RAC Cars News


Peugeot Continues Social Climbing With The New 308

By raccars Published

The second generation of the 308 is due to be revealed at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show on 10th September, but details are emerging about the French brand's small family car in preparation for order taking later this year. UK buyers can expect to receive their vehicles in January next year.

The updated 308 is part of Peugeot's concerted effort to upgrade its image and fit in with the higher end of the auto market. The brand is focusing on improved fuel economy, on-road charisma and notable build quality, with its rival to the VW Golf and Ford Focus.

This second generation of 308 is marginally larger than its predecessor, with a lower ride height. It sits on the PSA group's modern EMP2 platform, due to underpin most upcoming medium sized Peugeot and Citroen models for the foreseeable future. The engineering behind the platform allows for a lighter kerb weight and more dynamic handling without impacting style decisions.

A lower engine mounting position bestows a more athletic and sharkish front end than other Peugeot models, in addition to a roomier interior – the new Peugeot 308 boasts a 470 litre boot below parcel shelf level. The cabin takes the 'i-cockpit' principles already seen in the brand's new 208 with a small steering wheel and head-up instrument display. The infortainment system rises high from the centre console, with data and all important functions controlled via touchscreen to free up buttons from the fascia. This again is in line with Peugeot's desire to create a more upmarket brand image.

The 308 also follows similar design language to the 208 on the outside and looks to be influenced by Peugeot's concept car from the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the Onyx. It's a good looking car, smooth, supple and, with blade-like creases running down each flank, thoroughly, if not aggressively, modern.

However, serious attention has been paid to the function as well as the form. After a 140kg diet, the new 308 comes with improved emissions to the tune of 85g/km of CO2 from the most economical examples, although figures obviously will vary, depending on model specification.

In addition to the release of the third model in Peugeot's new styling format after the 508 and 208, the release of the 308 marks the commencement of the company's new model identification system, whereby model numbers ending in 8 represent the brand's mainstream line up and models with the suffix 1 indicate cars aimed at emerging markets, including the 301.

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