I’ve always viewed cars as a functional thing. My mum and dad love cars, but for me, I’m just not that fussed if I’m honest. I can appreciate a nice looking car and wouldn’t mind owning one, but I’m by no means a car enthusiast and have no clue how to go about maintaining one (although I once did change a rear bulb light which made me feel like a proper man).
My car history isn’t the most exciting of things. If I was on Top Gear’s ‘Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car’, it would consist of a Peugeot 206 which I got from my mum when she bought a new car, a Vauxhall Corsa which the missus bought prior to us living together and now a Nissan Juke which we got earlier this year on a lease deal.
Since having the sprog last year, we’ve found that our requirements have changed and we’ve had to consider different things when getting a family car. Our 3-door Corsa just wouldn’t cut it any more when it came to boot space or ease of fitting a car seat, so we got the Juke as a medium-term, cheap upgrade.
With one eye on the future as Baby L becomes Child L and our family (perhaps) grows, we’re always keen to try bigger and better things. Therefore, imagine my delight when the good folk at Peugeot got in touch to see whether we wanted to try out one of their cars for a week and a bit.
We were loaned a 308 GT Line Puretech hatchback car to review, and were also kindly provided with complimentary tickets to West Midlands Safari Park and a night’s accommodation at Wharton Park for the sprog’s first birthday so we were able fully test out the car. Below you’ll find my review of the Peugeot 308:
The award-winning 308 is now available as an exciting GT Line version. With assertive sports styling and comprehensive choice of efficient engines, GT Line delivers a sensational driving experience and the driver confidence that comes from a foundation of absolute quality. With confident, sporting lines and a sleek silhouette, the 308 GT Line is designed to look great, turning heads wherever it goes.
Assertive Sports Styling:
- Extensive use of LED technology creates a unique lighting signature at front and rear, with full LED headlamps positioned alongside distinctive direction indicators and fog lamps.
- Discreet skirts on the lower body frame help give 308 GT Line a broader feel, alongside striking 18” alloy wheels and high-gloss black diffusor and twin exhaust pipes at the rear.
- Once inside, the sporting themes continue in a top-quality passenger compartment. Aluminium pedals and stainless steel door sills compliment high quality upholstery, defined with dramatic red stitching and finished off with chic floor mats.
Sensational Driving Experience:
- To sit in the driving seat is to become one with the 308 GT Line. The head-up instrument panel, large touch screen and compact leather steering wheel are all part of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit and contribute to a sensational driving experience.
- The Redline colour scheme on the touch screen is an extra, sporting touch, whilst a comprehensive specification list, including DAB radio, satellite navigation, reversing camera and front parking aid, ensure convenience and safety for driver and passengers.
- A combination of aerodynamic shape, lightweight chassis and superb engine technology ensures 308 GT Line is exceptionally efficient.
- Winner of the 2015 ‘International engine of the year’ award in the 1.0-litre to 1.4-litre category, PureTech 3-cylinder petrol technology delivers a drive and performance normally associated with bigger engines but with significantly improved fuel consumption. It’s the result of intelligent, innovative engineering, which combines reduced weight materials with the efficiency of direct fuel injection to give maximum pleasure behind the wheel.
- Peugeot’s new automatic 6-speed transmission (EAT6) is available with 2.0L BlueHDi 150 and 1.2L PureTech 130 S&S engines. With Quickshift technology, it offers faster gear changes and smooth operation to further improve fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.
- The new 308 GT Line’s fusion of sports styling and efficiency is founded on a platform of superb build quality.
- Inside and out, each element is fine-tuned to perfection: premium-quality materials, full-grain leather and optimised design. You’ll recognise and appreciate the care and attention that’s gone into every detail – and it all adds up to a hugely pleasurable experience for driver and passengers alike.
- 3 cylinder 1198cc petrol turbo engine
- 53 litre fuel tank
- 6-speed manual transmission
- 10.3 seconds acceleration (o-62mph)
- 125mph maximum speed
- Combined fuel consumption of 54.3mpg (43.5mpg Urban and 64.2mpg Extra-urban)
- 5 stars Euro NCAP rating
- 16E insurance group
- Fuel economy CO2 emission of 119g/km
- Pearlescent paint
- Driver assistance pack (Dynamic Cruise Control, Emergency Collision Alert System and Emergency Collision Braking System)
- Driver sports pack
- City Park enhanced parking assistance system with blind spot monitoring
- CD player and Peugeot Connect SOS and Assistance in car entertainment
- Black Mistral (with red stitching) leather sports style heated front seats with back pockets and electric lumbar adjustment on driver’s seat. Leather rear seats with arm rests and ski flap
- 18″ Diamant alloy wheels
- Driver and front passenger front and side airbags
- Curtain airbags for front and rear windows
- Anti-Lock Braking, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Emergency Braking Assistance
- Electronic Stability Programme with Hill Assist
- Ultrasonic Alarm and Rolling code transponder immobiliser
- GT style leather steering wheel
- Electric power assisted steering
- Programmable cruise control and speed limiter
- Front and rear parking aid with reversing camera
- City Park with blind spot monitoring system
- Electric folding door mirrors
- Automatic electric parking break
- High gloss black door mirror shells
- Tinted rear tailgate window and rear side windows
- LED front fog lights, sequential LED front indicators, LED rear lights and full LED headlamps with fully integrated LED daytime running lights
The car arrived mid-morning on Friday when a nice fella from Peugeot dropped it off at the front of our house. I tend to get a lot of packages, but can categorically confirm that taking delivery of a car is the most exciting thing I’ve received. He handed over the keys and paperwork, then headed off to the station which I felt pretty bad about as he had to walk, but he wouldn’t accept a lift!
With a massively lacking knowledge of cars, I eyed up the 308 with my best mechanic-like impression. I really liked what I saw. I didn’t really have a preconceived notion of what the car would look like, but soon found that the outside of the car was more slick, sporty and ‘boy-racery’ than I imagined.
The thing that I instantly liked was the pearlescent white colour of the car. I’m not usually a fan of white cars, but the pearlescent paint of the 308 meant that it changed colour in the light. One second it was white, then it was grey, then it was sparkly – it was like I was looking at the car version of a unicorn, particularly as it had a horn. Ba dum tsh.
On taking a closer look at the outside, I began to notice the features of the 308 which gave it the sporty appearances I mentioned. There was the striking 18” Diamant alloy wheels, the high-gloss black diffuser, the twin exhaust pipes, the LED lights and the black wing mirrors. So far, so good!
On looking inside the car, I was even more impressed. Having never owned a top of the range car before, holding the keys to a vehicle with loads of added stuff was a huge luxury. I’m used to seeing plastic caps and covers all over the dashboard as we’re too tight to buy optional extras, so it was a strange, but pleasant, sight to see functioning bits of kit within these usual gaps.
The first thing I noticed was the leather seats, which were black with really cool red stitching. This perfectly complimented other touches such as the leather steering wheel, aluminium pedals and stainless steal door sills, to give an overall ‘sporty’ impression, which is something I wasn’t expecting. This continued once behind the wheel with the dashboard instrument panel and large touch screen adding plenty of sleekness to what Peugeot call their i-Cockpit.
Obviously the first thing I wanted to do was take the car out for a test drive, however being the family man that I now am, I had to consider the sprog first. I’m pretty sure that it’d be frowned upon if I left her alone at home whilst I took my new wheels for a spin. This gave the Peugeot 308 its first real test – how easy would it be to fit the Isofix base and car seat?
The answer – very, very easy! The 308 comes with flaps on the rear seats, which once opened, reveal the metal bar that you attach the Isofix base to. In our other cars, and in most cars I’ve seen, you have to ram your hands down the gap between the seat and backrest in order to locate the metal bar, which can be a bit of a pain. However, with this, the process of fitting the base was so simple – within 10 seconds, I’d lifted the flaps, put the base on the seat and connected the Isofix base clips to the metal bars in the car.
I won’t lie – this properly blew my mind. As a parent, sometimes it’s the little things that make life so much easier. This is definitely one of those. It is such a simple idea, which allows the base to be secured in seconds even if you have a screaming baby by your side.
It was then just a matter of putting the car seat onto the Isofix base and popping in the little one. I was surprised at how roomy it was. Our family car is a Nissan Juke – the car seat fits in fine, but it does mean that the front passenger seat has to be pulled forward quite close to the glove box, which restricts leg room for the passenger. However, with the 308, there was still plenty of room in the front, even when the car seat was not touching the back of the passenger seat.
One thing I did notice though was that the Isofix base seemed to move on the leather seats, even when secured to the metal bars. I guess leather isn’t the ‘grippiest’ of materials, so the base would move from side to side when pushed, which was a little worrying (although I have no idea whether this is standard with leather seats). I decided to put a blanket under the base just to stop it wiggling as much just in case it was an issue.
With the little one secured in the back, it was test drive time! I got behind the steering wheel and was instantly confused. Where the hell did the key go as there was no slot to put the key to turn the car on?! After failing at the first hurdle, I realised that this was one of those fancy cars which would start as long as the keys were in the car. My mind was blown for a second time!
To start the car, you depress the clutch and press the ‘start’ button located near the gear stick. I’ll admit, it kind of felt like a computer game – remember, I’m used to crappy, bog-standard cars. I then went to release the handbrake, but there wasn’t one! Well, that’s a lie – there was one, but again, it was a button. The clever thing though is that it is an automatic handbrake, meaning that it releases on its own when you accelerate forward and comes on when you stand still. Pretty bloody marvellous, although a bit weird when you’re not used to it!
The car felt great to drive. The driving position was very comfortable, the steering was very responsive and it was great to have some acceleration. Our other car is a 1.0L Vauxhall Corsa which barely makes it up hills, so it felt great to have a car that moved when you wanted it to. The 308 has a 6-speed gear box which felt fine to use, although I did keep forgetting to switch up to the top gear – however, there’s a handy indicator on the dashboard which suggests when to change gears.
After driving around for half an hour or so, I was thoroughly impressed with the Peugeot 308 and was already trying to come up with ideas as to how I could exchange it for the Corsa. We continued to use the 308 for the following week – including visiting West Midlands Safari Park which we were kindly provided tickets for from Peugeot – and it continued to impress me. Everything seemed to have been thought out really well and all of the luxuries that came with the car were awesome.
I’ve never had cruise control on my own car, but used it when on holiday in the States and loved it. I was therefore happy to see that the 308 came with this little gizmo. It took a little bit of sussing out, but I got there in the end – there’s a lever behind the steering wheel to the left which allows you to turn it on and set the speed. What impressed me about this the most was that the car would slow up automatically if you were approaching a car in front of you. So, when on the motorway for instance, if I was cruising at *cough* 70mph and I was gaining on a car in front, the 308 would slow down to 66mph to adjust accordingly to the car in front.
Another great feature was the blind spot monitoring system which warns you when a car is in your blind spot. This is achieved by a light in the wing mirror coming on when the 308 senses that a car is next to you. This was pretty bloody amazing! I was also blown away with the reversing camera which would come on when you put the car into reverse – the touch screen in the middle of the dash would turn into a camera to help guide you when reverse parking. Obviously these aids aren’t supposed to replace driver awareness and alertness, but they definitely help from a safety perspective.
One of most important things when looking for a family car is boot space. You need to take so much crap with you when going out for the day or staying the night somewhere, so having a boot which is big enough for a pushchair, suitcases, a travel cot and all the other baby bumpf is vital. I didn’t expect much from the boot space of the 308 if I’m honest, but I was very surprised at how spacious it is.
The boot – which is 470L and expands to 1309L – comfortably housed our Stokke Scoot pushchair with plenty of room spare at the side and back for other stuff. The boot also comfortably fitted a pretty big weekly supermarket shop, with space still available to put in plenty more chocolate had I not been watching my expanding dad bod. Whilst out, we were also able to do an emergency nappy change of the sprog in the back of the car, even when we already had bags in there. We didn’t need to use it, but the boot also expands by folding down the rear seats. This can be done as a whole, or by folding down one of the seats.
Another quick point to cover is the touch screen which is situated in the middle of the dash and basically controls all of the car. Think of it as Peugeot’s version of Skynet, just without all of the killing. This allows you to set the temperature, use as a sat nav, control the radio / DAB, connect your phone to Bluetooth and more. This ‘more’ category included the park assist which would park your car like it was KITT from Knight Rider. We tried to use this a few times, but it wasn’t the easiest of things to get working, and when we did, I decided to pull out of the manoeuvre as I couldn’t quite put all of my trust into a computer!
In addition to this, my only other two slight niggles – and we’re talking about splitting the thinnest of hairs – was the size of the steering wheel and the massaging chairs. The steering wheel is designed to be compact, but it felt a little too small for my personal preference. In addition, the driver and passenger seat come with a massage function, which I often turned on just because I could, however it wasn’t particularly relaxing and felt more like I was on a plane with my seat being kicked from behind by a small child.
The Peugeot 308 GT Line 1.2L Puretech has a retail price of £21,445, however the car we were lucky enough to loan also had £3,500 of optional extras on top, bringing the overall price to £25,000. I’ve never bought a car before and don’t really have a clue as to how much you’d need to spend for a set of wheels which includes this much stuff, therefore I can’t really add much input as to whether this is a good price or not.
After having the keys in my possession for just over a week, having covered just shy of 500 miles and having faced some of the fiercest animals that West Midlands Safari Park had to offer, I feel like we’ve thoroughly tested the Peugeot 308. My honest opinion – I absolutely loved it and it did everything (and more) of what we’d expect from a family car.
From a boring, practical perspective, the car is much roomier than it looks, for both driver, passenger and kids in the back. It has a boot space which is deceptively big, the Isofix bars which can be accessed through flaps make life easier, it comes with a very high safety rating and it doesn’t drink petrol, which is good for your wallet (until your kids empty it themselves). This ticks the boxes of what most people would want from a family car.
Forgetting the boring stuff, the car is crammed with gadgets which make driving the car a real pleasure – things like keyless ignition, cruise control and the blind spot monitoring are things that you don’t know you need until you have them. Then there’s the look of the car, both inside and out. The GT line has gone down the sporty look and this definitely shows – the black leather with red stitching, the 18″ alloy wheels, the pearlescent paint, the twin exhaust pipes etc really do make you feel like your driving a very high-end car.
Now I just need to figure out a way for Peugeot to give me the car on a long-term loan. Hint hint.
The DADventurer Star Rating
5 out of 5 stars
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N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The Peugeot 308 was loaned to us from Peugeot and we were provided with tickets to West Midlands Safari Park and overnight accommodation in exchange for writing an honest product review.
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