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Could the 2023 Peugeot 308 hit $40,000? Initial details for Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic rival to get plug-in hybrid version but pricing and more details under wraps for now

The 308 will be offered as a petrol and plug-in hybrid version in Australia.

Peugeot is gearing up to finally launch its 308 small car range in Australia, but a big question mark hangs over the price.

The French brand’s local importer says it won’t reveal full pricing and specification until just before the initial launch.

That launch is now locked in for the fourth quarter of this year for most variants, while the newly confirmed plug-in hybrid version will go on sale sometime next year.

Peugeot has been without a small hatch and wagon offering in Australia since the start of last year when stock of the previous-generation 308 dried up. The new-gen version was revealed in March 2021.

Initially Peugeot will offer the hatchback in two flavours, GT and GT Premium, while the wagon will be exclusively available in GT Premium guise. Buyers after the eco-friendly PHEV can opt for the GT Sport Plug-In Hybrid hatch from 2023.

While pricing is unclear, it’s all but certain to get a bump up from the old model. When it was last on sale in early 2021, the 308 GT hatch was priced at $34,990 before on-road costs.

There is every likelihood that the new-gen GT hatch will start from around $40,000 before on-road costs, pushing it up into premium territory. If this comes to pass, the PHEV could well start from north of $50,000.

In terms of rivals, the Volkswagen Golf hatch starts from $34,690 before on-road costs, while the Honda Civic VTi-LX is priced at $47,200.

Depending on where the 308 ends up on the pricing scale, it could nudge the likes of the Audi A3 (from $49,400), BMW 1 Series (from $48,900) and Mercedes-Benz A-Class ($49,890).

The non-PHEV versions will be powered by a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine delivering 96kW/230Nm driving the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Powering the PHEV will be a 132kW 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit paired with an 81kW electric motor for a combined output of 165kW/360Nm, matched with an eight-speed auto. It is expected to offer up to 60km of electric-only driving range.

Peugeot recently upped its green model quota with the addition of plug-in versions of the 3008 medium SUV and 508 medium liftback.

The new 308 will usher in Peugeot’s new logo and the latest version of the French carmaker’s i-Cockpit interior concept.

More details will be released later this year.