The all-new Peugeot 308 has arrived in Australia with its futuristic and striking design bringing some French flare to the shrinking hatchback market. The bold exterior conceals an even more exciting change, with a plug-in hybrid variant joining the 308 line-up.
The GT Sport Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) model comes with 132 kilowatt, 1.6-litre, PureTech turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and 81-kilowatt electric motor, the pair combining to deliver 165kW of power and 360Nm of torque. This is paired with the electric-Efficient Automatic Transmission (e-EAT8) with a toggle-style gear selector and wheel-mounted plastic paddle shifters, which replaces the torque convertor with a clutch pack. Like the rest of the local range, the GT Sport Plug-In is front-wheel-drive.
The drive modes available include Electric, Hybrid, or Sport and I spent most of my time in the hybrid mode that offered smooth acceleration and compliance over the bumps in the road. Even though this 308 is the ‘GT Sport’ the acceleration in Sport mode is not all that exciting, although I did like the green highlights on the 3D/holographic driver’s dash and infotainment system in Sport mode.
The front electric motor is powered by a 12.4kWh Li-ion battery and 3.7kW onboard charger providing an Electric WLTP range of 60km and contributes to the claimed combined fuel economy of 1.3L/100km. For my time driving the 308 plug-in hybrid I used 7.5L/100km. The charge port is located at rear of vehicle on the passenger side and when not is use the cord is neatly packed in a bag that is stored in the boot. When you plug the 308 in the vehicle makes a locking sound and the red light next to the plug indicates the cord is locked in and when charging starts the light surrounding the plug flashes green.
You can access the GT Sport Plug-In Hybrid using smart keyless entry, stepping over the Peugeot puddle light and press the keyless start to awaken this friendly lion. I really liked the funky dash design and infotainment animations combined with basic ambient lighting in the cabin. Unlike many other modern cars there is no gloss black plastic on the centre console and dash, but it is on the steering wheel and this turns out to be my least unliked feature of the 308’s steering wheel.
The steering wheel of the 308 has a very odd design and its shape requires you to have the wheel low down so that you can actually see the dash. This meant there was not a lot of room between my legs and the steering wheel and it didn’t feel nice to drive this way. On the upside the voice control button on the steering wheel is designated by a microphone, rather than a masculine silhouette used on many other vehicles. The voice control worked well for me for making phone calls and changing the radio station. For the sat nav though, the 308 would ask me to input my destination and it would then do nothing or it told me that it ‘didn’t get that’.
There are multiple storage cubbies in the centre console of the 308 and a shallow cubby under the arm rest with one USB-C port. Under the roller cover in the centre console there are two cup holders with grippy sides and a removable rubber mat in the base for the easy clean-up of spills. You also get good sized drink bottle storage in front door cubbies.
The 10-inch colour touchscreen has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, along with Bluetooth connectivity. The lower cubby at front of centre console for your phone with one USB-C port and one 12V socket. Or above this cubby is a wireless charging pad that is only shallow and although it has a grippy base, but your phone could still slide out.
The 308 seats are covered with black full grain Nappa leather seat trim with ‘Tramontane’ charcoal grey top stitch. The driver’s seat has power adjustment for recline, forward/back, seat height front and rear, 4-way lumbar with two memory positions. While the passenger seat has manual adjustment for recline using a rotary knob, forward/back, seat height- and it does have 4-way power lumbar support. People who love to have the A/C very cold will appreciate that the temperature in the 308 goes down to 14o C. Or if you prefer to stay warm you have heated seats and a heated steering wheel with the settings for these located under an infotainment menu.
The rear seats have adequate head and leg room for me, however taller people may find it a bit tight. There is no central fold down seat, but the drink bottle storage in the rear door cubbies can fit large rigid drink bottles. There are two ISOFix/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room for two car seat due to the width of the rear seat. The two central air vents have individual on/off and direction controls and below are two USB-C ports.
The power assisted tailgate can be unlocked from the button under the boot lid and on the key fob and you close it down manually with a pull down on both sides. The boot is a good size for the weekly shop or a pram and a small shop. There are four tie down points and one light in boot space with a tyre repair kit stored under the boot floor. If more space it required the rear seats have a 60:40 split fold mechanism with the release of the seat shoulders.
The all-new 308 range has a 4-star ANCAP (2022) safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 79% (30.09 out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 86% (42.20 out of 49). Passive safety includes driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, first and second row curtain airbags.
ANCAP tests of the autonomous emergency braking (AEB) (Car-to-Car) system showed GOOD performance, with collisions avoided or mitigated in all scenarios, including AEB Junction Assist where the test vehicle can autonomously brake to avoid crashes when turning across the path of an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian. ANCAP tests of lane support system functionality showed some GOOD performance, including in several of the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios. A more advanced system with emergency lane keeping overtaking functionality is standard on all variants in Australia and New Zealand, but its performance has not been tested.
Other active safety features include rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control and the reversing camera has a 360o view with front and rear parking sensors. For convenience you also get auto lights and auto wipers.
The new 308 GT Sport Hatch Plug-In Hybrid comes with Peugeot’s five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, five-year roadside assistance, and five-year Service Price Promise program. The 308 GT Sport Hatch Plug-In Hybrid is also backed by an eight-year/160,000km battery warranty + 70% load capacity. The service interval for the PHEV 308 is every 20,000km/12 months, whichever occurs first and owners can purchase a 3 or 5-year Pre-Paid Service plan that currently costs $1,200 and $2,000 respectively.
The MY23 Peugeot 308 GT Sport Hatch PHEV is priced at $64,990 excluding on-road costs and as tested with Pearl White Premium Paint ($1,050) this Plugged Pug cost $66,040 excluding on-road costs. You can Build & Price your 308 online or visit a Peugeot retailer for more information.
|Funky exterior and interior design||The positioning of the steering wheel|
|The compliant ride||Engine is not very sporty|
|The infotainment animations||Voice control didn’t work for destination input on the sat nav|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.