Over the years Peugeot has establishing a naming structure for its family car that should have led the designer to call this model a 309, but the French firm has broken with tradition by using the 308 name for a second time. They have also spent millions of Euros and filed 116 patents to develop a car that on the surface looks very similar to the current car. But things have changed.
Although Peugeot has gone out of its way to make the new car familiar and comfortable so existing 308 drivers opt for a new model rather than jump ship to another brand, the new Peugeot 308 is more than a reworking of the current car. The 308 uses a new platform which currently underpins the Citroen C4. It’s called the ‘EMP2' (efficient modular platform) and using it has made the new Peugeot 140kg lighter than the current machine. It also means that this new 308 is wider and lower than the current car and that it comes with a longer wheelbase.
The engine choice includes a 1.6 litre diesel in two states of tune: 92bhp or 115bhp or a 1.6 petrol which is available with 125bhp or 155bhp. Next year will see the arrival of a 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol that will be more efficient than anything in the current line-up.
Peugeot’s aim is to push the 308 upmarket to rival cars like the VW Golf and nowhere is that intention clearer than inside the cabin where every control is made through the 9.7 inch touchscreen. The finish within the cabin is excellent and the interior is lined with soft materials rather than hard and practical plastics found in the current car. The legroom isn’t as impressive, but there’s plenty of boot space.
Prices for Peugeot’s C-Segment machine are expected to start at £14,500 and rise to around £20,000.