New Peugeot 308 vs Seat Leon vs Toyota Corolla: verdict

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 vs Seat Leon vs Toyota Corolla rear triple

Our verdict

Given that the Leon is our 2022 Family Car of the Year, you might be wondering how it’s lost out to a rival that’s been on sale since 2019. Allow us to explain.

First, this isn’t a version of the Leon we’d recommend unless you must have an automatic gearbox. It costs way more than the 1.5 TSI 130 FR (our pick of the range), isn’t that much faster and, despite its mild hybrid tech, is barely any more economical.

But there’s more to the story. The Corolla has always had some outstanding attributes, including its ride comfort, fuel economy and safety, but an overhauled infotainment system and subtle improvements to the way it drives and isolates you from noise have turned a very good car into a great one. It’s just a shame about the cramped rear seats.

Sadly, the new 308 is way off the pace. Low-speed driveability and a clunky infotainment system are its biggest flaws, but the truth is it lags behind the best cars in this class in the majority of key areas.

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1st - Toyota Corolla 

Toyota Corolla front 3/4

For Cheapest to run privately and buy on PCP finance; superb fuel economy; good to drive; well-built interior; user-friendly dashboard controls
Against Poor rear leg room; sluggish acceleration on open road
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Read out full Toyota Corolla review >>

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2nd - Seat Leon

Seat Leon front 3/4

For Great fun to drive; punchy performance; limo-like space in the back
Against Very expensive, particularly on PCP finance; least generously equipped; fuel economy isn’t brilliant
Recommended options Safety and Driving Pack (M) (£235)

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read out full Seat Leon review >>

Find Seat Leon deals >>

3rd - Peugeot 308

New Peugeot 308 front 3/4

For Smart interior; good boot space; cheapest to lease
Against Poor low-speed driveability; so-so fuel economy; disappointing rear space; driving position won’t suit everyone
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 3 stars out of 5

Read out full Peugeot 308 review >>

Find Peugeot 308 deals >>

Specifications: Peugeot 308 1.2 Puretech 130 Allure Premium EAT8

New Peugeot 308 badge

Engine 3cyl, 1199cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 129bhp at 5500rpm
Peak torque 170Ib ft at 1750rpm
Gearbox 8-spd automatic
0-60mph 9.4sec
30-70mph 9.1sec
Top speed 130mph
30-0mph 8.5m
70-0mph 46.2m
Noise at 30mph 62.6db
Noise at 70mph 67.9db
Kerb weight 1288kg
Tyre size (std) 225/45 R17 
Fuel tank 52 litres
CO2 emissions 129g/km

Specifications: Seat Leon 1.5 eTSI Evo 150 FR DSG

Seat Leon badge

Engine 4cyl, 1498cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 148bhp at 5000-6000rpm
Peak torque 184Ib ft at 1500-3500rpm
Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic
0-60mph 8.3sec
30-70mph 8.1sec
Top speed 135mph
30-0mph 8.7m
70-0mph 49.9m
Noise at 30mph 61.8db
Noise at 70mph 67.9db
Kerb weight 1372kg
Tyre size (std) 225/45 R17 
Fuel tank 45 litres
CO2 emissions 130g/km

Specifications: Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid 122 Design

Toyota Corolla badge

Engine 4cyl, 1798cc, petrol, plus electric motor 
Peak power 120bhp (combined)
Peak torque 105Ib ft at 3600rpm (petrol only)
Gearbox CVT automatic
0-60mph 11.0sec
30-70mph 10.9sec
Top speed 111mph
30-0mph 8.7m
70-0mph 50.0m
Noise at 30mph 60.1db
Noise at 70mph 66.8db
Kerb weight 1450kg
Tyre size (std) 225/45 R17 
Fuel tank 43 litres
CO2 emissions 110g/km

Test weather conditions Dry

Cars pictured

Peugeot 308 1.2 Puretech 130 Allure Premium with Elixir Red paint (£695)

Seat Leon 1.5 eTSI Evo 150 FR DSG with Desire Red metallic paint (no cost)

Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid 122 Design with Scarlet Flare pearlescent paint (£940)

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