Peugeot 308 Hatchback 2007 - 2013

Peugeot 308 Hatchback 2007 - 2013

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Quiet and smooth engines
  • Great safety features
  • Economical diesels

Cons:

  • Disappointing suspension system

Overview

The 308 is the first new generation Peugeot to receive the index 8. The first Peugeot car in the 300-series appeared in 1932. It is still a popular mid-size family car 80 years on and the new 308 is a great family car offering good fuel-economy and practical value.

Exterior and Interior

Although the 308 received a brand new body, you can still recognise the Peugeot design. If you're wondering what's with the funny front end, it's done for a purpose to reduce the drag to the lowest in the class with a drag coefficient of 0.28. As a result, some diesel versions of the 308 can achieve 67mpg. The designers have kept the overall styling in accordance with the 407, a car that marked a visibly different direction in Peugeot's design. What was labelled as a disproportionally large grille in 2004 was eventually accepted as modern and tasteful. Peugeot have used the same excessive styling even on the tiny 107. The 308 is a harmonious car with a good size body, offering five comfortable seats. At the front there's plenty of space even for a tall driver. The rear row of seats is a bit cramped, you might have wished for more legroom, however, the width of the cabin makes a journey quite acceptable. The interior design lacks finesse. They haven't put too much effort in getting the cabin up to scratch, apparently, the majority of the development money has gone into perfecting the safety system. The 308 is one of the safest cars in its class, regularly receiving top marks in various crash tests. EuroNCAP has awarded it 5 stars!

Performance and Economy

The lowest displacement with 95bhp might feel a bit weak for a person who switches to the 308 from a more powerful car. The 1.4-litre engine is fuel efficient but lacks character. If you don't mind taking longer to accelerate, 44mpg fuel economy should keep you happy. The 1.6-litre unit displays a much more active temperament, especially in its 150bhp edition. If used heartily, they can be quite thirsty despite the touted drag coefficient. The 92bhp diesel engine is a great option for this car, if used carefully, it can achieve 67mpg. The excellent torque figure makes you forget that you're driving a car of less than 100bhp. As for the 110bhp diesel, it will make the car considerably more agile, but also the fuel bill will be significantly higher. The top of the range diesel engine with 136bhp to 163bhp is mounted on a limited number of sport models and it is a great engine. It accelerates the car to 60mph in less than 10 seconds and permits to reach a maximum speed of 129mph.

Like to Drive

It is a solid and steady car. Apart from the GT models equipped with the amazing 2.0-litre diesel engine, there's nothing exciting about the 308. The more powerful modifications are fun to drive. You will enjoy plenty of grip regardless of the road surface. Unfortunately, the car is not perfect. Its suspension could be improved, especially from the point of view of the passengers sitting at the rear. Reliability is not an issue at all with the Peugeot 306 (07-) Hatchback.

Faults and Repairs

The 308 is not an expensive car when it comes to maintenance and servicing. The new generation of Peugeots delivers a high level of reliability. Drivers report that the car is prone to cooling system faults, so you better keep an eye on the thermometer and the dashboard fault lights. The latter might be difficult because the 308 is known for its faulty fault lights. The internal diagnostics system may throw an error when there's no error, and still, it can bring some systems to a halt.


Overall Rating:
Review by Spencer
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"Great handling, let down by reliability and engine performance"

Exterior and Interior

Subtle styling and features gives the 308 VTI Sport an overall aesthetically pleasing appearance. 17' alloys, colour coded exterior and great looking front end makes the 308 a top contender in the hot hatch category. Intererior is great looking, styled with chrome surrounds, a powerful stereo and great driving position.

Performance and Economy

Unfortunately the engines lack of performance ultimately dominates the overall driving experience. Power delivery is sluggish under 4000 rpm and does not give the lively feel that its quoted 120bhp should; this means that to show its true colours, the engine must be kept at high rev's - although the induction noise is great in these BMW engines, unfortunately the exhaust system lacks a sporty noise. Driving at high RPM's, as a result of this, sounds more like driving a highly tuned moped. THe benefit to the engines variable lift setup is apparent, with town driving in 4th gear achieving an approximate performance of 60mpg - but give the engine more throttle and you'll soon see this drop to a measly 15mpg.

Like to Drive

Lively around the tight country roads, with a stiff sporty suspension and wider wheels, this car sticks well to the tarmac. Unfortunately though the lack of power behind the wheels is apparent when shifting gears or exiting corners. Interior is comfortable, and surprisingly spacious. <

Faults and Repairs

Unfortunately the biggest problem with the 308 arise from BWM's Prince engine, which suffers from major design flaws on both the injection design and timing chain design. The EP6 xxx engine is designed with direct port injection; injecting fuel directly into the combustion chambers - the problem with this is that as part of the engine design, oil vapours are recycled through the air intake and across the top of the valves. Direct injection allows no fuel to pass over the top of the valves, and as a result these engines suffer from serious carbonization - which if left untreated can be disastrous and costly to repair. The timing chain issues, however deserve much closer attention. A design flaw with the bottom crank pulley, means that the timing chain sprocket can become loose and as a result the engine will suffer severe timing mis-alignment, assuring a repair bill of above £1000. Timing chain tension design suffers from premature failure, and timing chain guides may come loose causing a very noisy engine. Overall, several severe flaws that will, in time, force an owner to spend time and money on either replacement of faulty parts, or preventative maintanence.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value