Compact station wagon
Single diesel engine
From € 30,600
Until recently, Peugeot’s working horse, the diesel saw its place melting like snow in the sun in Sochalien. For example, only the 1.5 l HDi at 130 hp remains in the range of the new 308. The manufacturer relies heavily on electric motors, two of which are available under the hood of this compact one that was renewed a year ago.
But then, why keep the diesel engine? Because this fuel still has an important advantage: its better energy efficiency than gasoline. Thus, for equivalent performance, it consumes less, something that will continue to interest customers who drive a lot.
For example, with the HDi connected to the 8-speed automatic transmission, as in our test model, the 308 SW is announced at a gross maximum WLTP of 4.7 l / 100 km, compared to 5.9 l / km in the corresponding petrol variant, driven by Puretech 1.2 l of 130 hp. On the other hand, it would be completely pointless to try this kind of comparison with the 308 plug-in hybrid of 180 hp, because the standard WLTP test cycle, which covers only 23.3 km, outrageously favors the second …
Like the DS 4 and the Opel Astra, the third project of the 308 is based on the 3rd generation EMP2 platform and adopts suspension designs similar to those of its cousins, combining at the front of the legs McPherson has a single rear axle. Other manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, do not hesitate to use a multi-arm system from a specific power level …
Meanwhile, our 308, in Allure Pack finish, is not devoid of seduction. Its body has a much more aggressive front face than that of the old model, which is characterized by two large vertical daytime running lights that cause canines.
In the high-tech cabin, we find the principle of the raised instrument panel, already shown in the previous 308. something else in terms of readability.
The various screens are pleasing to the eye and rather easy to decrypt, but we would like to configure them for a wider range, especially since the bottom of some is hidden by the steering wheel. However, this remains small in diameter. There is also a central touch screen with heating controls. I’m not a fan of this option at all, because turning on the radio or adjusting the air conditioning bothers me a lot. But I must admit that this screen is pleasant and accurate to use. Includes smartphone playback function, wireless and can be recharged inductively.
Thanks to the longer wheelbase of the saloon (2.73 m vs. 2.67 m), the rear passengers of the 308 SW benefit from much more legroom. They will also appreciate the reading headlights, the air conditioning duct between the front seats and the center armrest.
There are two storage compartments under the boot floor. The seat is folded, the 308 has a good loading time.
The increased length of the SW (+ 27 cm) translates into a large boot, ranging from 608 liters with the bench seat in place to 1,634 liters when folded, a function facilitated by the two traction tabs on either side cover.baggage. There are also two separate storage areas under the floor, which remain flat when everything is folded. Very practical, even though the old 308 offered a little more volume to a more comprehensive standard.
Overall, the meticulous presentation deserves nothing more than praise and the finish reaches an enviable level, both in terms of assembly and the quality of the materials, even if the beautiful felt faces of the dashboard are not thick. We find without worry an excellent driving position, although the seat, very comfortable, is satisfied with the conventional settings (longitudinal and vertical). When starting (without a key), we know that we are dealing with diesel, both from the sound of the engine and from the steering wheel that is not free from small vibrations, such as tingling. In the city, they remain, but the driving is very smooth, thanks to the light steering wheel, the jumper, the operation that works and the suspension that is surprisingly careful for the speed detectors. Even the stop and start works without shaking.
On the road, these qualities remain and are complemented by a fairly extensive HDi sound insulation, even if, again, you still feel vibrations on the rim of the steering wheel. Surprisingly, they disappear at the speed of the highway, the 308 impresses after its sound insulation at a stabilized speed. So much so that one doubts the speed shown by the tachometer, but it is confirmed within 2 km / h by the one indicated by the GPS. Going up or accelerating, on the other hand, diesel manifests itself: it is not intrusive, but its insulation could be further developed, as is the case with Renault.
However, in terms of general comfort, the Sochaux is fulfilling its contract perfectly, advancing over its predecessor, already in good shape from this point in its life. The sound system stands out for its good listening quality, but in our copy, Carplay was often capricious. One download, Waze freezes, the other, unprogrammages, and I even heard my smartphone playlist being streamed through this speaker while instructions were being passed through the car audio system. … In addition, when I opened the door to a toll booth to retrieve my ticket without putting the gearbox control on the P, the 308 started knocking everywhere and to punish me for my unwarranted maneuvering, it decided to disconnect completely my smartphone to punish me. Mea Culpa!
As you know, a Peugeot is above all chassis and there the 308 is expected to turn. At first glance we are carried away by the speed of the steering wheel, communicative and giving a good impression of flexibility. Only, pressing his explorations, we find some small flaws. At road junctions approaching for support, the stern tends to sway for a while, which is definitely made more noticeable by the car’s increased length, the torsion axis, which drives the wheels less well than a multi-link that does not allow it to be removed. It has no consequences.
In addition, there is a brief but inappropriate delay in weight transfer, especially in Eco mode, the direction is inconsistent. This is prudently reinforced in the Sport, but it should be noted that in gaining comfort, the 308 has lost some of its predecessor behavior, even though grip and balance remain very high. Maybe the 18 wheels of the GT version (ours was at 17), erase this small defect. We would also like to be able to combine the directional stability of the Sport mode with the mechanical management of the Eco mode.
Very low consumption
For its part, the engine obviously does not undermine this very healthy frame: 130 hp for 1,400 kg, this is not huge. The 300 Nm of torque is more interesting and the front axle redeems it perfectly. Very flexible, the block is also progressive and relatively tonic, even if it does not have the vigor of a 1.6 liter Fiat Tipo. It still delivers good performance without ever giving the impression of straining. The box, fast in its operations, completes it perfectly.
That said, the best quality of this powertrain is the fuel consumption. In mixed use, without paying for eco-driving, it easily reproduces the 4.7 l / 100 km announced by the manufacturer. The transmission includes, in Eco mode, a free wheel function when the foot is raised (the HDi then returns to idle speed but does not go out) which slightly reduces fuel requirements… and slight steering vibrations. On the highway, we manage to stay below 5.5 l / 100 km while driving at 130 km / h chrono. Enough to gain almost 1,000 km of autonomy, which is a significant advantage over electric motors. The big cylinders will be satisfied!