The new Peugeot 308 (2021): really better than the golf?

So, can the new Peugeot 308 finally defeat the indomitable Volkswagen Golf that has dominated Europe for decades? We finally tried it.

The first Peugeot 308 (2007-2013), with an ugly physique and mediocre qualities, carried with it all the components of the decadence of the brand and then in complete decline. The second generation 308 (2013-2017) arrived right after one of the worst crises in the history of the lion manufacturer, and everyone won thanks to a radically different philosophy, focused on simplicity and lightness. While Peugeot is one of the most prominent brands on the market today, against the backdrop of its SUV success and a first-class image thanks to a design that is as dynamic as it is daring, can the new 3rd Generation 308 defeat the unshakable Volkswagen Golf?

The new Peugeot 308 is more aggressive than the old version

Good to know: Anticipate buying and reselling.

It is possible to find out the resale or trade-in value of your car thanks to the automatic turbo rating of your Peugeot 308, an alternative to the Argus rating.

That’s the question everyone is asking at the time of the monster’s first press audits. Her style also represents a violent break with the old model, which is often considered timid and gentle alongside the particularly confident Volkswagen Golf 7. Like its little sister, the highly successful 208, this third generation 308 exudes aggressiveness. It even yields to the muscle with its hind wings with a noticeable fold, whose generosity is somewhat reminiscent of the bulging thighs of the current Audi A3. Escalating bezels and other “high-tech” details, which certainly evoke the brand’s modern model world with grommets, contrast radically with the caricatured modesty of the latest Volkswagen Golf 8. Now more attractive, the 308 is actually perhaps a little bit in reverse (it’s up to you). In light of the few curious pedestrians who jumped on the car as if we were driving an exceptional car, the formula seems to have some potential. And, despite the most strict decoration, the 308 station wagon also managed to give the impression of dynamism.

New Peugeot 308 (2021)

Like Ferrari, the new Peugeot 308 proudly displays a badge on its front wings!

The interior is very ‘Audi’

The similarities with the Audi A3 are evident when you step inside. Surface treatment, instrument panel design and materials will not shock into the outstanding compact size. On retrouve bien les codes incontournables de Peugeot avec le petit volant (à la forme plus radicale que jamais!), le i-Cockit -numérique dès l’entrée de gamme- et un grand écran tactile sur la console centrale suspended ques que domine que in the void. From the Allure end, there’s also a digital touch pane at the bottom of the main screen, called “i-Toggle,” allowing you to put in some very practical shortcuts to using your favorite commands. but generally, This beautiful dark interior exudes the famous “German precision” that makes generic brand callers and all customers dream big.. The kit situation requires Peugeot to stick with black leather/fabric and foam plastic, while the latest DS 4 can line the entire interior with beautiful, shimmering leather. But there is nothing to complain about in terms of build quality.

New Peugeot 308 (2021)

Consisting of high-quality materials and etched surfaces, the dashboard is reminiscent of an Audi A3 dashboard

average backseat

We still want the new 308 to be a little more spacious. Peugeot advertises more volume in the rear thanks to its longer wheelbase (+55 mm), while it boasts a massive 412-liter boot (which drops to 361 liters on the plug-in on hybrid versions). In fact, traveling in the back of a Frenchie would be less fun than traveling in a golf or Megan because of the average knee space. And the narrower opening of the 308 trunk allows the German to return to the game well at this level with 380 liters.

Great first impression

Once you’re in the driver’s seat, the i-Cockpit’s recurring evil – hidden depending on your steering wheel position and size – is still there. In my case, it is enough to lower the steering wheel a little so that things return to normal without punishing the driving position. We first take the wheel of the new 308 in its best-in-class GT version, with a 225 hp “big” hybrid (there’s also a less powerful 180 hp version). First impressions of urban driving are excellent : With sufficiently charged batteries, the internal combustion engine rarely starts (4-cylinder 1.6-liter gasoline engine with 180 hp). The automatic transmission (powered by a small lever from the Porsche 911 or Volkswagen Golf) moves the car very gently, and the damping, passive at 100%, provides noticeable smoothness. The i-Cockpit’s beautiful 3D display correctly displays important information, and the steering, which is quick as it is light, allows you to get your bearings right away and peripheral vision isn’t an issue.

Peugeot 308 SW, the lion makes the break – TURBO version dated 01/05/2022

New Peugeot 308 (2021)

The steering wheel in hand, the new Peugeot 308 shows remarkable dynamic efficiency. It lacks a true sports engine…

And when do we go up the pace?

The performance level corresponds to what you can read on the technical sheet (0-100 km / h in 7.5 seconds). Generous in terms of absolute value, these offerings are unfortunately not enough to make the 308 Hybrid 225 a true sports car. Blame it on the powertrain which, even in “Sport” mode, remains not very sexy to the skin. However, there will be enough to make this 308 a very good GTI due to its dynamic qualities: Even her behavior gives a good lesson in developing other brands, proving that there is not necessarily a need to control the damping even on a machine weighing approximately 1,700 kg due to the heavy batteries of the hybrid system. Flexible but perfectly well balanced, the 308 is a lot of fun when attacking a pass in the Nice hinterland.

With a really strong front axle and a rear that’s never lazy, It resists volatile with self-confidence. Under these conditions, only the lack of characteristics of the gasoline engine (which screams without the slightest accuracy and suffers from a very sluggish response) really hurts the pleasure. We also complain that we can’t lighten the electronic stability system – too intrusive – and have to deal with a somewhat awkward brake pedal attack at first (which is classic on these hybrids with the energy recovery phase). By comparison, the 245-horsepower Golf GTE retains the advantage of an engine with slightly better performance and, above all, more pleasant leather mechanics. But on the chassis side, the French car excels and gives us dreams of a real GTI. Unfortunately, Peugeot has already cleared this possibility, leaving only doubts regarding a future PSE (Peugeot Sport Engineered) hybrid version.

New Peugeot 308 (2021)

Rear LED signature changes depending on trim level

And in diesel?

Note that in terms of balance, a station wagon with similar engines feels less nimble when switching from one car to another. Like most of its competitors, the new 308 keeps a diesel engine in its lineup, paired with a six-speed manual (or optional automatic). With its 130 horsepower and good old arm to handle yourself, the car inevitably loses out on driving pleasure compared to high-end hybrids. But it’s still nice to drive, with a fun chest. It benefits from the right level of sound insulation and economy that only a good diesel vehicle can achieve on a long journey (5 l/100 km without compulsion). More fuel efficient with its full batteries, the 308 Hybrid 225 inevitably exceeds 10 l/100 km in sporty driving once those batteries run out.

Not expensive

The price of the new Peugeot 308 starts at 24,600 euros in an active back package with a small 130-horsepower petrol unit, which we did not test. At this price, you have to contend with hubcaps on 16-inch wheels and a less attractive exterior width than the beautiful test models in GT finish. But standard equipment remains correct: Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility is standard, as is the 10-inch touch screen, automatic air conditioning, digital i-Cockpit and rear park assist. Slightly better equipped (adaptive cruise control as standard in particular), the entry-level Volkswagen Golf starts at 110 hp at €29,365. The addition flies logically for the 308 Hybrid 225, starting at 43,300 euros at the end of the GT (Very well equipped). The price of the Golf GTE 245 hp peaks at 46,550 euros. In these advanced hybrid versions, the German retains a small advantage in terms of engine approval. But the French looks better in all the other compartments and costs a little less.

The opinion of Etienne Bruet, who tested the Peugeot 308 Hybrid 225

“I find it more comfortable than the old one but also less dynamic. In fact, it retains a really excellent chassis, but its hybrid drive is not very sporty despite the good performance (performance remains once the batteries are discharged). I also have a little problem finding an ideal driving position with i -Cockpit And the brake pedal deserves a more frank attack. But even with the heavy batteries of the hybrid system, what a front end! And what a joy to drive this car in everyday life! I think it’s still the most compact and fun-to-drive in its class.”

Technical characteristics of the Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308 III technical sheet: specifications, engines, finishes and price
Model tested: Peugeot 308 Hybrid 225
Dimensions L x W x H 4.367 / 1.852 / 1.441 AD
wheelbase 2.675 m
Minimum/Maximum Trunk Size 361 l/-
Curb weight 1.633 kg
mechanization 4 cylinder turbo, 1598 cc, 16 valves
+ electric motor
battery 12.4 kWh
independence 59 km (WLTP cycle)
total strength 225 hp at 5500 rpm
(Thermal Engine: 180 HP)
(Electric motor: 81 kW / 110 hp)
Husband 360 Nm at 1750 rpm
0 to 100 km/h 7.5 seconds
maximum speed 235 km/h
financial strength 10 hp
carbon dioxide rate 26 g/km

Good to know: Anticipate buying and reselling.

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