Review - Peugeot 308 Allure Diesel Hatch

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pug1Normally I am a little excited when I pick up a car to review but I was a little more excited than usual when picked up the Peugeot 308 Allure hatch as this was the first non GM related car I’ve ever had to review.

First impressions of the 308 was I didn’t mind the look of it at all the sloping front end gives it a somewhat sporty look, while with some cars these days the lights look out of proportion with the rest of the front giving the car a bug eyed look.

 The 308’s light look perfect fit for the front end which to me enhances the look.

There’s a subtle line running down the flanks of the car towards the rear which the a nice slightly angled look to it, which lead down to the slightly rounded rear end.

The 308 Allure comes with 17inch Alloy rims wrapped in sticky Contisports tyres look very nice and really add to the somewhat sporty appearance over all.

The Allure comes with a panoramic glass roof which proved to be a great source of amusement for the kids, everytime they got in it I had to open the electric sliding blind so they could watch the world go by. I do admit it was kinda cool looking at things through the roof. But I was thankful for the electric blind as even on 21deg C day the direct sun coming through it was a bit hot.

Stepping inside for the first time and the Peugeot gives off a somewhat up market feel to it, easing myself into the leather driver’s seat (which actually feels more arm chair then car seat) I am welcomed by nice soft cushy seat.

pug5The seats are somewhat supportive (I would have liked a little more support on bolstering for cornering), but oh my god they were comfortable.

The front seats are electrically adjustable which makes it damn easy to find the perfect position, best thing about it is there is a memory function for 2 settings so you wont ever loose that position if somebody else has a drive, the front seats are also heated via a small knob on the side of the seat and works really well indeed.

The dash is covered in textured soft feel material, combine that with the black piano finishes the Peugeot gives off a classy hue. I found it set out rather well, the instrument panel contains white faced gauges with an amber chrome info screen in between.

The dials lights are lit in white light at night and are easy to read, however I did find them a little confusing at times because they are numbered rather unconventional to most other cars I’ve driven, being that it’s numbered with uneven numbers instead of even ones there is also a lack of a digital speedo which would of made things a little easier.

As at times I had to glance a fraction longer at the speedo then I normally do to make sure what speed I was doing specially when approaching speed cameras.

The flat bottomed leather bound steering wheel has very nice feel and comfortable to hold but I find it a touch thick for my liking, also while the rims on most steering wheels are round this steering while flat sides which take a bit to get use too.

One thing you will notice when you look at the steering wheel is it’s devoid of buttons, instead of using steering wheel buttons like most manufacturers do Peugeot have the audio and cruise functions on 2 stalks behind the steering wheel which to be honest a pain in the butt use at first, however once you’re use to them they ok one other thing is the buttons on both stalks are hard plastic and cheap and flimsy feeling, Every time I used them I tried to press them softly as I was afraid of breaks them.

On a whole while they do become easy to use I didn’t find them as easy to use as the steering wheel buttons most other cars I driven have.


 pug6The centre stack contains the audio system and a small amber monochrome info screen at the top which displays audio info and other functions this via the buttons on the stereo. (SatNav is an optional extra)
The audio system is very easy to use the Bluetooth function was exceptionally easy to use and made connecting my phone really painless.
I did find the sound from the stereo one of the best I’ve sampled, I have a very eclectic music collection which goes from soft stuff like Billy Joel to thrash metal like Slipknot and all my music sounded great on this system.

While the system is easy to use I do feel the small amber screen and no touch screen brings down the up market feel.
The dual zone climate control works well and is easy to use, my daughters specially my eldest Madie got a huge kick out of being able to turn the seat warmers right up and then turn the aircon on her side up to 28 to keep her feet warm.
I do like the amber lighting the centre stack buttons have and it looks real nice at night with everything lit up.

The rear seat leg room is not bad but it’s not exceptionally amble, I have the driver’s seat back a bit and I can sit behind the seat without my knees touching but only just, I think anyone taller than me would have some issues.
I did find the back seat base a little hard but my kids spent more time in it then me and they didn’t complain about it in fact they said it was comfortable.

The boot space is ok because it’s a hatch and it does open up more when you fold down the back seats.
The 308 is not the biggest small car running around and you can feel on the inside as it doesn’t seem to have as much room on the inside as other small cars I’ve driven.

Under the bonnet the little Pug is powered by a 2.0L Turbo Diesel rated at 120kw and 340nm of torque. The engine seems to be a little more refined then some diesels I’ve driven but there is not much in it.

pug16The engine develops its torque low down in the rev range and it really can get along rapidly once you get some revs on board, the exhaust system is muted but has a nice note to it as well.

Fuel economy over the week hasn’t been too bad at all as you would expect from a diesel engine. When I got in it the life time fuel economy readings on the dash read 7.8L/100km at 31kph which suggests to me it can be reasonably economical but it depends on the situation as well.

Regular readers will know that fuel economy is not a strong point of my reviews because most of the driving I do is either short trips or bumper to traffic. Tooling around at the beginning of the week where my ave speed had dropped to just 11km/h the economy was on 18l/100km but as soon the ave speed went up a little the fuel economy started to come down by the time I handed it back it was displaying a quite good 6.8L per 100km.

On the freeway it lopes along very easily and the economy figures were rather good indeed.

During my test loop the it averaged 5.8L/100km at an ave speed of 58kph, it was very weird to watch the distance to empty figures rise from 450km til to 620km til empty 170km later. The diesel engine is quite fun to drive once get a couple of rev’s on board off  the mark it’s a bit slow but as the turbo spools it doesn’t take long for it to get going.

The auto transmission on the other hand has a bit of Jeckle and Hyde personality, leaving it drive it works pretty well the changes are smooth and it kicks down when require. Queue Mr Hyde flicking the shifter to the left puts the transmission in manual shift mode and I found it a very unrewarding experience indeed.


 pug8Changes were a bit slow several times while changing from 2nd to 3rd with a few rev’s on board it changed to 3rd then straight up to 4th which meant I had to down shift back to 3rd immediately it just didn’t seem to want to hold the gears like it wanted it too. In the end it just frustrated me to the point of just leaving it in drive.

It does have a small S button when pressed put the transmission in sports mode which does hold the gears more and it does work a lot better than the manual shift mode.

On road the 308 rides comfortable enough I found that on flat surfaces it rides like it’s on glass very smooth indeed but once you get a bumps and some corrugated sections it felt a little unsettled. It does handle reasonably well at speed, there is a little bit of body roll and it doesn’t sit quite flat in corners. When pushed you can fell wanting to lean on the outside front wheel a bit.

The steering is light making it very easy to manoeuvre at low speeds making parking a dream the downside is it doesn’t provide enough feedback for my liking.

You can feel the weigh increase as the speed does which is good but it still has less feedback then I wanted.

The brakes are damn good, they felt a little touchy at first once I got use to them I found them really good indeed specially on my test loop.

Safety the Peugeot 308 has a maximum ANCAP 5 star rating and is fitted with all the safety equipment you’d expect from a 5 starer including.

pug14Driver and front passenger airbags, Front side airbags, Full length curtain airbags, ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Side impact absorbent door padding (front doors), Collapsible steering column, Automatic door unlocking in accident, and automatic activation of hazard lights under emergency braking.

The 308 comes with reserve sensors that work really well a small diagram comes on the centre screen with lines giving you an idea of how far you have to go. (Front parking sensors are an optional extra).
It doesn’t however come with a rear view camera so it does loose points for that given that rear vision is not the world’s greatest probably on par with most other modern hatch backs.

Ok a couple of little quirky things about the 308, the windscreen wipers actually wipe outwards which was a little weird when I first used them. The other thing was the passenger wiper actually cleared the windscreen from top to bottom but the driver’s side wiper only did 3 quarters which was a little annoying.

The bonnet release catch is on the passenger side of the car instead of the driver’s side on every car I’ve ever driven these little quirks I’m putting it down to its left hand drive origins.

pug17I really did enjoy my week with the 308 and over all I found the Peugeot 308 not a bad car at all it has plenty of comfort and has a decent amount of features. Everytime I got in it I felt at home, it was damn easy to wheel around a car park, it handled the work and school runs with ease it didn’t have an issue with it at all.

I found the handling alright up to about 7/10’s it only when you try to take it above that then it stumbles slightly but I don’t think the 308 was meant to be an all out performance hatch either. It’s impressive fuel economy and ride on the highway would make this car an excellent long distance cruiser, as well as a nice car for around the city for somebody wanting a little bit of luxury.

If you are after a fairly well equip hatch at the premium end of the scale then you should at the very least give the Peugeot 308 a look it might surprise you.

Big thanks to Peugeot for lending me the 308 Allure Diesel for the week for more info on the Peugeot 308 or the rest of Peugeot’s great range of vehicles visit their website http://www.peugeot.com.au

[This blog \ review was published with aproval by Wayne Lancaster of 3 on the Tree, you can read more of Wayne's reviews at 3 on the Tree]

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