Peugeot 308 long-term test: report 2

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 on the road

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 6894 List Price £38,640 Target Price £35,974 Price as tested £38,460 Official economy 281.1mpg Test economy 48.1mpg Options Special/pearlescent paint (£695)

14 August 2023 – There and not back again

Electric power is all the rage right now, so I’m feeling smugly on-trend with my plug-in hybrid Peugeot 308. And after some quick maths before it arrived, the car’s official 37-mile range got me excited.

That’s because living exactly 17.2 miles away from What Car? HQ, my pulse quickened at the thought of managing the 35.4-mile round-trip without using a drop of petrol. And with a handy home charger already installed, my running costs could plunge.

Charging the 308 at home

So, imagine my disappointment when what I actually saw with the battery fully charged was a predicted electric range of just 18 miles – pretty much half the official figure.

This quickly became a test of not whether I could get to the office and back on purely electric power, but whether I could just get there without having to use any petrol.

Fortunately, my stop-start slow-speed commute from South London to West London is ideal for maximising electric range, because it allows plenty of chances to put energy back into the battery via the 308's regenerative braking system. However, by the time I reached the office, the dashboard readout was still telling me I had one solitary electric mile remaining.

It's a shame that the official range is so far off what you’ll achieve in the real-world – and in the height of summer, remember, when the battery should be at its most efficient. However, it's worth noting that this isn't so much a problem with the 308 itself, and more to do with the unrealistic nature of the official Government tests for electric ranges. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why we conduct our own real range tests for electric cars.

308 PHEV electric range indicator

More positvely, what this trip showed me was that as long as I’m in town I can trust the predicted range that the car shows me. When it says '18 miles remaining', that’s what I can actually expect – which helps with planning fuel-sipping journeys. Plus, of course, even doing half my commute on zero-emission electric power is a good thing.

If I was able to charge the 308 while at the office, I’d be able to make the return trip on electric power, too. Unfortunately, I can’t, which means my journey home is powered by good old fashioned petrol.

And with a flat battery, my chances of getting close to the 308's official 281.1mpg fuel economy figure is non-existent. Still, I’ve been getting close to 50mpg from the 308 during my time with it, which isn’t too shabby for a family car.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term Peugeot 308 >>

Read about more long-term test cars >>

Also consider