Peugeot 308 is a small-medium French car that’s well regarded for style and comfort. It
has never reached the sales heights of the likes of models in its class from Hyundai,
Mazda and Toyota and so on. But those who like driving something out of the ordinary
should put a Peugeot 308 somewhere on their short list.
Despite its styling flair the 308’s designers hadn’t forgotten about function, it has a
good-sized rear seat for its class, and sensible luggage space. Indeed, European
owners regard cars in the Peugeot 308 class as family transport. In Australia they tend
to be bought by singles or those with preteen kids.
The aforementioned comments refer to the five-door hatchback and station wagon.
Obviously the 308 CC (convertible coupe) with its folding hardtop is obviously not as
spacious in the rear seat. Then again, we’ve seen more than one Aussie 308 CC with
smiling little faces in the back.
Peugeot 308 replaced Peugeot 307 in February 2008. It was an improvement on the
307 in driving enjoyment as Peugeot enthusiasts had been critical of the 307 handling
almost from day one. Push it hard and the first generation 308 isn’t too keen on what
was happening to it, however it will keep you out of trouble.
The original 308s came with a choice between a pair of turbo-diesels, with capacities of
1.6 and 2.0 litres, producing 88 and 100 kilowatts respectively. More importantly, they
manage top torque figures of 240 and 320 Nm. Peugeot has had a strong push on
diesels downunder for many years and the older oil burners are well regarded.
There was also a pair of 1.6-litre petrol engines designed in partnership with BMW.
One is a turbo unit (designed in conjunction with BMW) with 110 kW, and 240 Nm at a
very low 1400 rpm, so there’s no shortage of urge. The other is a non-turbo with 88 kW.
No marks for guessing which we prefer!
The second-generation Peugeot 308, launched in Australia in October 2014 was a
blank-screen development and answered all the complaints about the model it
replaced. It had an all-new platform that made it lighter than the outgoing model by as
much as 140 kilograms.
Even more importantly it well and truly returned to the comfort and chassis dynamics of
the Peugeots of the past. The gen-two 308 is lower and sleeker than the model it
replaced, yet clever design means it has retained the same cabin space.
Peugeot 308 is offered as a five-door hatch and five-door Touring wagon. New engines
were developed, the most interesting being a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol unit
producing 96 kW of power. A turbo-diesel displacing 2.0 litres is a four-cylinder and
puts out 110 kW. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions sit beside each of the
Additional models were added early in 2015. The most exciting is the 308 GT with 150
kW four-cylinder turbo-petrol and 133 kW turbo-diesel engines, lowered sports
suspension and uprated body styling.
The third generation Peugeot 308 was launched in March 2021 and arrived here in
mid-2022 with a Plug-In petrol/electric hybrid (PHEV) added later. These models are
very rare on the used-car market and will be covered in a later Used Car Checkout.
Peugeot has been established in Australia for many years and there are in dealers in
city, suburban and country towns.
Spare parts are priced higher than for typical Asian models in this car class, but not
outrageously so. We have heard no real complaints about availability.
This Pug is not the sort of car you can work on yourself if you want to do more than
Insurance tends to be moderate in price with the GT, which really isn’t a hot-shot
model, seldom being penalised for added performance.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Peugeot 308s are generally well built, though not the standard of Asian cars. A
professional inspection is a must, but by all means carry out your own checks to the
best of your knowledge.
The interior should be neat and tidy with nothing coming loose, or making noises on
bumpy roads during our testing.
Older turbo-diesels may be slow to fire up, but if this is too bad have a qualified
mechanic check it out.
Turbo-petrol engine engines fire up faster than the turbo-diesel, but see the above note
about a professional check.
A manual gearbox should be smooth in operation. If it’s getting on in years and/or
kilometres it may be slow and noisy on downchanges, third to second is usually the first
Look for signs of crash repairs, such as mismatched paint, ripples in the panels when
viewed along their length, and tiny spots of paint on glass, badges and similar
CAR BUYING TIP
When inspecting a car, pay as much attention to state of its interior you do the external
Expect to pay from $4000 to $7000 for a 2010-2013 Peugeot 308 XS; $8000 to
$13,000 for a 2015 Active or a 2011 Cabriolet; $10,000 to $15,000 for a 2014 Allure;
$12,000 to $18,000 for a 2015 Allure Blue; $14,000 to $20,000 for a 2015 Allure
Premium; $16,000 to $23,000 for a 2015 GT or a 2018 Allure; $20,000 to $28,000 for a
2018 Allure Touring; and $25,000 to $33,000 for a Gti Special Edition.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: