Having been partially revealed, while still half-covered with a tarpaulin, last week in an internet leak, here is the new Peugeot 308 in all of its glory. The Golf rival goes on sale in Ireland in early 2022.
More space inside
Overall, the new Peugeot 308 carries over much of the silhouette of the outgoing model - the same chunky, snub-nosed side view, with the deep c-pillar - but underneath, the 308's chassis has been significantly upgraded. The wheelbase is now some 55mm longer (which should free up a good deal more rear seat space, a major bugbear of the outgoing 308), while the total length has gone up by some 110mm, and the 308 sits 20mm lower to the road. The boot, actually a strong point of the old 308, remains very roomy, at 412 litres, or 1,323 litres with the back seats folded down.
The 308's aerodynamic efficiency has also improved, cutting drag to 0.28Cd, while Peugeot says that body stiffness (crucial for both safety and handling) has been boosted by using aircraft-style adhesive in key areas.
What about power? The 308 will come, at first, with a relatively familiar engine line-up. Those will include three versions of the 1.2-litre PureTech three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, in 110hp and 130hp forms, and one with an eight-speed automatic gearbox; plus a 130hp 1.5-litre BlueHDI diesel option, with either a manual or automatic option.
The 308 will get electrified versions too - a pair of plug-in hybrids, using the 1.6-litre turbo PureTech four-cylinder petrol engine, combined with and 81kW electric motor and a 12.4kWh battery.
Plug-in hybrid versions
There's a range-topping 225hp version, with CO2 emissions of 26g/km, and an electric range of 59km, and a more affordable 180hp version, with CO2 emissions of 25g/km and an electric range of 60km. The PHEV versions of the 308 will have an optional 7.4kW charging system which will allow them to be fully charged in just under two hours (or just under four hours with the standard 3.7kW charging system).
Peugeot says that its aim has been to equalise the total costs of ownership between the standard petrol and diesel 308s, and the more expensive (in terms of list price) plug-in hybrid variants. It will offer PHEV buyers membership of the Peugeot Easy-Charge system which will include access to 220,000 public charging points across Europe. The PHEV 308s' batteries will be warrantied for eight years of 160,000km.
Style-wise, the 308 gets the deep, concave grille, slim headlights, and 'fang' LED daytime running lights from the recently-facelifted 3008 and 5008 crossovers. Around the back, the slim-fit brake lights, with a connecting light bar running between them across the boot lid, ape those of the 208. The new 308 is the first Peugeot to come with the brand's redesigned 'coat of arms' badge, set into the centre of the grille. That's more than just a styling affectation - the larger, flatter badge means that the radar unit for the active cruise control can now sit behind it.
Alloy wheel options run to 18 inches, while the new 308 will be available in seven paint options: Olivine Green, Vertigo Blue, Elixir Red, Pearl White, Ice White, Artense Grey, Perla, and Nera Black.
More safety kit
Inside, the new 308 continues Peugeot's recently-founded tradition of having high-set instruments, and a small, low-set wheel. From Active-spec models and upwards, there's a fully-digital '3D' ten-inch screen for the instrument panel, while the central touchscreen is also ten inches across, and that's on all models. Peugeot says that it's moved to a 'high-vent' layout for the air conditioning system, which puts the screen at a better height. The screen now comes with two separate control areas, aside from the main screen. At the bottom of the console, there is the physical 'hot key' button which allows you to switch on the rear demist, activate the hazard lights etc. Between those and the main screen, set at an angle, is a panel of "fully configurable virtual i-toggles" - a series of touchscreen buttons of which you can decide the layout and functions. The screen now includes wireless phone connectivity for Apple CarPlay and screen mirroring. There's over-the-air software updates, and also a 'Hello, Peugeot' digital voice assistant.
Down on the console between the seats, if you've gone for an automatic 308, there's a new toggle-type gear selector, as well as the driving mode button which will allow you to choose between Electric, Hybrid, Eco, Normal and Sport modes, depending upon which engine you've chosen.
On the safety front, there's a new Drive Assist 2.0 pack (which Peugeot says will become available towards the end of the year) which includes adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go function (if you've gone for the EAT8 automatic gearbox) and a lane keeping aid. There's also a new function, which suggests the best moments to change lanes to overtake slower moving traffic (sort of like a more intelligent version of blind spot monitoring), speed limit recommendation, and a system that adjusts the cruise control speed if a corner is coming up.
New for Peugeot, and a definite boon to safety in the winter, is a new electrically-heated windscreen.