- Minor visual makeover for the 308 hatch and SW ranges
- Important enhancements for driver aids and tech
- New 1.5-litre diesel will be attractive to fleets
It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it refresh that the Peugeot 308 has been subjected to, but what it lacks in visual enhancements, it makes up for with under-the-skin revisions that could tempt company car drivers into the French marque’s fold.
How much is new on the 2018 Peugeot 308?
A cursory glance across the bodywork of the tweaked 308 hatchback and SW estate line-ups may have you pondering what’s actually changed from the versions that first appeared in showrooms in 2014. Those modifications are indeed subtle.
All 308s now have LED day running lights as standard, which flank a more prominent vertical grille that apes the style of its 3008 SUV sibling.
Larger grille openings in the new front bumper allow for more efficient engine cooling, while there are revised LED graphics in the tail lights. Opt for a range-topping GTi and the two-tone coupe-franche paintwork is available in a wider selection of colours.
Interior changes are also few in number. It remains minimalist in design but there’s a significant improvement to the 9.7-inch touchscreen used to control many of the 308’s functions. Peugeot promises not only better graphics but also a better user experience requiring fewer finger jabs.
Efficient new 1.5-litre Peugeot 308 BlueHDi diesel
A new eight-speed automatic gearbox is available in conjunction with the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 diesel, while the popular three-cylinder turbocharged PureTech petrol engines are both enhanced and coupled to a new six-speed manual transmission. Performance and efficiency figures are yet to be confirmed.
Of greater interest to company car drivers with high annual mileages is the all-new four-cylinder 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130 diesel. The 308 is the first application of the new engine that will soon filter down to other ranges in the PSA family – including Citroen, DS and Vauxhall models.
It features two stages of emission control to reduce the levels of CO2 and particulates that escape from the exhaust, and although Peugeot has yet to reveal emission and economy figures, we expect them to be better than the less powerful 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 engine it replaces.
Enhanced Peugeot 308 technology
Not only is there a more sophisticated 3D rendering for the sat-nav display with TomTom live traffic updates, the new multimedia system is also compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink smartphone integration.
Driver aids have also taken a promising leap forward to strengthen the 308’s appeal as a fleet car: as well as the arsenal of an autonomous emergency braking system to mitigate against low-speed crashes and blindspot warning, the adaptive cruise control now has a braking function.
Parkers has previously run long-term Peugeot 308s with the older-style adaptive cruise control system that merely reduced the throttle application rather than braking the car, something that often proved more frustrating than it did useful.
The latest 308 range will now brake the car down to 19mph before the driver is required to take over on models with a manual gearbox, while automatic versions of the Peugeot can be brought to a complete standstill without the driver touching the brake pedal.