Monday, December 22, 2008

Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308

The Peugeot 308 is a small family car produced by the French car manufacturer PSA. It was unveiled on June 5, 2007 and is the first car of the 008 generation of Peugeot models.

Loosely intended as the replacement for the Peugeot 307, the new vehicle was based upon the old 307's chassis, while having a different bodywork and being slightly longer and wider. Coefficient of drag:0.29 .

The 308 aims to recapture the fun associated with the Peugeot 306 and build on those strengths whilst focusing on quality and safety which are at significantly higher levels than the outgoing 307.


The Peugeot 308 currently holds the world record of the most fuel efficient mainstream car, averaging 3.13 litres per 100 kilometres (90.2 mpg-imp/75.1 mpg-US) over a distance of 14,580 kilometres (9,060 mi).


In the United Kingdom (a major market for Peugeot), television adverts aired with the slogan "the drive of your life". The development code for the car was "Project T7".

The pictures set for official unveiling were leaked on May 31, 2007, a week ahead of schedule. Sales began in September 2007.

Body styles

A 2+2 coupé concept car development of the 308, the Peugeot 308 RC Z, was presented by Peugeot at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. This coupé concept is 18 cm lower than the standard car. It has similar proportions to the Audi TT. The final production model as well as its name will be unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, i.e. two years after the concept car was first presented to the public and will then go on sale in the spring of 2010.

A station wagon concept version of the 308, the Peugeot 308 SW Prologue, was also unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. In February 2008 the production version was announced, to go on sale in the UK in June that year. The finished product went on show at the 78th International Geneva Motor Show in March 2008. The 308 Touring is available now in a 5 or 7 seat version. First displayed at the Melbourne Motor Show in Australia.

A cabriolet with a retractable hardtop, the 308 CC, has been presented to replace the Peugeot 307 CC. Cost is predicted to be around £20,000, to compare with other small executive coupés.

A new body style of the 308 will be a SUV or a MPV named 3008 to fight the Renault Koleos, Renault Scenic, Citroën C4 Picasso, and the Volkswagen Tiguan and Touran

Market positioning

In the UK, the basic 308 1.4 litre 3-door hatchback is expected to retail at around £12,000 — a similar price to the equivalent 307 that it replaces. It is cheaper than the Honda Civic, similarly priced to the Volkswagen Golf, but slightly more expensive than the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

Hybrid diesel-electric powertrain

Robert Bosch GmbH is supplying hybrid diesel-electric technology to Peugeot 308. A prototype 308 equipped with this technology was displayed in the Frankfurt car show '07.

Peugeot CiThe 308 has one of the boldest faces on the market today. It's dominated by a huge grinning grille and a pair of headlights which sweep along the car's flanks. There's certainly no mistaking this is a Peugeot – all its range are immediately identifiable with their feline looks. The rear has a Renault Megane-esque curvy rump with a couple of quirky grilles each side of the numberplate on some models. Although a decent evolution of its 307 predecessor, it still requires a second or third glance to tell it apart.

The Peugeot 308 looks and feels like it’s a real quality product inside. It looks every bit as stylish as an Alfa Romeo, but still clearly a Peugeot. Our test car was fitted with the optional £1,300 sat-nav which electrically pops up on top of the dash. The main criticism of the dash was the radio with tiny and fiddly buttons which were difficult to see, particularly at night. Similarly the steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system and cruise control were hidden behind the steering wheel spokes; although once located fell conveniently to hand. Peugeot are spearheading the use of glass roofs, and our 308 SE model (along with the GT range-topper) packed a full-length one, with an electrically operated sliding cover. The SE and GT models also boast a clever and discreet air freshener.

3. Practicality
The Peugeot 308 is among the most practical cars in its class, with a bigger-than-average 430-litre boot (which rises to 508 with the rear seats folded), even though access is hampered by a high lip. The 308 has large door pockets, although fewer spaces for smaller items than we'd hoped for. There's plenty of room for occupants front and back, and the glass roof (standard on SE and GT models) gives the illusion of even more space. The seats are very supportive and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and height, making a good driving position easy to find.

4. Ride and Handling
The 308 has a firm ride, never jarring or uncomfortable, but remarkably compliant making for a car that's eminently chuckable on twisty roads. The steering and its feedback are adequate for most drivers, but it fails to excite in the way a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf can. It feels over-assisted and slightly vague, particularly around the straight-ahead position. It is quiet at speed, free from any intrusive wind, engine or road noise.

5. Performance
Six engines are offered in the Peugeot 308: three diesels and three petrols. The petrol units have been co-developed by Peugeot and BMW, and are available as a 1.4 and two 1.6s, offering 95, 120 and 150bhp respectively. The diesels come in two 1.6 variants, producing 90 or 110bhp and the 136bhp 2-litre we tested. The engine's headline performance figures are a 0-62mph time of 10.1 seconds and a top speed of 129mph. Hardly rocketship performance, but the 2-litre offers up good midrange punch, making overtaking a simple affair.

6. Running Costs
The 308 range starts at £11,995, but expect the price to creep up when extra options are added to the spec sheet. At £18,145, our well appointed SE model is on par with many similarly equipped Volkswagen Golfs. Once bought, however, the 308 should be fairly painless: emissions of 146g/km of CO2 place the 2-litre SE into tax band C, which costs £115 per year, while the engine will drink a gallon of diesel every 51.3 miles on average. Only the insurance, falling into group 11 is dearer than we'd expect.

7. Reliability
The 308's predecessor, the 307 performed better than average in terms of the cost and frequency of breakdowns but it has been criticised in owners surveys for its reliability. On first impressions the 308 has been massively improved, with a better fit and finish and a range of proven engines.

8. Safety
French cars generally score well in the EuroNCAP crash test programme, and the 308 has followed suit. It scored a full five star rating for adult occupant protection, and an impressive four stars for child protection. All models get driver, passenger, front side and curtain airbags, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist. Step up to the Sport model for a steering column airbag and electronic stability programme. The range-topping GT model adds tyre pressure monitoring.

9. Equipment

The entry level Urban and S models have a reasonable amount of equipment, but the spec sheet only begins to look impressive on the mid-level Sport model. This, the middle of the five trim levels adds cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear electric windows, full body colour-coding, an MP3-ready CD player with black and white screen to the S's climate control and front fog lamps. The SE model comes with the air freshener, ambient lighting, panoramic glass roof, folding mirrors, fully adjustable front seats, automatic headlamps and wipers, dual-zone climate control and smaller 16-inch alloy wheels. The GT model contributes half leather seats, rear park sensors, xenon headlamps, Bluetooth handsfree kit, a colour screen and 18-inch alloys.

Our test car was also fitted with handy front park sensors (a £100 option), a 17-inch alloy wheel upgrade (£100), sat-nav with Bluetooth integration (£1,300) and a JBL hi-fi system, which sadly isn't available in the UK.

10. X-Factor
The handsome Peugeot 308 is likely to be bought by style-conscious motorists left cold by its safe-looking rivals. There's more to the 308 than a sharp suit, although in terms of driver involvement and price, it struggles against the best cars in its class.

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