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Peugeot is optimistic about its new 308, with best-in-class status being a stated objective.
Joining the range in the spring is a class-leading 82g/km efficiency topper, but across the line-up the numbers impress, including the 95g/km figure for the 92hp version driven here, and sub-110g/km for both the 150hp diesel and the 130hp petrol model, the latter featuring the new 1.2-litre turbocharged engine. The emissions are helped by the cars being 140kg lighter.
This 92hp 1.6 diesel isn't for drivers covering high mileage, but offers enough power for less frequent lengthy jaunts. A sixth gear, as offered on the more powerful models that make up the rest of the range, would help.
The big step forward is in the cabin, where quality is way above what might have been expected by those not familiar with the latest-generation Peugeots.
The cabin is clutter-free thanks to a hefty 9.7-inch touch screen that controls everything from audio and climate controls through to Bluetooth - which like cruise control and DAB radio is standard on every vehicle - and the satnav, which is standard from the Active trim level, only the second one up. It's part of an excellent standard kit offering that should greatly enhance the new 308's appeal.
The boot is huge - 22% larger than the last 308 at 470 litres, which is 154 bigger than a Ford Focus and 90 litres up on a VW Golf, although rear seat space is unchanged. Overall, the car is 30mm shorter than its predecessor.
But whole-life costs is where the 308 scores its biggest win. Attractively priced and with excellent emissions, it was already looking good before RVs from KwikCarcost put it at 36.6% for the car driven here, while the equivalent Vauxhall Astra is at 32.3% and the Ford Focus is at 31.2%.
The VW Golf predictably leads with 41.3%, but the higher P11D price - more than £3000 above the Peugeot - means this 308 gets a 38.7p per mile figure that's several pence clear of its rivals.
Model price range
Service, Maintenance and Repair
Vehicle Excise Duty
Cost per mile
BIK 20/40% per month
Return to form and a car worthy of serious business consideration