Peugeot has reimagined its 308 and repositioned it – whittling the range down to one high-value model, the 308 Allure 1,2 THP (with manual or auto gearbox). In a segment dominated by the ever-brilliant Golf and packed full with a host of new competitors, that are more determined than ever to have a piece of the Golf pie, the lone 308 has a tough fight on its hands.
What can I expect from the 308?
Peugeot has given the 308 a mild exterior styling revision – overall less sporty than its GT-Line predecessor but nonetheless more sophisticated. The larger, wider grille combines with new halogen headlamps (still with LED daytime running lights) and a redesigned front bumper. Round back, a simpler bumper treatment and mildly revised LED taillights, with the brand’s signature 3D claws, smooth out the look. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels round off the subtler package.
The interior, at first glance, seems little changed from its predecessor. However, the Allure spec introduces a lightened headboard, making the interior feel far less cocooned. There’s some new fabric upholstery on the doors and seats – partial leather, by the way – and a leather-covered steering wheel.
Those seats are low set and exceptionally comfortable and supportive. With the high centre console and dashboard, the interior may feel a little cramped, but space in the front is perfectly acceptable – though on the tighter side at the rear.
Tight, too, is the storage space. There’s not all that much available in the cabin (prepare to fight over the single cup holder…) and the boot, while measuring 385 l (expandable to 1 224 l) is shallow due to the full-size spare wheel. There are, however, handy storage pockets below the boot floor.
Is it loaded with lots of safety features and other nice toys?
Peugeot has done a really good job in spec’ing the 308 Allure. Owners will want for nothing really, other than perhaps navigation. Bi-zone climate control: check. Front and rear parking sensors: check. Automatic headlamps and wipers: check. Peugeot’s 9,7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: check…
Safety wise the 308 Allure is offers most equipment short of blind-spot monitoring – in addition to the usual braking and electronic safety nets, it is also equipped with Driver Attention Alert, six airbags and an alarm system with “super locking”. (No, I’m not quite sure what that is – but it sounds super cool.)
What’s it like from behind the wheel?
With the same 96 kW/230 Nm, 1,2-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol engine up front, coupled to the six-speed automatic gearbox, the 308 Allure remains a good drive. This drivetrain is strong and responsive when on the move (it’s still a little lethargic on pull off – some reprogramming might have been in order?) and the engine provides a characterful soundtrack.
Drivers who take to the sporty driving position will enjoy the enthusiastic shifts from the gearbox in manual and sport mode, but, due to its new taller, skinnier tyres, the 308 does not set the handling benchmark in its segment. However, it’s in ride comfort and refinement where it shines.
Peugeot claims a combined-cycle fuel consumption figure of 5,2 l/100 km, though I managed a still respectful 8,8.
Should I buy one, or look around?
In realigning the 308, Peugeot has created a good-value, competitive offering that looks good, is nice to drive and offers good value for money. While it’s left to fight the establishment alone, the Allure has been equipped with a good level of spec at the price; which is R369 900.
This places it somewhere mid-field against rivals from VW, Opel, Ford, Mazda, Renault and Toyota – each of which offer buyers in this segment a well-rounded assortment of vehicles. Nonetheless, the 308 is definitely worth a look should you be in the market.
It is sold with a four-year/60 000 km service plan, three-year/100 000 km warranty, three-year/100 000 km roadside assistance
CyberStoep rating: 7,5/10