A luxury European 7-seat wagon for under $35,000 seems hard to believe but Peugeot has done it with the good-looking 308 Touring. Typically stylish, typically glamorous inside, the Peugeot 308 Touring exudes smart design wherever you look.
So, for family buyers who may have thought a Euro 7-seater was beyond their budget – Peugeot’s got an idea.
Peugeot 308 Overview
The Peugeot 308 is another example of the great new products emanating from the French manufacturer – remember the brilliant RCZ sports car and superb, all-new 508 mid-size sedan? Now with stylish good looks, nice to drive, a huge range of powerplants and sharp pricing…Peugeot is just as serious about selling its handy small car too.
Car Showroom has just spent a week in the wagon version – the Peugeot 308 Touring ‘Active’ model.
Apart from its undoubted ‘kerb appeal’, the Peugeot 308 Touring delivers a standout interior highlighted by three individual seats in the second row (unusual in this price range) which can be removed to max-out cargo space.
For buyers looking at 7-seat wagons, the Peugeot 308 Touring really does have a lot to offer.
Peugeot 308 Engine
Peugeot offers the 308 with naturally-aspirated 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines, a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre diesel, a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and – as tested – a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol.
Euro5 compliant and running direct injection, the 1.6-litre delivers a handy 115kW of power at 6000rpm and peak torque of 240Nm from 1400rpm. Driving through a six-speed automatic transmission, the Peugeot 308 Touring accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 9.7 seconds.
Fuel consumption is impressive at 7.6l/100kms and exhaust C02 emissions are rated at 175g/km.
Peugeot 308 The Interior
It would be stretching things to say the smell of strong coffee and fresh bread hits you as soon as you climb into the Peugeot 508, but the French style is immediately evident. It’s the materials, design of the instruments and their stylish trim accents, steering wheel design and lots of details which make Peugeots distinctive from the German rivals.
Also distinctive in this league of 7-seaters is the three individual second row seats. A very clever design from Peugeot which sees the three individual seats able to recline, interchange or be removed completely for load-carrying versatility.
The third row comprises two individual folding seats which can also be removed.
Like rivals in this league, the third row in the Peugeot 308 Touring is best kept for youngsters.
Up front are height adjustable seats for driver and passenger and with lumbar support for the driver, combining with rake/reach adjustment for the usual Peugeot high-standard steering wheel, a good driving position is assured.
Instrumentation is the typically polished Peugeot design and we particularly liked the multi-information screen mounted high on the centre console with lots of info and stylish graphics. Audio is a six-speaker CD system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Like rivals, the Peugeot 308 Touring loses luggage space when all seven seats are used but otherwise has plenty of capacity – 2149-litres with seats removed or 674-litres when they’re in-place.
Peugeot 308 Exterior & Styling
It’s as simple as this: we can’t remember another sub-$35,000 car which turned heads like the Peugeot 308 Touring. The combination of that elegant, V-shaped nose with its massive, contemporary lights, the downward slope of the roofline and elegant wagon rear is a winner and stamps the 308 Touring with Peugeot style.
In fact Peugeot introduced some subtle styling alterations just a few months ago as part of running updates for the 308. Just minor things like smaller air intakes at the front, including a new grille with (for the Touring) a lustrous black horizontal bar, those new lights with incorporated DRLs and a re-sculptured bonnet.
The overall proportions are just right and Peugeot’s French stylists have left their imprimaturs everywhere – even the satin chrome roof-rails have a stylish aero look and the massive panoramic glass roof lightens the whole package.
Peugeot 308 On The Road
A Saturday morning run to baseball with the Car Showroom juniors had the Peugeot 308 Touring in its element – seven people on-board (admittedly, five of them under nine!) and loaded with baseballs bags and bats. Otherwise our week with the Peugeot 308 Touring was the usual weekday commute and runs over our high-speed mountain roads test loop.
Very impressive in this time was the fuel gauge in the Peugeot 308 Touring – it was very slow moving despite the kilometers and full load of base ballers. Combined cycle fuel consumption for the Peugeot 308 Touring (Active spec, 1.6-litre petrol auto) is rated at 7.6l/100kms – eclipsing the Nissan Dualis+2’s 8.5l/100kms.
Around town the Peugeot 308 Touring was a pleasant performer. Refinement levels were good and the 1.6-litre turbo needed just a little tickling to accelerate with the pin-point accuracy needed to freeway merge during the ‘take-no-prisoners’ morning peak on Melbourne’s Monash Freeway.
And in the city the Peugeot 308 Touring’s combination of handy package size, good all-round visibility plus front/rear parking sensors meant parking was a snack.
Peugeot 308 Challenges
For chassis balance and driving dynamics, the $54,990 Peugeot RCZ stands out as one of the best sports cars we’ve driven in recent times. And in the same context, the Peugeot 508 GT sedan delivers high standard ride/handling.
And good as the Peugeot 308 Touring is, it doesn’t quite match its stablemates’ standards.
Ride is typical European ‘firmish’ (which is good) but in the steering department, we would prefer less assistance and a quicker ratio.
Peugeot 308 Verdict
We’re family guys here at Car Showroom so 7-seat wagons are right up our ally. Fact is the SUV-like 7-seaters are not everyone’s cup of tea and the Mazda CX-9 doesn’t really compete in this price range.
Where the Peugeot 308 Touring stands-out is style. A ‘Parisian Boulevard Cruiser’ may not conjure-up the appropriate image…but it’s the ‘French-ness’ of the 308 that is its point of difference.
And three individual second row seats is a layout one normally associates with more expensive cars.
So combine that up-market, European interior with a standout French exterior look and the Peugeot 308 Touring commands attention from anyone looking at 7-seat wagons.
Peugeot 308 The Competition
Nissan’s Dualis+2 TI is priced within $200 of the Peugeot 308 Touring. Both have nice luxury feels about their interiors (although the Peugeot’s three individual second row seats are impressive at this price) and perhaps surprisingly, the Peugeot 308’s 115kW/240Nm, 1.6-litre kicks the Dualis’ 102kW/198Nm 2.0-litre.
Kia Rondo is the 7-seat wagon price leader ($25,990 - $31,390). The Rondo is clever and practical inside, its 106kW/189Nm 2.0-litre competes with the others but clearly at this price it’s not quite in the Peugeot 308 Touring/Nissan Dualis+2 league for luxo inclusions or on-road refinement.