This is the new 2014 Peugeot 308. Big deal, I hear you cry. To be fair, I probably had the same reaction when I first saw the photos of the new generation 308 that will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. But then I looked at the photos again. And then I looked some more and then I thought, blimey, the new 308 looks a bit good.
But then it is the best part of 12 years since it was possible to get excited about Peugeot’s small hatchback. Since the demise of Pininfarina’s wonderful looking 306, Peugeot has produced a string of horror stories. If the 307 was a huge step backwards, the 308 represented Peugeot stepping backwards, tripping over its own feet and then falling over. Look at the photo of the existing 308 in the gallery and find a redeeming feature. To make it fair, I’ll give you ten minutes…
The kettle’s on…
Admittedly following the current 308 is hardly as tough as following Sir Alex Ferguson, but I do think the new car represents a monumental shift forward. To me, it’s like the 307 and 308 never happened. The new 308 looks like a natural progression from the 306. Well proportioned, elegant and without a massive gaping mouth at the front.
Naturally Peugeot is quick to outline the new 2014 Peugeot 308’s “stylish design, high-quality build and engaging driving dynamics”. But we’ll have to reserve judgement on this until we’ve seen it in Frankfurt and subsequently driven it in the UK next year. But reading between the overly-hyped lines of the press release you’ll find genuine reasons to be cheerful.
It’s 140kg lighter than the current model which should help it to feel spritelier on the road whilst helping to contribute to the 85g/km CO2 emissions of one model. It’s also shorter in length and height – hence the more attractive looking car you see before you. Better looking than the VW Golf GTi and Ford Focus? I think so, which is good because Peugeots simply have to look more appealing than their rivals – it’s part of the script.
And yet despite the smaller proportions, the boot is bigger – some 40 litres more than the 430 litres of the current car, so it’s unlikely that space in the cabin is going to compromised.
But all the technical waffle and What Car? kind of information is irrelevant to PetrolBlog readers. What matters is that this looks to be a genuinely good looking car. Loving the contoured bonnet, front headlights, LED rear lights and subtle roof spoiler. Who needs a 3-door when the 5-door looks this good?
I’m also liking the look of the minimalist and stylish interior. Peugeot calls it the ‘i-cockpit’, which sounds a bit like ‘i-poppycock’, but hey, it seems to work. Check out that traditional volume control button on the centre console – simple, traditional and user-friendly. Good work.
Rumour has it a 308 GTi is on the cards too. Sounds good, but if the GTi is delivered similar in style to the 208 GTi, could PetrolBlog put a request in for a 308 Rallye right here, right now please? Thank you.
New 2014 Peugeot 308 gallery: