Following last month’s major leak, Peugeot has fully revealed its lightly updated 308, albeit for now we only have a single image of the five-door hatchback version. It’s perhaps one of the most discreet facelifts ever as only diehard fans of the lion badge will spot the changes. Some mild tweaks to the LED headlights have been applied, while the bonnet has been gently tweaked. The most obvious change would have to be the redesigned front bumper with revised apertures and modified fog lights, but that certainly won’t be enough to make you rush over to the local Peugeot dealer and place an order.
The PSA brand isn’t willing just yet to show the rear of its lightly updated 308, but it does say the taillights have been refreshed to better show off the three-claw motif. The aforementioned leak did include an image of the car’s posterior, with the rear lighting clusters featuring a somewhat new design.
As far as the interior cabin is concerned, the facelifted Peugeot 308 soldiers on with the first generation of the i-Cockpit, so it doesn’t have the high-tech dash of new-gen models like the 3008 crossover. It does include MirrorScreen technology though, which 'mirrors' a smartphone’s screen onto the infotainment’s display. The tweaked family hatch also gets a new version of sat nav with support for voice control and TomTom Traffic real time traffic monitoring service.
More important changes have occurred underneath the familiar skin where the 180-hp diesel version of the sportier 308 GT now features an eight-speed automatic transmission developed in collaboration with Aisin. Peugeot mentions the new gearbox provides the warm hatch with a slicker, smoother, and a more linear response than with the previous six-speed unit.
The 308 is Peugeot’s first car to boast a newly developed 1.5-litre 130-hp diesel four-cylinder engine featuring at-source and at-exhaust emission control. It also has a patented chamber design and a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) pollution control system to lower emissions.
On the petrol side, the three-cylinder unit in the 130-hp guise has also been subjected to a few tweaks meant to drive down fuel consumption and lower emissions. In addition, the engineers will link this PureTech 130 S&S engine to a new six-speed manual transmission.
The mid-cycle refresh is bringing more safety technology as the Peugeot 308 facelift is the first model from the recently enlarged PSA Group to feature cruise control incorporating a stop function exclusively on models equipped with an automatic gearbox. There are no less than eight latest-gen systems to help the driver, including Active Lane Departure Warning and Active Safety Brake.
As usual, Peugeot will sell the 308 in six trim levels: Access, Active, Allure, GT Line, GT, and the spicy GTi. All of them will come as standard with an LED light signature.
Gallery: 2018 Peugeot 308 facelift
New PEUGEOT 308, spirit of technology
In unveiling the new-generation PEUGEOT 308 today, PEUGEOT is writing the latest chapter in the long story of its best-selling model. Stand-out exterior styling features start with an assertive vertical grille proudly framing the famous Lion badge, a superbly sleek bonnet, and a LED light signature at all trim levels.
Inside, the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® boasts a capacitive touchscreen offering connected 3D satnav, new graphics, and optimally rapid access to functions. And the new PEUGEOT 308 brings in all the advanced driver assistance systems found on the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV.
For superlative road performance there’s a choice of up-to-the-minute powertrains, such as the brand new BlueHDi 130 S&S engine or, most uncommon in this vehicle segment, a new eight-speed automatic transmission coupled with the BlueHDi 180 S&S engine. With new pollution-control systems on petrol and diesel versions, PEUGEOT is anticipating on the introduction of the Euro 6.c standard.
Smart, sleek design
In both hatchback and station-wagon outlines, the PEUGEOT 308 is instantly impressive with its perfectly balanced proportions. Expressive design extends across all six trim versions: Access, Active, Allure, GT Line, GT and GTi. And if the car exudes a powerful sense of robustness and vigour, this owes much to a body design that deliberately fits closely with the underlying mechanics.
The sleek new bonnet caps the vertical grille, with central Lion badge and the PEUGEOT name sculpted into the upper trim. And the car has a real twinkle in its eye, with headlamp-integrated LEDs producing a distinctive front light signature. The muscular front bumper aptly suggests an impressive cornering capability, and its three generous lower apertures ensure effective engine cooling. Side recesses accommodate the foglamps. The rear lamps show a proud three-claw light signature night and day. And with its short front and rear overhangs the new PEUGEOT 308 keeps its reputation for excellent manoeuvrability.
Driver assistance systems and connectivity
Extended driver assistance on the new PEUGEOT 308 runs to eight latest-generation systems, including Active Safety Brake and Active Lane Departure Warning. And this is the first PSA group model to get cruise control including a stop function (with automatic transmission) or a 30 km/h function (with manual transmission).
For the utmost in parking convenience, the new PEUGEOT 308 uses Visiopark 1 with 180° rear camera and the Park Assist function, which measures the parking space available and actually steers the car in.
Addressing mounting demand for seamless in-car connection capabilities, the i-Cockpit® of the new PEUGEOT 308 includes the Mirror Screen, which duplicates the smartphone on the vehicle touchscreen. This is a triple-play system, compatible with Mirrorlink®, Android Auto® and Apple CarplayTM protocols. The rapid-response new 3D satnav system, with voice control, is connected to the TomTom® Traffic realtime traffic monitoring service, enabling motorists to optimize their journeys by factoring in actual traffic conditions.
Efficient new powertrains
The BlueHDi 180 S&S Diesel engine, exclusive to the new PEUGEOT 308 GT, is coupled through a new-generation EAT8 automatic transmission (developed with Japanese specialists Aisin), a new eight-speed unit featuring slick, smooth, linear response, plus Stop&Start capability from 20 km/h. This powerful and highly efficient powertrain procures a really sensational driving experience.
PEUGEOT is one of the first automakers to anticipate on introduction of the Euro 6.c standard, consistent with the PSA group’s advocacy of measures to ensure customers have access to independent, certified information on actual fuel consumption under real-life driving conditions. From September 2018, Real Driving Emissions (RDE) must not exceed 2.1 times the certification figures.
The new PEUGEOT 308 is powered by a choice of highly efficient petrol and Diesel engines offering an ideal compromise between high performance and low fuel consumption.
The three-cylinder petrol engine has undergone a major upgrade, with at-source and at-exhaust emission control for low real-life fuel consumption and even more efficient pollution reduction. High-precision injection control on the PureTech 130 S&S engine enhances combustion efficiency, and exhaust gases go through a catalytic converter then a passive-regeneration gasoline particle filter. A new six-speed manual gearbox reaps the maximum benefit of this high-performance engine.
The new PEUGEOT 308 is the first PSA group model to get the new BlueHDi 130 S&S Diesel engine, a four-cylinder unit that also implements at-source and at-exhaust emission control. Combustion efficiency is improved by a patented combustion chamber design, the efficacy of which was amply proven under competition conditions in the 24-hour Le Mans event. And further efficiency gains are afforded by the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) pollution control system, fitted as close as possible to the engine for the fastest possible post-treatment action.
The new PEUGEOT 308 and PEUGEOT 308 SW are made at the Sochaux plant in France.