Peugeot 308 long-term test: report 1

The plug-in version of Peugeot's 308 family car can officially travel up to 37 miles on electric power. However, now we're finding our what it's actually like to live with...

Peugeot 308 LT rear

The car Peugeot 308 Hybrid 180 Allure Premium e-EAT8 Run by Kiall Garrett, senior videographer

Why it’s here To find out if the plug-in hybrid version of this family hatchback can be an efficient day-to-day workhorse

Needs to be Comfortable on long journeys and uber-efficient on short ones while having the space for lots of camera equipment

Mileage 2346 List Price £38,640 Target Price £35,974 Price as tested £38,460 Official economy 281.1mpg Test economy 48.9mpg Options Special/pearlescent paint (£695)

5 August 2023 – Future-proof family car?

Do traditional small cars and family cars like the Peugeot 308 have a long-term future? You would have been mad to question this a few years ago. But with the recent death of the uber-popular Ford Fiesta and the culling of Volvo’s saloon and estate car line-up, it seems like anything that isn’t an SUV should be casting nervous glances over its shoulder.

But wake up, world. There’s a reason these sorts of cars have been populating the best-sellers charts for so many decades. And I’m running this 308 to see if it is a great, versatile example of what this type of car can offer and why they should live long into the future.

Loading the 308 boot

My interest in the 308 began earlier this year after casting some envious glances at my colleague’s estate-bodied Peugeot 308 SW. I really think new Peugeots look cool, and the 308 in particular is like that perfect pair of trousers that fit in no matter what the occasion is. 

But the appeal goes far beyond the exterior. It’s got a plush interior with seating for five, lots of tech and a decent selection of engines. On that point, I’ve gone for the plug-in hybrid, because if this type of car is to survive long into the future then it will have to have some form of electric propulsion.

I’m hoping that, like with my previous plug-in hybrids, it’ll deliver calming zero-emission progress on my London-based commute, while still offering the flexibility of powering me through long slogs up and down the motorway to various video shoots.

Peugeot 308 charging port

It’ll be a big test for the 37-mile electric-only range, and how long it lasts in real-world driving conditions is something I’ll be putting to the test in future reports. And for that matter, while I’ll be doing my best to achieve the official 281mpg, I’ll also be doing some cold, hard reporting on what the actual real-world figure is (spoiler alert: it’s not triple figures).

Another big test for the car is the boot. As a videographer for What Car? my long-term test cars are filled to the brim with all manner of cameras, tripods, drones, kitchen roll, empty sandwich wrappers and everything else. A quick glance at the spec sheet suggests the 308 has one of the bigger boots in the class, which is music to my ears.

It was tricky to decide on the trim level to go for. Active Premium is the entry-level option and seems decently equipped but I decided to go a couple of steps up to Allure Premium. This adds wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring; which I find much easier than relying on whichever dodgy USB cable I find at the bottom of my bag after losing my good one.

Peugeot 308 LT with video camera in boot

Keyless entry was another big pull in going for Allure Premium trim because it means when I’ve got my arms full of heavy camera equipment I don’t have to awkwardly rifle through my pockets hunting for a key while balancing everything I’m holding.

The Driver Assist Pack also comes with Allure Premium, which is a must for me, as my long journeys to and from shoots are significantly less of a strain when I’ve got adaptive cruise control. The long-range blind spot detection it gets is also a big bonus when it comes to safety. The only option I needed to add was the paint, to help me stand out in supermarket car parks when I've forgotten where I've parked.

And the interior? Peugeot’s ‘i-Cockpit’ includes the novelty small steering wheel which you look over (rather than through) to see the digital driver display. This isn’t my first time with this setup; I ran a Peugeot 5008 a couple of years ago. And just like in that car I’m finding that I have to have the steering wheel a little lower than I would like it, so I can see the dials. But I’m willing to put up with this because of how luxurious the rest of the interior feels.

Driving the Peugeot 308

Will the Peugeot 308 be comfortable in town and on a three-hour motorway journey? Does it have enough space to store all my camera equipment and luggage? And after a few months in its company, will I find myself yearning for an SUV? Stay tuned to find out.

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