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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Refined smooth engines, and a good safety rating

Against Dynamics, handling and shortage of cabin space are all disappointing

Verdict The 308 is a competent small family car, but a long way behind its rivals

Go for… 1.6 HDI (108) S 5dr

Avoid… 1.6 THP GT 5dr

Peugeot 308 Hatchback
  • 1. There's plenty of head- and legroom up front, and decent rear-seat headroom, but not enough legroom.
  • 2. The ride is uncomfortably firm, and the 308 can be unsettled by mid-corner bumps. It grips well, but never feels nimble. Overall, it falls well short of class leaders in this area.
  • 3. Those shopping for a diesel can choose between the 89bhp or 108bhp 1.6-litre engines (with the 108bhp unit being the better buy) or the rare 134bhp 2.0-litre.
  • 4. Servicing costs aren’t expensive, and there are plenty of independent garages that specialise in Peugeots.
  • 5. The diesel particulate filter can also give problems, with a fault light appearing on the dashboard and the car refusing to start.
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Peugeot 308 Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Peugeot 308 is a competent small family car but it doesn't excel in any particular area.

There's plenty of head- and legroom up front, and decent rear-seat headroom, but not enough legroom.

However, the driving position is compromised with offset pedals and restricted rear visibility.

The ride is uncomfortably firm, and the 308 can be unsettled by mid-corner bumps. It grips well, but never feels nimble. Overall, it falls well short of class leaders in this area.

It's a different story when it comes to refinement, however, with minimal wind and road noise – even at motorway speeds. The engines are also smooth and quiet. The 308 has a good safety record, with a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating, and ISOFIX child-seat mounting points.

Trade view

The Urban model isn’t well equipped, and misses out on too many essentials.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The 95bhp 1.4-litre petrol model is acceptable, as long as you’re not in a hurry, but the 120bhp 1.6-litre has noticeably more pep. There’s also a turbocharged 1.6-litre with 140bhp, 150bhp or 173bhp. In any state of tune, this engine is entertaining, but pushes up running costs.

Those shopping for a diesel can choose between the 89bhp or 108bhp 1.6-litre engines (with the 108bhp unit being the better buy) or the rare 134bhp 2.0-litre.

Urban trim models miss out on alloys and air-con, but do get electric front windows, ISOFIX fixing points, six airbags and a CD player. S trim adds climate control, but little else, while Sport brings alloys, cruise and stability controls, and foglights. Range-topping SE trim adds a panoramic glass roof, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth.

Trade view

The 308’s firm ride can prove uncomfortable, and the car doesn’t feel composed on bumpy roads.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

You’ll get an official average of 43.5mpg from the 1.4-litre and 42.2mpg from the 120bhp 1.6-litre petrol model. The 150bhp version does 39.8mpg and the 175bhp version 37.1mpg. Of the diesels, the less powerful 1.6-litre hits 62.8mpg, with the more powerful engine doing 55.3mpg. The 2.0-litre diesel does 51.4mpg.

Servicing costs aren’t expensive, and there are plenty of independent garages that specialise in Peugeots. As long as the work is carried out on schedule, and using the correct parts, this shouldn’t dent resale values.

However, while resale values aren’t the 308's strong point, small petrols and diesels will retain more of their value.

Trade view

The Urban model isn’t well equipped, and misses out on too many essentials.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

So far, the 308 is proving to be relatively reliable, but it's not without issues.

The cooling system can go wrong, either by not cooling the engine, or going into overdrive when not required. The diesel particulate filter can also give problems, with a fault light appearing on the dashboard and the car refusing to start. Some owners also complain of manual gearbox problems, leaving the car stuck in neutral.

Electrical issues also crop up, so check all switches and controls work correctly.

There have been a number recalls for the Peugeot 308, including problems with the brakes, headlights and electrics. A franchised dealer should be able to tell you if the work has been carried out.

Trade view

The 308’s firm ride can prove uncomfortable, and the car doesn’t feel composed on bumpy roads.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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