- Good to drive
- 3 and 5-door options
- Sportier models sacrifice comfort
- Entry-level engines lack fizz
- Strong hatchback rivals
What's the Peugeot 308 like?
The present Peugeot 308 is classy, easy to live with and immensely capable. But this previous model, while not having the same looks, is still very capable and a much cheaper used buy.
It was available as either a 3 or 5-door hatch, a 5-door SW estate and as an electric-roofed coupe-cabriolet (CC). They were based on the preceeding 307, a popular family car that found huge numbers of friends in this country.
They have good road-holding and handling and also manage a comfortable ride as long as you steer clear of the higher powered models with sports suspension.
The steering is informative and a slick-changing five-speed gearbox, a light clutch and excellent brakes all help the driving experience.
Petrol engines range up from a 98bhp 1.4-litre, through a 120bhp 1.6-litre to the later 1.6-litre turbos with 156, 175 or 200bhp.
There are many more diesels on the secondhand market, because they sold in larger numbers new and these range up from a 90bhp 1.6-litre through 110 and 115bhp versions of the same engine to a 2.0-litre with 150 or 163bhp.
Economy is the petrol models should be in the low 40mpg range on a longer run, and the 1.6-litre diesels should be capable of 50mpg plus in real-world driving.
Practicality and Equipment
The 3-door models are cheapest but 5-door and estate versions are much more practical – especially if you have children.
Trying to get children into car seats in the back of any 3-door is usually hard work, so the 5-door is a better bet if you have kids.
The CC is great fun in the summer, but it’s only a two and a half seater and if you’re tempted by one, make sure the roof mechanism works perfectly.
Mid-range Active models come with remote locking, air con, electric windows, height adjustable seat and height and reach adjustable column, traction control, alloys, audio remote and cruise control.
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If you're in the market for a decent quality hatchback that's good to drive and suited to a wide variety of needs then you'll want to seriously consider the Peugeot 308. Coming in a variety of bodystyles too, the Peugeot 308 is a great used buy.