New Peugeot 308 vs Seat Leon vs Toyota Corolla: practicality

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 rear space

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

All three have plenty of room to accommodate lofty adults in the front, along with enough cubbies for all of the odds and ends you might wish to unload from your pockets.

However, those more than six feet tall – sitting behind someone of a similar height – will feel let down in the rear of the Toyota Corolla. Not only does it have the least leg room, but the bottom of the front seats wedge your feet in tight, making it the trickiest to get in and out of. The contoured nature of its roof lining can make you feel hemmed in, too.

Seat Leon rear space

The Peugeot 308 is slightly better, although you wouldn’t guess from looking at the numbers. You see, to ensure consistency before measuring rear leg room, we always set the driver’s seat a fixed distance from the centre of the brake pedal. The 308’s unusual driving position means you naturally sit closer to the pedals than in most cars, so in reality it does offer more rear leg room than the Corolla. Head room is tighter, though, to the point that a six-footer might feel their hair brushing the ceiling.

The Seat Leon is in another league entirely and is the one to go for if you regularly need to carry more than one tall passenger. It has so much leg and head room that your rear passengers might genuinely think they’re travelling in a limo, and it’s also by far the most accommodating for three people sitting side by side. All three have Isofix child seat mounts on the outer rear seats.

Toyota Corolla rear space

They also have big load bays by the standards of the class and can swallow six carry-on suitcases below their parcel shelves. The only annoying thing is that there’s a big lip at the entrance to each, and none of our contenders comes with a height-adjustable boot floor to mitigate this. In short, there’s plenty of room for luggage, but the space could be more cleverly designed.

If you need a bigger boot, it’s worth noting that all three cars are available in even more family-friendly estate form. Or you can simply fold down the 60/40 split-folding rear seats, assuming you don’t need to carry a full quota of passengers.

Boot space

Peugeot 308

New Peugeot 308 boot space

Boot capacity 412-1323 litres Suitcases 6

Seat Leon

Seat Leon boot space

Boot capacity 380-1301 litres Suitcases 6

Toyota Corolla 

Toyota Corolla boot space

Boot capacity 361-1052 litres Suitcases 6

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