First drive: 2021 Peugeot 308 Hybrid 225 prototype review Car News

The current 308, which has just come out of production at the Peugeot plant in Sochaux in north-eastern France, will be remembered as a reasonably balanced compromise between driving pleasure and rational purchasing decision, associated with elegant design and true innovation.

Love it or hate it, Peugeot’s I-Cockpit, first introduced in 2012, with its steering wheel and instrument cluster significantly smaller than usual, designed to make maneuvering, a decent view, and easier entry and exit – with the not-insignificant downside being that you couldn’t always see the instruments.

The predecessor was voted Car of the Year in 2014, which seems quite a long time ago considering the next-gen car doesn’t arrive until November. Right now this new model is being finalized, so last week we took a first ride with a pre-production car in its new home, the Mulhouse plant, located less than a Sochaux time.

The new 308 is expected to be one of the main competitors in the conventional compact sedan segment and will come with a petrol or diesel engine, or as a plug-in hybrid. It is the PHEV that tops the launch lineup with 222 combined hp, of which 178 hp is supplied by the 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, and this is the first time that a PHEV has been is available for this model.

The 308 is based on a different platform than the 208 and 2008 which are both available as a pure battery electric version. Of the two platforms Peugeot uses for its passenger cars, the 308 sits on the larger. A purely electric battery-powered variant is being considered, but is unlikely to be available until 2023, like the mild hybrid version which is announced for the same year. “For the 308, PHEV was our priority,” explains Agnès Tesson-Faget, the brand’s product manager.

The exterior of the new 308 features a long bonnet and a vertical nose which now bears Peugeot’s ‘saber-tooth’ light signature, which, surrounded by a lot of black, looks quite aggressive. It is also the first Peugeot to wear the brand’s new lion logo, a black and chrome shield that recalls the shape of the Scuderia Ferrari crest.

Inside, it’s a pretty driver-centric environment. Adults can fit the rear reasonably well, but for families Peugeot has planned the SW version and should be due in early 2022. As with the recent 2008, Peugeot has added a three-dimensional element to this controversial dashboard, with different layers of information and focal points. I found the gauges of the first I-cockpits less fun and more readable.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-22 02:01:24

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