Appeared in 2013, then restyled in 2017, the second-generation 308 is a commercial success and this success continues, even after eight years of career. Thus, it appears in the Top 10 of the best sales in France in 2020 and still represents the most sold compact in France. Less enviable in Europe but positive situation since it occupies the 6th place behind the indisputable Volkswagen Golf, but also the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes Class A, Audi A3, and Ford Focus. The podium is therefore mostly trusted by premium brands and it is precisely the target of the 308.
When it was launched, the current 308 marked the start of Peugeot’s move upmarket and the new generation must confirm this trend. This requires significant risk-taking in terms of style. A habit at Peugeot as during the renewals of the 208, 2008 and 508 as well as on the occasion of the restyling of the 3008 orchestrated in October 2020.
In fact, the new generation has been completely redesigned. It is also the first model of the brand to be adorned with the new logo, presented a few days ago, which reproduces the shape of a coat of arms. An emblem that had a lot of repercussions on the aesthetics since it is particularly highlighted in the center of the very large grille, one of the main characteristics of this 308. The inserts of this one seem to converge on the logo. It is surrounded by very thin full LED series projectors that can receive Matrix LED technology, but not yet a laser; and of course, the vertical daytime running lights are part of the game. The license plate therefore goes down a notch instead of the radars which are now masked by the logo.
The other big work of the engineers focused on the change of proportions of this 308. The goal is clearly to overshadow the German sedans. The French compact takes up the codes, notably with an elongated hood. To do this, the designers moved the windshield back by 10 cm and added a 90 mm long soft nose (part between the hood and the grille) as on the 508. But that’s not all since the door-to-door false front and rear enlarged, as well as the wheelbase which gains 55 mm (2675 mm). The width remains the same but the height decreases by 20 mm. In the end, the 308 now measures 4.36 m long, 1.80 m wide and 1.44 m high. It moves away from the Volkswagen Golf but is closer to the Mercedes Class A and BMW Series 1.
This new look is accompanied by substantial work on the body sculpture on the front and rear fenders, but also on the bonnet which is crossed by body lines that are not straight but rounded. Impossible of course not to notice the resumption of the famous logo on the front fenders – for the high finishes only -, like a certain brand with the prancing horse. Nice the wink!
The rear receives its share of transformations with a very marked shoulder, thin LED lights with an unprecedented light signature joined by a black band as on the 208 or the 508. All of these modifications radically transfigure the 308, which gains in personality. with a more demonstrative style with the unmasked objective: to shade premium models.
A new evolution of the i-cockpit
As with the exterior, the interior of the 308 has been completely revised. This first involves a transformed dashboard. This, more massive, very horizontal, overflows on the storm doors and accommodates a new generation of i-cockpit. It still consists of three elements: a small steering wheel, high digital instrumentation which today adopts 3D technology – as on the 208 and 2008 – and a 10-inch multimedia touch screen. All of this is standard.
The screen overlooks two types of commands: the first, digital, are a kind of direct shortcuts to certain functions (favorite radio station, ideal temperature, telephone contacts. The second, more classic, control more traditional functions such as air conditioning. , defrost or hazard warning lights. Like the new DS4, this screen is equipped with the new multimedia system of the Stellantis group (born from the merger between PSA and FCA). With its very fluid operation similar to that of a tablet, its Its speed and its modern presentation, which can be completely configured, allow Peugeot to catch up on its backlog in this area.The console has also been transformed, both in terms of design and utility, with plenty of storage space.
Status quo for the practical aspects with a loading volume of 412 liters against 420 liters currently. Plug-in hybrid versions will have to be content with 361 liters. The rear roominess remains in the category average, especially for knee space.
Obviously, Peugeot is taking the opportunity to enhance the equipment of its compact with rear traffic alert, heated steering wheel, induction charging, Apple Carplay and Android auto wireless compatibility, digital instrumentation and l ’10-inch multimedia screen and all this will be completed in 2022 by the semi-automatic overtaking.
Plug-in hybrid versions
Under the hood, no surprise: there will be two petrol engines (Puretech 110 and 130 hp), a diesel (BlueHDi 120 hp) but also two plug-in hybrid engines of 180 and 225 hp. A first on the lion compact. A micro-hybridized version will arrive later. A 100% electric offer would not be impossible either.
With this new Peugeot 308, Peugeot wants to take a place on the compact podium in Europe. For this, the tricolor brand will be able to rely on an assertive style, a presentation and modern engines but also a behavior which should be among the best in the segment. The 308 will debut in dealerships next September. The prices will be known in June, when orders are opened. A SW version that is to say break is obviously planned. It will be in the catalog at the very end of the year.