Used car buyer's guide: Peugeot 308
PEUGEOT'S 308 was yet another family hatchback that emerged amid talk of finely honed driving dynamics and lively performance. It even appeared to have the striking looks to back it all up. In reality, though, this was a car with strengths that lay elsewhere, and on the used market, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The 308 inherited the taller than average roofline that the 307 used to good effect in creating a roomy and airy interior but by shaving 12mm from its height while growing length (74mm) and width (85mm), it achieved a far more dynamic stance than its predecessor. The long front overhang of the 308 adds to this impression, creating a wedge-shaped, sporty profile.
The interior design takes a sober but classy approach that takes it notably more upmarket than the 307 and even more spacious. The higher-specification models in the range are embellished with liberal use of chrome and all derivatives benefit from expensive-looking plastics, the lighter colour options proving particularly eye-catching. The controls are closer to the driver and create a snug cockpit effect and you sit a long way back from the base of the steeply raked windscreen.
The driving experience isn't stellar. The car feels large and heavy but there's little by way of body roll and refinement is very good regardless of the engine choice. The 308 is at its best on a well-surfaced motorway where it cruises very comfortably.
Sporty isn't a particular forte of the 308 from Peugeot. It feels a comfortable, substantial car with decent build quality and lots of safety kit. Economical diesel engines make a good choice for the family buyer and the turbocharged petrol engine has a useful turn of pace.