The new five-door hatchback range came to the UK in January and it has grown to 28 models from under £15,000 to almost £24,500 using a wide variety of low emission petrol and diesel engines.
The selection of fuel saving models is backed up by sound financial packages which can put you in a new model on the road for a fixed monthly amount to which you just add fuel costs. It has been a remarkably successful incentive for Peugeot.
Peugeot 300 series has always been very popular with fleet owners and drivers and the 308 Feline e-HDI 115 tested is the backbone of the business market.
The simple, straightforward 4cyl 1.5 litre engine is not brisk from standstill but with the six-speed manual gearbox it has a good spread of ratios for mid-range overtaking and urban situations with a long-legged ability on motorways. This can push up the economy very easily and without much effort from the driver and in mixed conditions we averaged close to 48mpg, a long way from the ‘official’ 74.3mpg, but still good.
The light throttle contrasted with a long-throw clutch but the well defined direct gearchange was matched with a responsive, tight steering system and easy but effective brakes underfoot.
Secondary controls were neatly laid out around the small wheel and Peugeot’s clean-look fascia has minimised buttons with many features operated though the near 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display. It can however be fiddly to reset functions on the move through this interface and I would advise setting them up when stationary and making only the really necessary changes to reduce the time you are looking at the screen and not the road ahead. Instruments are contained in a high set binnacle and easy to read immediately infront of the driver.
Heating and ventilation worked well to keep the cabin cosy and cool with good output, directional control and temperature selection. Feline gets a massive glass sunroof and tinted rear side windows for convenience and comfort.
Oddments room is very good with plenty of places to store things in the front or back and the boot capacity rises from a useful 470 litres to 1309 litres maximum with a low lip to the big fifth door opening.
Access for driver and passengers is very good and the seats are big, comfortable and deeply shaped to locate occupants with the front pair having a wide range of adjustment as well. Room in the back is good for a family car and headroom is clear throughout.
The Peugeot 308 Feline 115 rode very well over any surface even if you could hear the road rumbling beneath the 18-inch alloys and which was the only real source of incoming noise, the powertrain and wind generated sounds were low.
Visibility was clear all round, better than many of the new crossover type family cars with their high tails, and wipers and lights worked well.
You could precisely place the Peugeot 308 on the road with effortless and accurate steering, good grip and safe predictable handling. It did soak up most road shocks without complaint and overall it had a smooth but not wallowing ride.
Even when stationary, the Peugeot 308 was a delight to be in thanks to its very simple, purposeful interior styling and trim. It prompted a number of passengers to comment on how up-market it looked.
That might also be part of the explanation for the new-found success as some buyers are trading down from larger and often better equipped cars but do not wish to sacrifice style or sophistication, and the Peugeot 308 Feline is a very refined car.
|Fast facts: Peugeot 308 Feline eHDI 115||Price: £21,745|
|Insurance group: 19E||Mechanical: 115bhp 4cyl turbo-diesel, 6sp|
|Max speed: 118mph||0-62mph: 11.9s|
|Combined mpg: 47.8mpg||CO2 emissions: 100gkm|
|BIK rating: 13%||Warranty: 3yrs/ Unlimited mileage|