308 SW Allure 1.6 BlueHDi 120
it sometimes seems that
way, the whole world hasnt gone
Many motorists still favour, and
want to buy, estate cars and the
308 SW, which can be petrol or diesel
powered, is a strong contender...
BENEFITING FROM A RECENT MAKEOVER, the refreshed 308 is a well-fettled design
that's handsome enough to stay fresh-looking for some time. The most obvious
change for 2018-year models is their wider, new-look chequered-effect grille
flanked by cut-in projector headlight units with attractively sinuous daytime
running lights along their top edges where they're capped by the clamshell-style
A chrome-framed glasshouse sits above clean flanks interrupted only by multi-spoke
alloys, while the tail is defined by large attractive wraparound light units
that sit perfectly flush with the bodywork (tricky to engineer but well worth
Swing open the driver's door and you'll find that there's nothing understated
about the cabin either: it's smart, well laid out and well put together with
a welcoming quality ambiance and is totally up to date with Peugeot's i-Cockpit
the same head-up digital instrument panel trail-blazed by the award-winning
to the hi-tech theme is a 9.7-inch touchscreen and infotainment system that
includes Connected 3D navigation with TomTom live updates and voice recognition
for radio, navigation and telephony functions.
understated about the
cabin: its smart, well
laid out and well put
together with a
welcoming quality ambiance and is totally
up to date with Peugeots
i-Cockpit the same
instrument panel trail-
blazed by the award-
winning 3008 SUV...
Connected also provides really useful stuff like forecast weather information
along your route, nearby fuel stations and pricing, and local searches. Crucial
smartphone interfaces such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink are
all installed and waiting to serve you and your mobile.
Sports style front seats with elongated base cushions (for improved thigh and
knee comfort) and pronounced bolstering, particularly on the backrests, do exactly
what they look like they'll do offer good support while keeping you comfortably
Upholstered in leather-effect and cloth fabric with patterned 3D-feel textured
centre strips, they also provide good shoulder support; and the seatback angles
can be fine-tune easily courtesy of large knurled adjuster wheel knobs. The
driver and front passenger both benefit from adjustable seat height and lumbar
support, and wide, fabric-covered outer armrests.
Adding considerably to the cabin's already pleasant appeal is a full-length
panoramic fixed glass roof that floods the interior with natural light and makes
even gloomy winter days feel cheerful. A one-shot powered opaque sunblind filters
out 95% of natural light if the rays get too bright.
The large side windows add more light but, more importantly, provide fine visibility
in all directions; along with clear views down the bonnet, it makes the 308
an easy car to place on the road. And also to manoeuvre: part and parcel of
the heads-up instrument display is the smaller diameter steering wheel (it measures
a compact 351 x 329mm) that enables the i-Cockpit instrument panel to be seen
clearly over its upper rim. The satin black leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed,
multifunction wheel also makes for heightened steering responses plus
it feels good in your fists.
There are four easily seen dials: fuel and speed to the left; revs and temperature
to the right. Sitting between the larger inner ones is a multifunction diver's
information display showing key information such as digital speed readout, visual
navigational prompts, and core driving info.
is sparse because most everything is fingertip controlled via the infotainment
touchscreen, with shortcut keys either side for direct jumps into important
function menus such as the automatic 2-zone climate control which, incidentally,
is easy to adjust even on the move. The central touchscreen serves up crisp
graphics with 3D mapping and clear street names; the posted speed limit is shown
in the top left-hand corner where it's very easy for the driver to see.
because most everything
is fingertip controlled
via the infotainment touchscreen, with
shortcut keys either side
for direct jumps into
menus such as the
automatic 2-zone climate
incidentally, is easy to
adjust even on the
Allure spec may only represent the second rung (of four) on the 308 trim ladder
but that doesn't stop it coming well equipped with what are now considered the
In addition to classy touches like the i-Cockpit and panoramic glass roof you
get an easy drive-through electric parking brake with hill-hold, front and rear
parking sensors (plus a schematic overhead view on the screen), powerfolding
heated door mirrors (on demand and automatically on locking and leaving), auto
lights and wipes, cruise and speed limiter, tinted glass, four one-shot up/down
windows, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic drive-off door locking, a gear
shift indicator, and alloy wheels.
For a family-oriented car there's also a good tally of in-cabin storage including
a clever cupholder that flips over 90 degrees to convert into a deep storage
bin, a chilled glovebox, and a centre front armrest that slides and tilts with
a storage box beneath along with big sturdy door pockets.
Safety kit includes the expected items such as an electronic stability program
and plenty of airbags (adaptive front and side airbags, and front and rear curtain
bags), auto hazard activation on heavy braking, tyre pressure monitoring, and
a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating.
While the automotive world's diesel-fuelled civil war rages on, it's not a dilemma
for 308 customers because not only is there a choice of efficient petrol (Peugeot's
award-winning three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech) and diesel powerplants, but
the 88g/km 1.6 BlueHDi turbodiesel unit is clean enough for even save-our-planeteers
to drive with a clear conscience.
This past week we've been driving the 120bhp 1.6 BlueHDi turbodiesel around
the Garden of England (and not polluting it either thanks to its low 88g/km
emissions), criss-crossing Kent's wide selection of winding country lanes, quick
A-roads and the well-travelled motorway links to Gatwick and Brighton.
offer perfectly fine smooth-shifting autoboxes but we thought we'd take the
stick shift because so too will many buyers. It's a no-regret choice
as the six-speed manual 'box comes with a clean, accurate and effortless change
action that coupled with the torquey four-pot 1.6-litre diesel makes for stress-free
progress whether you're just pootling or have to be somewhere important at a
civil war rages on,
its not a dilemma for
308 customers because
not only is there
a choice of efficient
petrol (Peugeots award-
and diesel powerplants,
but the 88g/km
1.6 BlueHDi turbodiesel
unit is clean enough for
to drive with a clear
The 1.6-litre unit punches out 120bhp but being a diesel it's backed up by a
hefty wedge of torque. It's this 221lb ft that gives it its 'oomph' particularly
noticeable, and much appreciated, when speeding up to join fast-moving motorway
and dual carriageway traffic.
On other roads it's deceptively quick and moving through the gears is smooth.
The BlueHDI engine is also agreeably muted, noticeably so on motorways where
it just lopes along at low revs unnoticed by your passengers.
are justifiably sceptical about the lab-generated 'official' consumption figures;
however, those for the 1.6 BlueHDi (85.6mpg in the combined cycle) actually
look achievable or at the very least, approachable because without
even trying to 'stretch' our gallons to the max, we recorded a week's average
of 63.6mpg (historically, the best figure for real-world driving we've ever
recorded was 84mpg in a smaller model Peugeot).
And if our heavy-footed road-testers can do that, and with the fuel-saving Stop-Start
turned off rather than in its default 'on' setting, then Joe Public should crack
the 70mpg ceiling and perhaps go beyond. And 'they' wonder why so many
people bought, and are still buying, diesels. And, as mentioned earlier, the
dreaded CO2 emissions are well shy of the benchmark 100g/km marker which explains
that 'Blue' in the BlueHDi badging.
Estate cars sometimes ride best only when fully laden but the 308 rides well
all of the time driving solo or with five aboard with the 'comfort'
205/55 Michelin tyres playing their part. Handling is sure-footed and the compact
steering wheel makes for wieldy and sharp steering reactions, helping the 308
cleave through the twisties as well as guaranteeing hassle-free parking in tight
slots. The brakes too come in for praise; discs at every corner, they have a
nicely progressive action allied to a feelsome pedal a confidence-inspiring
combination that puts you at ease when the car is packed with peeps.
travelling in the back seats will find it easy both getting in and getting out
as the seat bases are a convenient height for the average adult body. Once there
they'll enjoy well padded seats, a wide drop-down central armrest with twin
cupholders, a fist of headroom along with relaxing backrest angles plus decent
legroom and plenty of space for their feet. As you'd hope to find in a family
car, there are deep magazine pouches and usable door bins to keep things tidy
and if you must take three in the back, three can be accommodated.
carrying children will be thankful for the Isofix child seat fittings (on both
outer seats) but also the remote driver-operated child door locks and visual
and audible seatbelt warnings not just as a reminder to belt-up, but
also because they alert the driver if a seat belt has been unfastened on the
sceptical about the lab-
figures; however, those
for the 1.6 BlueHDi
(85.6mpg in the
combined cycle) actually
look achievable or
at the very least,
without even trying to
stretch our gallons to
the max, we recorded a
weeks average of
buyers are likely to be using their boots on a regular basis so they'll be pleased
with what they find on lifting the tailgate of the 308 access is easy
with one of the lowest boot sills in its class (61cm; just above average knee
height), and even with four plus the driver aboard there's a generous 660 litres
for luggage and a festive season family shop (stacked to the roof it'll hold
more: 810 litres).
For cargo duties, just pull the release levers in the boot (so no time wasted
traipsing round to the rear side doors to lower the seats as you still must
on many other estates) and the 'Magic Flat' 60:40-split rear seatbacks will
spring forward unaided and self-fold flat giving you an impressive best-in-class
1,775-litre loadbay (1,515 loaded to the window line) with clean sides and a
That's a healthy amount of space, all fitted within the 308's urban-friendly
4.6-metre footprint more goods news with road-room at a premium. Handy
too is the ski-hatch as well as the retractable roller blind luggage cover that
can be stored in a custom slot under the boot floor when not required. For additional
cargo versatility and security on the move there's an optional (only £100) aluminium
boot rail system with adjustable tethering hooks. Towing's not a problem either;
the 1.6 is happy to haul a braked trailer of up to 1,300kg.
Good looking, family- and cargo-friendly, the 308 SW is the kind of estate car
that real-world drivers want. And with prices kicking-off at £19K, it's one
they can afford to buy and, with a genuine everyday 63+mpg, can also afford
to run! ~ MotorBar
Peugeot 308 SW Allure BlueHDi 120
Maximum speed: 121mph | 0-62mph: 10.1 seconds | Test Average: 63.6mpg
Power: 120bhp | Torque: 221lb ft | CO2: 88g/km