First Drive

First Drive: Peugeot 308 SW

The story:
Peugeot’s mid-life revision of its core fleet 308 model included the addition of a new 1.5-litre diesel engine that will make its way across various PSA Groupe models from Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall and DS
Category:Lower Medium
Key rival:Ford Focus
Peugeot 308 SW 1.5 BlueHDI Allure
On sale:Now

Peugeot’s 308 SW estate sits in the core of what is now a sector popularised in fleet terms by job-need cars as user-choosers flock towards the more fashionable SUV and crossover models.

But there’s still a hefty market for regular hatchback and estate models, and for the 308 this new 1.5 diesel replaces the previous 120hp 1.6 HDi, adding another 10hp and increasing the price by £390. It fits into a range of five diesel and four petrol alternatives across the various trims, ranging from 100-270hp.Peugeot 308 SW - Image 6The new unit is a good choice, combining efficiency and decent pace, while also being refined.This 308 revision also includes reshaped front and rear bumpers and headlamps, while Active and Allure trims get new seat fabrics designed to offer more comfort, and all 308s get the impressive i-Cockpit dashboard display and 9.7-inch touchscreen system. It’s better, but still not perfect in terms of usability and your ability to control different functions through the various screens. A fixed panoramic glass roof is also now standard on all bar the entry Active trim.

A Peugeot 308 is a pleasant car to spend time behind the wheel of; it manages to balance its ride and handling while also proving engaging when required. It offers good occupant space and a huge boot (vital for job-need fleets), which weighs in at 660 litres, outpointing all major rivals. The Ford Focus estate, for example, has a boot of 476 litres, and the Vauxhall Astra and Seat Leon wagons measure at 540 and 587 litres respectively.Peugeot 308 SW - Image 4This new diesel makes a great case for itself on paper, with emissions of 96g/km beating all the 308’s major rivals’; only the 99g/km Focus breaks three figures, although other running costs don’t work so well in the Peugeot’s favour. Its insurance group is higher than any of the volume competitors, and the residual value puts it in a group with the Focus and Astra on 27-28%, whereas the Leon and Skoda Octavia are up at 34% and the Volkswagen Golf higher still.


Paul Barker

The verdict

A likeable, efficient, well-kitted, practical and well-priced lower medium estate that’s hampered by a low residual value and high insurance group