The 308 makes a serious statement of intent. At first glance it screams at you. It says: “Think you know Peugeot? Think again.”
Aesthetically, it is a much sharper, sexier version of its predecessor, the 307.
And after driving the 308 for three months I am still struck by its looks.
Personally, I don’t think of it as handsome – the long, sharp bonnet, with its massive grille and badge, comes on a bit too strong for my liking.
However, there’s no doubting that this model is different and very distinctive. Whatever you feel about the 308, its sleek contours and wedge-like shape make it hard to forget.
Though unmoved by the loveliness of the car’s body I am completely smitten by our long-termer’s colour.
The babylon red hue is, in my view, a jaw-droppingly attractive shade, especially for an unpretentious family hatchback.
And the interior of our Sport-spec car is fantastic.
The more time I’ve spent in the car, the more I have grown attached to the driving environment.
At the end of a long journey, instead of unfolding myself like an arthritic spider and lurching away, massaging my lumbar in agony, I actually don’t want to get out.
The 308 is a seriously comfortable car to drive.
The seats are figure-hugging, well cushioned and very supportive. The dash looks sophisticated, with large, artful dials and displays. And the black upholstery is very trendy indeed.
The built-in satellite navigation system is great once it’s up and running but not the most user-friendly device.
Anyone as technologically challenged as myself might find it a bit of a struggle. With limited information in the user manual it took me a good 10 minutes to work out which dial navigated the menu and how to input destinations.
However, once I got used to it I was very impressed. The road layout is clearly and colourfully displayed on the large colour screen and very easy to follow.
For me, the only major cabin issue is visibility. It takes some getting used to, as the small rear windows and thick A-pillars restrict visibility, especially when approaching roundabouts and when you need to check your blind spot.
Coupled with the interior, the 308’s engine makes it a great hatchback to drive.
The 136bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine is quick and quiet. It’s also not too hard on the wallet, averaging 48mpg.
However, for me it really is what’s on the inside that counts. Undecided on the 308’s exterior, I have grown to love its performance and classy cabin space.