Peugeot 308 e-HDi 112 Review

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Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308

Model/Engine size : Allure e-HDi 112

Fuel: Diesel

Fuel economy combined: 62.8 mpg

Green-Car-Guide rating: 7/10

The Peugeot 308 e-HDi 112 offers 62.8 mpg economy and emissions of 118 g/km CO
2
in a practical family hatchback package for less than £20,000.

The 308 e-HDi 112 comes with a 1.6-litre diesel engine and Peugeot’s e-HDi micro-hybrid technology, which is basically a stop/start system. It’s certainly effective at reducing emissions, by cutting the engine when at standstill, and it’s claimed to result in a 15% reduction in fuel consumption in urban traffic. The system also has the ability for the alternator to recover energy during deceleration, and a hybrid-style battery holds and then delivers the stored energy when required.

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Our test car was fitted with a six-speed manual transmission. This isn’t the most precise or slick-shifting gearbox, but we certainly prefer this to the alternative, Peugeot’s electronically-controlled manual gearbox (EGC), which can be very slow to change gear.

The overall outcome of this powertrain combination is a car that has both good performance and economy; we achieved an average of over 53 mpg during our time with the car, which, compared to the 62.8 mpg official figure, is impressive compared to the real-world fuel economy that we experience with many cars. At the same time there was always sufficient acceleration, helped by the torque of the diesel engine.

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One area where rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf and the new Ford Focus score more highly is in the area of overall refinement. More attention seems to be paid in such cars to NVH – noise, vibration and harshness; the 308 isn’t the most refined of the bunch either at start-up, in normal driving or on the motorway. This also applies to the 308’s ride, which certainly doesn’t offer a magic carpet sensation. There’s also an element of torque steer from the front-wheel drive chassis. However once you get going the 308 is good to drive and the handling provides a degree of fun, although the steering could be more precise. It’s efficient and has enough power on motorways, when it’s relatively quiet apart from some wind noise.

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Peugeot has made an effort with the overall interior environment, and once you’ve lived with the car, you’ll no doubt get used to the dashboard, but it has certain controls that aren’t particularly intuitive compared to rivals. This includes the central button on the stereo, which you’d expect to be the volume control, but which actually changes the radio station. Then there’s the other volume control and cruise control that are hidden behind the steering wheel so you can’t see them; controls on the front of the steering wheel would make more sense. And the seat heater control is on the outer front corner of the seat Ц perhaps this is a sensible place for it, but most other cars have such controls somewhere more obvious on the dashboard. And there’s the navigation system, which seems incapable of displaying a map without first having to enter a destination. Finally, the speedo dial markings aren’t particularly clear. So all in all, many minor controls seem to be rather quirky compared to the very sensible approach to interior design as displayed by the Germans. Other rivals also offer marginally more room in the rear and in the boot than the Peugeot.

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Our test car, in Allure trim, came with 18-inch alloy wheels, which certainly improves the look of the vehicle. The trim levels for the 308 range start with Access, then Active, Allure, and finally GT. There’s also a 98 g/km CO 2
Oxygo option, and an SR spec for fleets, both of which have trim levels similar to the Active spec. The whole range starts at £15,245 and rises to £21,645.

Options on our £19,565 test car included satnav at £735, and the urban pack, comprising of front and rear parking aid and folding door mirrors, costing £355.

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The 308 is also available with four other diesel engines and four petrol units, however the 112 bhp diesel in our test car gives one of the best combinations of performance and economy. The car’s running costs are likely to be low, and the whole package is likely to appeal to fleet buyers.

The 308 scores well for safety, but Peugeot hasn’t had a great reputation with reliability.

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Summary

The Peugeot 308 e-HDi 112 combines impressive economy and performance, and it’s good to drive. It looks reasonably attractive, especially with a decent set of alloy wheels. However there are a number of areas for improvement, and rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus do a better job of delivering an improved overall package of economy, performance, refinement and image.

The Peugeot 308 e-HDi 112 gets a Green-Car-Guide rating of 7 out of 10. It’s a good car but, unfortunately for the 308, some of the opposition is outstanding.

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Paul Clarke

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Fuel economy extra urban:70.6 mpg

Fuel economy urban:52.3 mpg

CO 2
emissions:118 g/km

Green rating:VED band C – First year £0

Weight:1320 Kg

Company car tax liability (2011/12):13%

Price:£19,565

Insurance group:15E

Power:112 bhp

Max speed:118 mph

0-62mph:11.4 seconds

DPF: Yes

Keywords: Peugeot 308 e-HDi 112 review, Peugeot 308 e-HDi 112 road test

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