Peugeot’s move up market in the last few years has been epitomised by the outstanding new 3008 GT. The all-new SUV’s daring styling and host of high-end, high-tech features prompted many to hail the 3008 as the most auspicious car to come out of the French stable in recent memory. Not only that, the Geneva Motor Show’s Car of the Year for 2017 represented a seminal moment in the history of a brand whose core values have undergone such a seismic shift in focus since the turn of the decade. The French lion is roaring once more.
The filter-down effect of such a momentous new arrival to a brand is arguably as significant as the model itself. Already in motion even before the 3008 made its official bow earlier this year, Peugeot’s march towards the premium sector is set to gather pace. The 3008-shaped shockwaves have now had their transformative effect on one of the traditional staples of the Peugeot family range, the 308.
Since the days of the 304, the granddaddy of today’s familiar family favourite, versatility has always been at the heart of the French marque’s 300 range. As such, the new generation 308 goes on sale in hatchback, estate and GTi guise with all variants getting a raft of upgrades inside and out.
On the styling-front, Peugeot’s new family face is transplanted onto the all-new 308. Specifically, the 2017 model gets a longer bonnet and the same 3D vertical grille from the 3008 and 2008 SUVs. The front bumper gains a set of larger air intakes for improved engine cooling, whilst both the headlights and taillights feature integrated LEDs with an elliptical light signature.
You’ll be most struck by the 308’s premium credentials if you opt for one of the higher-spec variants. The Allure, GT-Line and GT trim levels bring a whole new layer of interior toys, not to mention a panoramic glass roof as standard. Talking of tech, many of the latest-generation drive assist systems from the 3008 GT find their way into the new 308 range. Peugeot’s i-Cockpit touchscreen infotainment interface brings the likes of adaptive cruise control, park assist, a 180° rear view camera and much more besides right to your fingertips. Elsewhere, Mirror Screen duplicates your smartphone display and migrates it onto the car’s touchscreen, whilst you can also count on real-time traffic updates courtesy of the 308’s integrated TomTom 3D satnav with voice command.
Also under the spotlight is the 308’s range of diesel and petrol engines. Heavily revised, the three-cylinder, 130bhp PureTech petrol is now greener and more fuel-efficient than ever thanks to emissions-busting technology and gets a new six-speed manual gearbox.
The same goes for the new BlueHDi 130bhp diesel engine. The 308 is the first Peugeot model to use this four-cylinder unit, imbued with super-efficient combustion technology derived from the brands’ diesel-powered LeMans 24 hour motorsport programme.
Top of the powertrain pile is the 180bhp BlueHDi diesel, exclusive to the new 308 GT. This performance-orientated engine can be mated to a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox and features start-stop technology for greater fuel-efficiency around town or in motorway traffic.
The entire new-generation Peugeot 308 family, including the hatch, SW and GTi models will take to UK roads this autumn, with first deliveries to dealerships across the country scheduled for September.