Peugeot 308: which one should you choose?

  • So much choice in the Peugeot 308 range, but where to start?
  • We pick our favourite trim level and engine choice
  • Have a look at our full review and road tests for more information

If you’re looking for a new hatchback then the Peugeot 308 is a must on your list of cars to test-drive thanks to its low running-costs, practical interior and stylish looks.

It can be hard work trying to decide which combination of engine and trim is right for you though, so we’ve weighed up all the options and worked out how to get the most equipment and value-for-money.

For more information have a look at our comprehensive full review and for deals in your area head over to the Cars For Sale section.

Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308: Choice of petrol and diesels

There is a huge amount of choice with petrol and diesel engines ranging from 80bhp all the way up to 268bhp. The standard 308’s powerplants are all under 150bhp though, with the more powerful engines reserved for the warmed up GT and hot GTi.

Petrol options in the standard car are based around a 1.2-litre PureTech unit with 80bhp, 108bhp or 128bhp.

Slightly more powerful are the BlueHDi diesel choices - a 1.6-litre unit with 97bhp or 118bhp, and a 2.0-litre engine with 147bhp. 

The best fuel economy comes not from the smallest diesel but the middle-powered 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120, which promises 91.1mpg and 82g/km of CO2 for free VED tax.

A low-mileage driver looking for small bills the cheaper-to-buy 1.2-litre PureTech 110 petrol makes more sense as it returns a diesel-sounding 70.6mpg and 95g/km of CO2, again for free tax.

For a long commute we'd suggest the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 as it's good for 70.6mpg and free VED tax thanks to 97g/km of CO2, but still gets from 0-62mph in a slip-road-shrinking 8.9 seconds.

If all you want is a basic runabout opt for the 1.2-litre PureTech 82 petrol, which comes in at £14,995 and returns 56.5mpg. It's only available in base-spec Access trim, but this comes with quite a lot of kit (more on this later).

For cheap performance without opting for the GT or GTi models pick the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 with the automatic gearbox with costs from £22,945 but cracks 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds.

Peugeot 308

Gearbox options

The bottom two 1.2-litre petrol outputs and the base spec diesel make do with a five-speed manual gearbox, but all other engines use a six-speed, except the diesel in the 308 GT which is auto only.

Good news is the manual gearboxes are fine to use with a light gear change and will suit most people.

This is a six-speed Efficient Automatic Transmission (EAT6) and is also available on the 128bhp 1.2-litre petrol and diesel, 118bhp 1.6-litre and 148bhp 2.0-litre.

Efficiency-wise it has a negligible effect on the petrol engines but knocks about ten mpg off the 1.6-litre diesel. Plus if you choose it on the 2.0-litre diesel your VED tax will cost £20 a year, rather than being free.

It’s also a bit slower from 0-62mph than the manual and costs £1,000 more than the standard transmission too. You’re cheapest automatic option is when fitted to the 128bhp 1.2-litre petrol, costing £19,195 - nearly £5,000 more than the entry level car.

Unless you absolutely need the auto 'box we'd avoid it on all but the more powerful engines. It's well matched to the diesel engine in the 308 GT, for example.

Peugeot 308

Performance versions

Powering the two racier versions, the GT and the GTi, are four highly tuned engines. Firstly there is a manual 1.6-litre petrol with 202bhp and an automatic 2.0-litre diesel engine with 177bhp used in the GT.

The latter offers an alluring mix of performance and economy, with an 8.4 second 0-62mph time and 70.6mpg on offer.

The GTi is manual and petrol only and comes with a 1.6-litre engine with either 246bhp or 268bhp. In its fastest guise this will race from 0-62mph in six seconds.

Equipment line-up

There are five main trim levels topped by the special GT, and then the standalone GTi performance model. We’ve picked out a few highlights from each but for a full run-down make sure you check out the equipment section in our full review. Prices below are based on the cheapest engine in the range.

First up is the cannily named Access grade and it comes well-equipped with LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, DAB radio, air-con and cruise control for £14,995. It's a lot cheaper than the grade up but the trade-off is you can only choose between the 1.2-litre 80bhp petrol and 1.6-litre 98bhp diesel engines.

Next is the Active trim which starts at £17,445 and adds alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control. This is a well-equipped trim which comes with a much larger engine choice and would make an ideal city car thanks to the addition of rear parking sensors and a 9.7-inch touchscreen with sat-nav. 

Peugeot 308

The glamourous Allure trim doesn't add much in the way of equipment but does bag some nice styling upgrades. It will cost you at least £19,145 and adds larger 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and front parking sensors.

Designed to look like the faster GTi car but powered by slower, more efficient engines, GT Line trim features 18-inch alloys, twin exhaust pipes, tinted windows and a reversing camera. Inside you get aluminium pedals and GT-style steering wheel and carpets. This starts at £21,445.

Topping the bill is the GT, which can only be chosen with the 1.6-litre 205 manual (£24,095) or 2.0-litre 180 automatic (£25,945) engines, and gets you a sporty front bumper, lowered suspension, keyless entry and the driver sport pack (changes the dials to red, increases steering and throttle response).

If all of this isn’t enough for you then the GTi halo car beckons, and you can have it with 246bhp (£26,555) or 268bhp engine (£28,155). The latter gains 19-inch alloys, bucket seats, red brake calipers, and a Torsen limited slip differential to help tighten its handling.

Peugeot 308 GTi

Which would we buy?

Seeing as even base-spec Peugeot 308s are well-equipped we see nothing wrong with recommending an Access car in terms of kit.

However, since you can only have it with two engines we’d suggest upgrading to Active and picking the 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 manual thanks to its promised 91.1mpg and 82g/km of CO2. This will cost £19,845 and particularly suits those covering a lot of motorway miles.

If you want something sporty without breaking the bank consider the excellent 1.2-litre PureTech 130 in GT Line trim. It looks very similar to the fast GT and GTi cars, yet costs £21,445 and claims nearly 60mpg.

Peugeot 308

Undecided if the Peugeot 308 is for you? The below articles may help you choose your next new car:

Automatic gearboxes explained

Why you should buy a 65-plate car

Lowdown on the Volkswagen emissions scandal

Which optional safety features are worth considering?

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