Few classes are as closely contested as the family car class, and some of its most popular models are overall UK best-sellers. It's therefore vital that manufacturers make a decent job of it - enter the Peugeot 308. It's available as a five-door hatchback and an estate, the SW, but comes with a large range of engines options and a similarly long list of trims.
It's up against some of the best all-arounders on sale, cars like Ford's Focus, Vauxhall's Astra, Volkswagen's Golf and most notably, Skoda's Octavia. All of these rivals excel in areas such as space and practicality and running costs - exactly the sort of areas families are interested in when buying a new car.
The 308 doesn't get off to the best start when it comes to ride and handling. It's neither the sharpest family car to drive, nor the most comfortable to be in, especially at low speeds in town, where potholes and broken roads often catch it out. There are some solid engine choices, though, particularly the three-cylinder Puretech petrols which are stronger than they sound and the cleanest of the range, as well as the even stronger and more frugal 1.6 diesel (our pick.)
Inside, things aren't quite a rosy. Perceived quality is good, but the driver's seating position is average and its infotainment system is disappointing, and, while its boot might be big, rear passenger space is some of the worst in this class.
Overall, the 308 can't challenge the class best for top spot. It's neither good enough to drive, nor spacious enough to earn that, but if you rarely carry people in the rear seats, and you choose your engine and trim carefully, the 308 has plenty going for it.