2022 Peugeot 308 Hybrid review: price, specs and release date
Plug-in hybrid power gives the Peugeot 308 Hybrid extra company car appeal. With two PHEV versions available, we get behind the wheel of each to see if they can pull their weight.....
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The days when company car drivers’ main concern was getting the most miles out of a single tank of diesel are long gone. Now, it’s all about maximising the distance you can go without burning any fossil fuel at all.
This is the Peugeot 308 Hybrid family car’s key mission. You see, the further you can go without using fuel, the smaller the dent made in your pay packet by company car tax, and the 308’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system allows it to do many commutes on battery power.
Joining the peppy 1.2-litre petrol and economical 1.5-litre diesel (both producing 128bhp) in the 308 line-up, the 1.6-litre PHEV is offered as the 225 (with 221bhp) and the cheaper 180 (177bhp). But is one better than the other? Let’s find out.
What’s it like to drive?
We've tested both versions of the plug-hybrid, and frankly it’s hard to see why you’d pay more for the 225. For starters, the 180 is only 0.1sec behind in the 0-62mph dash, getting there in 7.6sec. The 225 only feels quicker in certain situations, chiefly when you want to build up pace from town speeds to the motorway limit.
The 180 is otherwise sufficient enough for most. Pin the accelerator pedal into the carpet and the combined efforts of engine and electric motor will get you up to speed briskly. Be more gentle with the accelerator and you can get by without the engine kicking in, even up to motorway speeds.
We managed around 26 miles of petrol-free motoring on a bitterly cold winter’s day with the 180 version, but we’d expect to see something in the mid-30s in warmer weather. The 180’s official electric-only range of more than 40 miles beats the 225’s 39 miles, and puts it in a lower benefit-in-kind company car tax band (8% against 12%).
On a twisty road, the 308 has enough grip in reserve that you can take corners at pace with confidence, and body lean is minimal. The steering is a bit on the light side, though, and doesn’t have the progressive weighting you find in the rival Seat Leon, so it isn't the most engaging family car to drive.
Taut suspension controls body movements well but doesn’t soak up bumps as effectively as that of the Audi A3 40 TFSIe. The 308 is a quiet cruiser, though; the engine is hushed and the suspension makes little noise over bumps, even if the A3 is quieter still.
What’s it like inside?
The dashboard in the 308 differs from those in most rivals because you view the standard 10.0in digital instrument panel over – rather than through – a small steering wheel. The wheel has a flat top to help, but short drivers might still find the instruments obscured unless they have the wheel set in an unnaturally low position.
Neither the instrument panel nor the 10.0in central touchscreen is as intuitive to use as the A3’s, but the large, handy shortcuts below the 308’s touchscreen are welcome. These save you digging through as many menus as you would in the Seat Leon or Volkswagen Golf.
If you find too much tech off-putting, there’s always the closely related (and cheaper) Vauxhall Astra to consider, because it has a more conventional layout. The Astra's gloomier innards and acres of shiny black plastic mean the 308 comes across as classier inside, with a greater use of materials that lend it a plusher look and feel.
Space in the front of the 308 is good, but rear leg and head room are at a premium for those over six feet tall. The Hybrid’s boot is smaller than the regular 308’s, with the battery reducing boot space from 412 to 361 litres, but this is still competitive against rivals
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