May 14, 2021

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Peugeot 308, when the sedan has fangs

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NEW – Completing a complete cycle of renewal of the Peugeot range, the new generation of the 308 is inspired by German premium recipes.

Quite a symbol! The third generation of the Peugeot 308 unveils the brand’s new coat of arms. Still in the image of the lion, the redesigned logo proudly sits in the center of the hypertrophied grille of a sedan which struggles to conceal its ambitions. On our roads from the start of September, this new model tries to square the circle: contain the continued growth of C-segment SUVs, the first in Europe, and challenge the supremacy of German sedans which monopolize the top four places in the ranking. , notably the models of the premium brands – BMW 1 Series, Mercedes Class A and Audi A3 – which achieve a group shot behind the Golf Queen.


To redistribute the cards, Peugeot was inspired by premium codes. Still based on the EMP2 platform which has been considerably modified for the occasion, the 308 is distinguished by a more inclined and rearward windshield bay, an extended wheelbase from 55 mm to 2,675 mm and a soft-nose that visually lengthens the hood. This new morphology, which gives the impression of a cockpit thrown back, is modeled on that of the old BMW 1 Series. Its style, in the same vein as the recent achievements of Peugeot, supports a length increased to 4.36 m (+ 110 mm) and a lowered roof from 20 mm to 1.44 m.


The very expressive front face differs depending on the version. The GT / GT Pack finishes are thus equipped with refined full Led spotlights with Matrix technology. As for the design of the rear, it is largely dictated by the laws of aerodynamics. This did not prevent the designers from taking care of the shoulder, without widening the tracks. A subterfuge obtained by bending the cabin backwards. On arrival, the new 308 displays a flattering aerodynamic Cx of 0.28, in line with its mission to carry most of the CO2 emissions reduction efforts of the French brands of the Stellantis group.


Taking care of perceived quality, the cabin delivers a new evolution of the i-Cockpit. The dashboard benefits from a new layout testifying to a desire to go upmarket. Signature of the brand, the small flattened steering wheel has not disappeared and it is combined with a 10-inch digital instrument panel that can be personalized as desired and tilted in 3D with the GT finish. In the center, the standard 10-inch touchscreen is oriented towards the driver and placed lower than the instrument cluster for easy reach. Smartphone-like navigation is done with a swipe of the screen. The screen doubles as i-toggles, customizable shortcut keys. The bottom of the console has been completely redesigned, accommodating an arch on which are arranged the starter button, the drive mode selector and the buttons for the automatic gearbox. If the rear habitability benefits from the increase in the wheelbase, the trunk volume decreases slightly to 412 liters due to the lowering of the roof line.


The care taken in design is also evident in the upholstery offering the choice between heather fabric, technical mesh, suede and optional leather. In addition to black, the designers have innovated with a unique light denim blue.

In terms of equipment, the 308 is full of electronic driving assistance technology. Peugeot’s new compact is able to read road signs, spot pedestrians and cyclists on the road day and night, detect the presence of vehicles in blind spots and keep the vehicle in the lane by applying a correction on the steering, to prevent hypovigilance. It also takes a further step towards autonomous driving with the Drive Assist 2.0 package. This system, available at the end of 2021, combines adaptive cruise control with “Stop and Go” function (EAT8 automatic transmission) and lane-keeping aid to ensure the driver has a semi-automatic lane change (from 70 to 180 km / h), automatic speed adaptation according to the speed limit on the section taken and speed adaptation on bends.


In terms of engines, the Peugeot 308 succumbs to electrification. If the planned mild hybrid versions will only arrive during the course of their career, the new sedan produced in Mulhouse will offer plug-in hybrid technology from its launch. Two variants of 180 and 225 hp are offered around the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder 150 and 180 hp. These two versions have a 12.4 kWh battery and a 110 hp electric machine attached to the 8-speed automatic gearbox. CO2 emissions are 25 and 26 g / km respectively, while the electric range is similar: 60 and 59 km. Peugeot is not abandoning conventional combustion engines and even maintains a diesel offer for heavy-duty drivers. This is the 1.5-liter BlueHDi 130 hp 4-cylinder available with the choice of manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. As for the gasoline range, it consists of the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder turbo available in two power levels, 110 and 130 hp. We may regret that the desire to go upmarket and align with the German models is not accompanied by an all-wheel drive variant. This is another area where German manufacturers continue to make a difference.

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