Peugeot has an extremely long history of building vehicles, one that dates back more than
130 years.

In 1889 Armand Peugeot built a steam-powered three-wheeled vehicle. Only four were

The next year he designed a more conventional vehicle with an internal combustion
engine and four wheels. Peugeot has expanded globally over the years and today ranks
as one of the world’s largest car makers.

This week’s road test is on the new generation Peugeot 308 GT Premium station wagon.

It’s French so there’s little doubt it has plenty of flair. It’s not as tall as is the norm for this
class, perhaps a cross between a station wagon and an SUV. Whichever it is, it looks

Everyone who viewed the Pug during our test period said they loved its shape.

Ah, the French! The styling and the materials used are first class. This really is a very
pleasant place to travel in thanks to the shape of everything around you.

There’s seating for five but as is usually the case four will be more comfortable. As is
common in cars of this size the person sitting behind the driver may find themselves tight
on legroom.

The 308 GT Premium we tested has an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (with two-
position memory).

Peugeot 308 has a distinctly different powertrain with a three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.
It produces 96 kilowatts of power and 230 Nm of torque. It drives the front wheels through
an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Peugeot gets a four-star safety rating.

Advanced safety features in all 308 models include Active Safety Brake with pedestrian
and cyclist detection, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver attention warning, Adaptive Cruise
Control with Stop Function, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a 360-degree surround view
parking camera in the Premium variants.

Both models come with front and rear parking sensors which make it easy to avoid hitting
anything in tight parking areas, though we did find they went off when we were still a fair
way off doing so. This is the sort of thing that owners would adapt to and know the limits

Sound comes from a premium 10-speaker Focal sound system that provides excellent
quality sound. However, as is too often the way, there are times when it loses the radio
signal while driving in country areas, or on motorways that have been cut though hills. It
makes sense to bring your own music and listen to that.

The horizontal central display means the satnav map doesn’t show far enough ahead,
which is a pain as you can’t determine which lane to be in while driving in suburban areas.
Similarly, you may not be able to see when driving in the country whether the road ahead
is clear for you to overtake slow moving vehicles.

The suspension feels rather firm in Sport mode. Even in the Normal setting it’s firmer than
I like, but individual owners can set it up the way they prefer.

The small steering wheel is a pain as it’s hard to see the instruments properly, although its
small size does make it easy to use. If I owned the car, rather than just spending a week in
it, I could adapt to the steering/instrument wheel. However, it still doesn’t have the range of
choices many people would like.

The car is quite slow to react to input from the throttle when driving in normal conditions,
probably due to the fact that it’s a small capacity engine putting out plenty of power.

As we’ve said before about Peugeots, indeed French cars in general, it’s up to the owners
to learn what the car does, and doesn’t do. If they’re keen on French cars they will like

During our week’s testing we covered just over 300 kilometres in our usual mix of
suburban, country and motorway driving. We matched the list figure of 5.3 litres per
hundred kilometres. That’s very impressive for a fair-sized vehicle and shows that the
exorbitant price of fuel in its home country means low consumption is very important.

Peugeot 308 GT Premium station wagon is fascinatingly French both in its styling and in
the way that it uses an apparently tiny engine to give reasonably good performance.

It will appeal to those who like something out of the ordinary and are happy to adapt to the
car’s idiosyncrasies. Indeed, the idiosyncrasies may well be why they buy the Pug…

The car is warranted for five years and there’s no distance limit. Five years of capped-price
servicing is set at $2489 over five years for pay-as-you-go, or $1800 if you pre-pay. The
latter sounds like a smart move to us and is likely to be an important point if you sell the
car before the five-year period is up.

Looks: 9/10
Performance: 7/10
Safety: 9/10
Thirst: 9/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 9/10


308 GT hatch: $43,990
308 GT Premium hatch: $48,990
308 GT Premium wagon: $50,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Peugeot dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Peugeot 308 GT Premium 1.2-litre five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.199 litres turbo-petrol
Configuration : Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 96kW at 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 230Nm at 1750 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 5.3 litres/100km
CO2 Emissions: 120 grams per kilometre

Eight-speed automatic

Length: 4635 mm
Wheelbase: 2735 mm
Width: 1860 mm
Height: 1475 mm
Turning Circle: 10.7 metres
Kerb Mass: 1314 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 52 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid Disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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