Peugeot’s sparky 308 gets hybrid power plus handsome ranges
The Peugeot 308 proves that mass-market design needn’t be dull, blending hybrid power with sharp lines and excellent detailing
Car design ebbs and flows. Companies that will find themselves class leaders one year might lose the lustre of innovation the particular next, just a few models down the line. We’ve got a special soft spot for Peugeot’s current style direction. After a decade in the doldrums, the iconic French company had something of a revelation.
Under the particular design direction of Gilles Vidal (who joined Peugeot in 2010 plus left for Renault in 2020), it corrected course back towards the stylish, well-proportioned design it experienced been renowned for within the 1970s and 1980s. Cars like the 208 plus 508 took fine proportions and (mostly) excellent detail, giving the particular brand a reason to stand out amongst its rivals, many of whom were entering their fallow period at about the same time.
This is the Peugeot 308, a quotidian name that has its origins all the way back to the Peugeot 301 associated with 1932. As you’d expect, it replaces the rather doughy 307, which within turn replaced the elegant, Pininfarina-designed 306 (another example of that ebbing and flowing). This model is actually the third iteration of the 308 (with the particular 308 Mk1 representing the absolute nadir of Peugeot design).
The model was given a thorough style refresh in 2021 and recently became the first model to bear the particular all-new Peugeot logo. A pure electric version is planned with regard to 2023. The particular 308 is available as a regular hatchback and as an SW (estate). It’ll soon be joined by a handsome 408 sibling, designed in the increasingly popular fastback/crossover-style.
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why the 308 is so likeable. Tested in ‘GT Premium Hybrid 225 e-EAT8’ trim, this comes with a turbo-charged 1. 6 litre petrol engine bolstered by electrical motors. Relatively small plus light for a modern car, the cross set-up gives the GT zippy performance, the modest but still useful all-electric range of 37 miles, and excellent fuel economy.
The proportions work well regarding both regular and SW models, although the signature deep grille has probably (hopefully) reached the maximum size. There are other little leonine design touches, like the claw-slash rear lights and the cat-like countenance of the front end – a quality shared by all the best Peugeots over the last few decades.
The particular steering wheel is small by modern standards, but the asymmetric dash doesn’t come across as too fussy. The surfaces and touchpoints all have a quality and feel that belie this car’s middle-market status; it’ll take a bold manufacturer in order to finally end the status quo associated with leather, piano black plus chrome in contemporary interiors. The Peugeot 308 drives as well as it looks, which is to say with zest and spirit when required, as well as offering a ride that’s quiet, refined and cossetting.
Coming soon: the Peugeot e-308
All-in-all, the 308 is characterful, clean-living, plus practical. It joins the particular Peugeot 508 and 5008 in a line-up of handsome cars that will offer a sober, thoughtful counterpoint to sister brand Citroën’s more avant-garde leanings (see the Citroën My Ami Buggy , intended for example).
The imminent arrival of the particular e-308 should move the game on even further. With a promised range of more than 240 kilometers, it’ll become a worthy opponent to the challenger brands. Peugeot, founded way back in 1810, still has a long life ahead of this. §