Peugeot 308 review - Interior, design and technology
Eye-catching looks and a quality cabin elevate the 308 above a lot of mainstream hatchback rivals
It was important for the success of the third-generation 308 that it employed some form of electrification to help boost efficiency and to remain competitive with its close rivals. The latest model sits on a revised version of the company’s EMP2 platform, which allows for petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains and was developed prior to the manufacturer being absorbed into the Stellantis group. It’s the same basic architecture that underpins its Vauxhall Astra and DS 4 stablemates.
From the outside, Peugeot’s five-door hatchback certainly catches the eye. It’s not only the company logo that’s had an overhaul, so has the 308’s styling, with a rakish front design and sharp creases along the shoulder line leading to a good-looking rear. It’s definitely a bit of a head turner, particularly if you go for one of the more distinctive body colours: we’d recommend either the Olivine Green, Elixir Red or Vertigo Blue paint options
Things get even better once you’re sitting inside the 308’s cabin, where it’s noticeable how much focus Peugeot has applied to improving overall quality. It feels like a genuine challenger to premium models such as the Audi A3, and easily outclasses the Mk8 Golf, which wouldn’t have even been thought of just a few years ago.
Car group tests
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Peugeot’s i-Cockpit system is standard on all models, but takes a bit of getting used to. It incorporates a 10-inch media touchscreen and a digital driver’s display of the same size which work well enough, but the small steering wheel design means you have to peer over the top to be able to see the dials, rather than looking straight through. It’s an unusual arrangement, and we’d advise having a decent test drive to see whether it feels right for you.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The 308 was the first Peugeot to benefit from a newly updated user interface for its infotainment set-up. While it’s a huge improvement over the systems in previous models, it’s still not without its flaws.
On the great side is the screen itself. The resolution is very high, which means that the graphics are crisp and clear, and the rear-view camera looks as detailed as the best systems on the market. Beneath the main display sits a bank of touch-sensitive shortcut keys, which can be customised to show the controls you use the most. Loading times are excellent, too.
However, Peugeot has chosen to stick with the same climate-control arrangement, so all functions are selected via the touchscreen, including temperature controls that take up space on either side of the screen in some menus. Other brands have found a better touchscreen solution, but we would prefer physical controls.
In this review
- 1Peugeot 308 review With its striking good looks, the Peugeot 308 is a desirable five-door hatchback, but it sacrifices practicality and isn’t great to drive
- 2Engines, performance and drivePlug-in hybrid models offer decent punch, but the 308 hatchback is no driver’s car
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsThe 308 petrol and diesel models offer good real-world fuel economy, but the efficient plug-in hybrid is quite expensive to buy
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingEye-catching looks and a quality cabin elevate the 308 above a lot of mainstream hatchback rivals
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe 308 is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of practicality - a large boot and decent towing ability are compromised by poor passenger space
- 6Reliability and safetyPeugeot offers good levels of standard safety kit for the 308, while the brand's Driver Power feedback is much improved