The 308 is brand new right from the platform upwards and even has a range of new Euro 6-compliant ‘BlueHDi’ engines, the most frugal of which will endow it with 91mpg economy and hybrid-beating CO2 emissions and should make it one of the most fuel-efficient new cars in the real world.
There’s evidence of carefully hewn substance throughout this car. Peugeot admits that it aimed for a visual impression of quality and refinement and doesn’t demur from acknowledging any similarity with the Volkswagen Golf. That’s a bit disappointing, if only because greater distinctiveness is expected from a French car. But that noted, the 308’s is a tidy and generally appealing design.
The car’s EMP2 platform imposes a familiar layout: transverse engine and gearbox up front and front-wheel drive, with strut suspension for the front wheels and a torsion beam mounted on trailing arms at the rear.
The platform itself is 70kg lighter than the old PF2 structure, while the 308’s body-in-white is also 70kg lighter than before. Greater use of high-strength steels, more precise joining techniques and the adoption of aluminium and composite thermoplastic for various panels and closures sees to that.