2021 Peugeot 308 gets sharp new looks and PHEV technology
Focus and Astra rival updated inside and out with range-topping hybrid offering 222bhp
Peugeot has revealed the latest version of the 308 family hatchback with a bold new design and the introduction of two new plug-in hybrid variants to sit alongside traditional petrol and diesel options.
Set to rival models such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, VW Golf, Seat Leon and Toyota Corolla, the updated 308 will arrive in UK showrooms later this year.
Longer and lower than before, the new 308 offers improved passenger space and has been restyled to match the rest of the bold Peugeot line-up. The front end is dominated by “fang” LED running lights, which run down from the standard-fit slimline LED headlights. Sharp creases surround an enlarged grille which is the first to sport Peugeot’s new coat of arms style logo. Peugeot says the whole car’s exterior shape has been worked to improve airflow and reduce drag, with the most obvious example a new larger rear spoiler.
Inside, the 308 gets an updated version of the i-Cockpit arrangement, featuring a new 10-inch configurable digital instrument display and a 10-inch media and navigation system powered by what Peugeot claims is a new more intuitive i-Connect operating system with voice control. The centre console and dash have been redesigned to focus controls such as the i-toggle shortcut keys and drive mode selector towards the driver while a larger central storage space with two USB C sockets opens towards the passenger.
Among upgrades to improve interior comfort are thicker glass for better sound-proofing, improved rear legroom and improved materials including Alcantara, Nappa leather and “technical mesh”. Higher-specification cars also feature a new air filtration system, electrically adjustable massage seats and a 690W Focal 10-speaker stereo.
At launch the new 308 will be available with four drivetrains. The existing 1.2-litre petrol with 128bhp and 1.5-litre, 128bhp diesel are both carried over and come as standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
For the first time, the 308 is also being fitted with a plug-in hybrid arrangement in two power outputs. Entry-level PHEV models are badge Hybrid 180 and feature a 148bhp petrol engine and 81kW electric motor for a total power output of 178bhp. Official testing puts this model’s CO2 output at 25g/km and its all-eletric range is 37 miles. Above that sits the Hybrid 225, which uses the same electric motor but a more powerful petrol motor to generate a combined 222bhp. This should manage up to 36 miles in EV mode and emit 27g/km. Both feature an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the same 12.4kWh battery, which will charge in around two hours via a 7kW wallbox.
Pricing and specifications are still to be confirmed but Peugeot says the new 308 will feature class-leading safety technology. Depending on trim level, this will include adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, driver alertness monitoring, long-range blind spot monitoring, active lane keep assistance, traffic sign recognition and E-call+ emergency alert. The 308 will also be offered with “semi-automatic lange change” which will allow the driver to indicate a planned lane change and then take over the manoeuvre if it is safe to do so.