New Peugeot 308 vs Seat Leon vs Toyota Corolla: costs

Is Peugeot’s new family car a class leader, or will it find itself stuck in no-man’s land like its predecessor? We’ve lined up excellent rivals from Seat and Toyota tofind out...

New Peugeot 308 side shot

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

The saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ is appropriate here. That’s because although the Peugeot 308 has the lowest list price, it definitely doesn’t work out cheapest in the long run. 

Which car does? Well, if you’re a company car driver paying benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, the Toyota Corolla will cost you the least. Its relatively low CO2 emissions mean anyone in the 40% tax bracket will sacrifice £258 of their salary each month, compared with £278 for the 308 and £299 for the Seat Leon.

Seat Leon side shot

The Corolla is also cheapest for those signing up to a PCP finance agreement. Put down a £3000 deposit and you’ll pay £364 a month over the next three years, assuming an annual limit of 10,000 miles. On the same terms, the 308 will cost you £392 and the Leon an eye-watering £492.

The main reason for the Leon’s high PCP figure is that it doesn’t hold its value as well. That also works against it if you’re planning to buy outright and sell after three years, along with the fact that it’ll cost you the most in the first place.

That said, the 308 is the least economical, averaging 43.4mpg in our real-world test to the Leon’s 45.8mpg. The Corolla, meanwhile, is way ahead, averaging 55.5mpg. It also costs the least to buy after discounts and attracts the lowest insurance premiums, so it works out by far the cheapest in the long run for anyone buying outright.

Toyota Corolla side shot

Toyota hasn’t skimped on standard kit, either. Like its rivals, the Corolla comes with keyless start, but it’s the only one with heated front seats and joins the 308 in getting adaptive cruise control and keyless entry.

You get more standard safety tech on the 308, though; it’s the only one with rear cross-traffic alert, to help you safely reverse out onto a busy road, and blindspot monitoring. At least the Corolla comes with traffic sign recognition and auto high beam assistance for the headlights; you have to pay extra for those things on the Leon.

According to Euro NCAP, the Corolla is likely to do a slightly better job of protecting both adults and child occupants in an accident than the Leon. Testing for the 308 hadn’t been completed at the time of writing.

New Peugeot 308 vs Seat Leon vs Toyota Corolla costs

None of these cars featured in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey, but Toyota ranked equal fifth in the overall brand league table, well ahead of Seat (17th) and Peugeot (equal 22nd).

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