2015 Peugeot 308 Allure Touring review
Isaac Bober’s 2015 Peugeot 308 Allure Touring review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety, verdict and rating.
IN A NUTSHELL: The 308 might be a carry-over name but the car itself is all new and in Touring (read: Wagon) form it’s a ripper.
2015 Peugeot 308 Allure Touring
Price From $34,990 (+ORC) Warranty three years, 100,000km Safety 5 stars ANCAP Engine 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder Power/Torque 110kW/370Nm Transmission six-speed automatic Body 4585mm (L) 1863mm (W) 1472mm (H) Weight 1420kg Thirst 4.2L/100km (combined)
PEUGEOT HAS FOUND its form and this new 308, despite the carry-over moniker, is an absolute ripper which is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the best in the segment. Indeed, and whisper it, it might just be the best small wagon in the segment.
And I’m not alone in thinking that. Because when the new 308 reared its head back in 2014, the European Car of the Year judges were left speechless giving it the nod for that year’s car of the year trophy – it beat out 30 other eligible cars. And time has not dulled the thing’s appeal.
Arriving Down Under very late in 2014, demand for the 308 Touring exceeded demand here by a staggering 300%, proving that Australians do like station wagons (35% of sales were for the Touring), sorry, but Touring is a silly name.
Priced from just $34,990 (+ORC) the 308 Allure Touring, which we’re testing, launched here with just a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, but in May this year the range was bolstered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 110kW and 240Nm of torque.
Our test car was fitted with the 2.0L turbo-diesel four-cylinder which produces an identical-to-the-petrol-engine 110kW at 3750rpm and a beefy 370Nm of torque at 2000rpm. The engine is Euro6 compliant and is mated to a six-speed automatic which is nice and smooth and impossible to catch napping even when you go from a whiff of throttle to full size 12 buried in the carpet. Indeed, there are plenty of nine-speed transmissions that could learn a thing or two from the Pug.
Fuel consumption for our test 308 Allure Touring is a thrifty 4.2L/100km (combined) and in our week of driving around we managed a pretty close 4.5L/100km. CO2 emissions and keeping them under control while still maintaining power and torque, the bane of VW’s recent existence, are hybrid-beating at 111g/km while a 53 litre fuel tank ensure you’ll get more than 1000km out of a tank on a ‘long’ drive.
As far as the looks are concerned the 308 definitely has an air of a ‘take’ on the VW Golf, but there’s enough Frenchness and quality to the look of the thing to stand the two apart. Indeed, if I’m honest, I’d suggest the 308 is a more premium looking vehicle, both inside and out.
In the front seat, the dashboard is elegant looking and easy to use on the fly with all of the controls falling easily to hand and feeling good to touch. Indeed, just about every surface in the 308 is covered in quality soft-touch plastic that is easily the equal of anything from the VW Group. Although one frustration, initially anyway, is that you’ve got to use the touch screen and delve into the menu to turn on and adjust the climate control. By the end of the week my fingers were dancing their way around the menu with ease.
Another frustration, for me, was the smaller diameter steering wheel. It sits low, and despite offering reach and rake adjustment, can’t be raised high enough for taller drivers which besides feeling like the wheel is sitting in your lap (in the same way it does on a Ford Falcon) the smaller wheel obscures the instrument binnacle meaning you have to physically lift yourself up to see things like the speed. It’s worth mentioning that my wife who is slightly shorter than me didn’t have the same problems, so…
The seats are nice and comfortable and there’s good vision right around the car. Over in the back I managed to fit a booster and a childseat without problem, and both kids had plenty of legroom. With the kid’s seats out and me in the back and sitting behind the driver’s seat with it set to suit me I found legroom, head and shoulder room in the back to be okay.
The 308 Allure Touring measures 4585mm long, 1863mm (excluding the mirrors) wide, and 1472mm tall, with a wheelbase measuring 2730mm. So, it’s a compact car but from inside you wouldn’t know that with the Touring (read: Station Wagon) feels roomy and with the boot offering 625 litres there’s plenty of storage space. The back seats can be folded almost entirely flat from the back via switches on either side of the boot; boot space grows to a cavernous 1740 litres. There’s a space saver spare.
On the road, the Peugeot 308 Touring impresses with its compliance and ability to shake off those where-did-that-come-from potholes. Indeed, the 308’s handling success is down to Peugeot redesigning the rear suspension which is a torsion beam suspended via trailing arms; location points keep the rear wheels from thumping up and down in a straight line, which allows for the more comfortable and quieter ride.
The 308 Allure Touring isn’t a hot hatch but it can be driven with reasonable verve. But you have to get comfortable with it, because if you go in search of apexes you’ll have to push through a patch of sloppiness; most people will likely back off at that point. Push through it, though, and the 308 will settle without rolling over too much and while it will understeer it’s on par with its key rivals.
The steering is okay. The small wheel and almost zero weight makes manoeuvring around town or into tight parking spaces a doddle, thanks to speed of the steering rack, but as the speed increases the weight builds. A lot. Should you stick within seven-tenths you’ll come away thinking it’s the most comfortable, easy to drive small family car on the market. And that’s probably enough for about 99.9% of the people who’d buy the 308. It would be for me.
As mentioned, the 308 Allure Touring is priced from $34,990 (+ORC) and for that money it’s incredibly well equipped. It comes standard with a reversing camera, front and rear sensors, one touch up and down windows, 9.7-inch colour touchscreen, 6.9GB built-in jukebox, CD player (remember them?) Bluetooth and two USB ports, dual-zone climate control, sat nav, air-conditioned glovebox, odour reducing charcoal, and pollen, filter, and more. Leather is a cost-option.
In terms of safety, the 308 achieved a five-star ANCAP rating, or 35.82 out of 37 back in October 2014. It gets driver and passenger airbags, front side airbags, and full length curtain airbags, stability and traction controls, tyre pressure monitoring, automatic locking, reversing camera, remote central locking, door ajar warning and more.