibling.
The bonnet swoops downwards to create a lower looking nose than before, while beneath it sits a new, larger grille wearing that updated badge. Slimmer headlights are integrated into the edges of the grille, alongside Peugeot’s fang-like LED daytime running lights.
A strong shoulder line runs from the top of the headlight to the tail light, and there are two prominent new creases above the front and rear wheels.
At the back, there’s a prominent rear spoiler on the boot door, while the tailgate is headlined by another typical modern Peugeot design feature - tail lights with three ‘claw’ style lighting elements.
It’s 11mm longer than the old car, at 4,360mm, and 20mm lower. But more importantly, the wheelbase has grown by 55mm, so despite the more rakish looking rear end, space in the back has improved.
Boot space stands at 412 litres, so the new 308 should prove one of the more practical options in the family hatchback category when it goes on sale. It means the boot is larger than the Volkswagen Golf, Hyundai i30, Ford Focus or Mercedes A-Class. Unfortunately, should you choose the hybrid, boot space shrinks 361 litres.
As you’d expect the estate SW model adds some more boot space, the non-hybrid model comes with a 608-litre boot, while the hybrid SW has 548 litres.
Interior and technology
Inside, the 308 has undergone a heavy transformation. The dashboard integrates some of Peugeot’s newest infotainment and display technology into a completely new design, to place some distance between the 308 and the 3008 SUV.
The tall, sloping dashboard features air vents placed high up, while a sharp-looking 10-inch touchscreen display on the dashboard controls most of the in-car tech, and now features wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
There are two versions of this screen - the basic i-Connect version and the i-Connect plus, which features widescreen navigation from TomTom. The new graphical interface is customisable and uses a widget-based organisation system, like a smartphone or tablet.
Beneath it is a row of freely configurable touch-sensitive controls, called ‘i-Toggles’. Each one is a shortcut to a major function, such as climate control, the telephone or radio. A row of ‘piano key’ style buttons sits at the base of the infotainment zone.
The 308 continues to use Peugeot’s i-Cockpit steering wheel and instrument layout. That means that the small steering wheel sits below the new digital instrument panel, which is now available with the clever 3D image tech used on the brand’s smaller 208 supermini.
The large centre console gets a new look too. It comes with 34 litres of storage space, including a large cubby, which is home to a wireless smartphone charger.
Luxury touches include the availability of nappa leather upholstery and massaging seats. There’s also a new cabin air filtration system designed to keep polluting gasses and particles out, with the cabin air quality level displayed on the infotainment screen.
Engines and hybrid drivetrains
Peugeot will offer the 308 with one pure petrol option, one diesel, and two petrol plug-in hybrids. All are exclusively available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
The PureTech 130 is the sole petrol engine, and is a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder developing 128bhp. In the hatch, top speed is 130mph and its 0-62mph is 9.7 seconds.
The only diesel unit is Peugeot’s BlueHDi 130, a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine also developing 128bhp. It’s just a bit slower than the 1.2-litre petrol, with a 10.6-second 0-62mph time and a 129mph top speed.
The two-strong plug-in hybrid line-up opens with the Hybrid 180 model, which available in all but the lowest Active Premium trim level. This combines a 148bhp PureTech petrol engine with a 109bhp electric motor and a 12.4kWh battery. That’s a smaller battery than the 3008 SUV plug-in hybrid, but Peugeot claims that 37 miles of pure electric running is still possible, while CO2 emissions as low as 25g/km, which should make it a compelling company car choice.
More power is on offer with the Hybrid 225 drivetrain, available with the top two trim levels - GT and GT Premium. This combines a 178bhp petrol engine with the same 109bhp electric motor for a maximum combined power output of 222bhp. Again, up to 37 miles of battery running is claimed, while CO2 is up marginally to 26g/km. Top speed for the 225 model is 146mph and it’ll go from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds. The 180 Hybrid model takes 0.1 seconds longer to get to 62mph and will top out at 139mph.
From a domestic three-pin plug electricity supply, the batteries for both versions will be replenished in just over seven hours. Using a domestic callbox and the car’s standard 3.7kW on board charger reduces this time to three hours and 50 minutes. With the optional 7.4kW on-board charger the time plugged-in reduces to one hour and 55 minutes.
The plug-in hybrid versions of the 308 feature a thermal pre-conditioning function too. Via the MyPeugeot smartphone app or the car’s touchscreen, users can schedule a wake-up point for the battery. This means that the cells can be at the optimal temperature for efficiency from start-up, while the cabin can be pre-heated or cooled as well.
Driver assistance and safety technology
Peugeot Drive Assist 2.0 is making its debut on the new 308 - the latest development of the firm’s semi-autonomous driver assistance technology.
Whereas before, Drive Assist relied on stop-and-go cruise control and lane-keep assist, the new version can now automatically adapt the speed of the car around curves, operating at speeds up to 112mph.
Elsewhere, the new 308 gains a long-range blind-spot-monitoring function, rear cross traffic alert and a reversing camera with a 180-degree field of view. A 360-degree top-down style camera is also available.
Adaptive cruise with a full stop-and-go function is also available with the new 308. Automatic high-beam and traffic sign recognition are offered too, while every version gets an electronic parking brake.
Pricing and specs
The new 308 will be available in five trim levels - Active Premium, Allure and Allure Premium, with sporty GT and GT Premium versions topping out the range.
Active Premium cars come fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, EcoLED automatic headlights and LED tail lights. Even this model gets the 10-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as rear parking sensors. Prices start at £25,270.
For £1,850 more, Allure spec adds bigger, 17-inch alloys, leather effect interior trim and ambient lighting. Also included is Peugeot’s Connected 3D navigation system, along with its i-Connect voice assistant, a reversing camera and front parking sensors.
Allure Premium models are priced from £28,020, with Drive Assist 2.0 added to the mix. Also included is wireless phone charging and wireless CarPlay and Android Auto.
GT trim brings a range of exterior upgrades, such as 18-inch alloys, Matrix LED headlights, a dark chrome front grille and extended side sills. Inside, you get a 3D instrument cluster, a heated steering wheel and Alcantara trim on the seats. GT trim cars start from £29,920.
The range topping 308 GT Premium can be had for £31,520, and features a Focal Premium HiFi and upgraded seats, with a massage function and electric lumbar support. Peugeot's Drive Assist Pack Plus is also fitted, with semi-autonomous lane keep assist. GT Premium also brings a 360-degree camera and semi-autonomous park assist.
The new 308 is available now, with first UK deliveries expected in December this year.
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