Peugeot claims to have put plenty of effort into improving cabin quality, and material quality and finish both appear much better. The seats are also comfy and supportive. However, despite being fitted slightly lower than they were on the 307, dropping a little further wouldn’t hurt. Rear passengers will be happy with the amount of space they receive, thanks in part to the new car being 74mm longer and 53mm wider than the 307. There’s also an abundance of headroom despite the 12mm height reduction on the predecessor. The boot, too, is big and useable, and Peugeot has added an innovative small storage area in the top of the parcel shelf to hide anything from umbrellas to children’s Gameboys.


The 110PS diesel is certainly the best compromise of power and financial prudence, and is surprisingly poten. The performance is plenty for most needs, and refinement is impressive, especially at higher speed where it’ll cruise happily on the motorway without feeling or sounding strained despite only having a five-speed gearbox. Ride quality is also good, at least on the smoother continental roads we’ve tried the 308 on.

The steering, using an oversized steering wheel, is heavier than average, which isn’t a bad thing, and body roll is well controlled with the car also offering plenty of grip.

Topcalc hasn’t yet produced whole-life cost figures but Peugeot claims a six percentage point improvement in average RVs over the 307, putting it around the 35% mark. It’s also worth noting that the UK has decided against following other markets, including Germany, in making ESP anti-skid control standard across the range. Only from Sport trim upwards do you get the system that many industry campaigners feel should be a standard safety device.

The 308 is a decent step forward from its predecessor, with the biggest downside being the slightly same-again styling. The debate will rage as to how style-conscious this sector is, but away from the looks, Peugeot has made small but significant improvements to every area of its hatchback, and the result is promising.