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Peugeot 308 2019 review: Allure

EXPERT RATING
7.5
The Peugeot 308 Allure is the hatch for everybody who doesn't want the hatch that everybody else has. Here's why.

I get it. You don't want a small car that everybody else has, like a Toyota Corolla, a Hyundai i30 or a Kia Cerato. You want something that represents the quirky-cool you a bit better, am I right? That's why you're here snooping around this Peugeot 308 Allure review.

Yes, the Peugeot 308 Allure is a small hatch like the i30, Corolla and Cerato, but it's made in France and so it's nowhere near as common as those other cars.

Well not here anyway; in France they're everywhere, and if you want to be different there then you'd get an i30. There might be something in that...

Ah, mon ami, we're not in France, but France is here in the form of the 308 Allure. Our test car was the petrol version (you can also have it in diesel guise).

So what, if anything, makes it different from its Japanese and Korean rivals? Is just being French reason enough to get one? Is it more expensive than those rivals? What about warranty and servicing? And is it good to drive?

Peugeot 308 2019: Allure
Safety rating
Engine Type1.2L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency5.2L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$31,990

Is there anything interesting about its design?  7/10

Now we're getting back to the real reason you're thinking about the Peugeot 308, aren't we? Yep, part of the appeal of the Peugeot 308 Allure is its stylish design.

The 308 Allure has premium exterior looks with interesting design elements such as the head and taillight treatments, sporty front bumper and a pleasing side profile.

To me, the look is less impressive now than it was five years ago when the car made its debut. The 308 is beginning to look a little outdated and new arrivals such as the Kia Cerato, Mazda3, Hyundai i30 and Ford Focus have proven that the French aren't the only ones who can do stylish.

  • The Allure has chrome grille elements and a sports front bumper with square fog lights. The Allure has chrome grille elements and a sports front bumper with square fog lights.
  • The 308 is beginning to look a little outdated and new arrivals have proven that the French aren't the only ones who can do stylish. The 308 is beginning to look a little outdated and new arrivals have proven that the French aren't the only ones who can do stylish.

You can tell an Allure from an Active by its face. The Allure has chrome grille elements and a sports front bumper with square fog lights. The Allure also comes with 17-inch alloy wheels (the Active has 16-inch alloys) and the chrome trim around the side windows.

Inside, the 308 Allure holds up better to the ravages of time, with a minimalist design to the cabin. The use of dark materials and chrome-finish touches, along with concept car-like features such as the small steering wheel, a dash-integrated media screen and a high-placed instrument cluster enhance the futuristic appeal of the cabin.

As cool as the cabin is, I think the exterior looks now seem less impressive compared to newer rivals.

  • A dash-integrated media screen and a high-placed instrument cluster enhance the futuristic appeal of the cabin. A dash-integrated media screen and a high-placed instrument cluster enhance the futuristic appeal of the cabin.
  • Inside, the 308 Allure holds up better to the ravages of time, with a minimalist design to the cabin. Inside, the 308 Allure holds up better to the ravages of time, with a minimalist design to the cabin.
  • The use of dark materials and chrome-finish touches, enhance the appeal of the cabin. The use of dark materials and chrome-finish touches, enhance the appeal of the cabin.

The Peugeot 308 Allure's dimensions are a close match to other small hatches at 4253mm long, 2043mm wide and 1457mm tall.

The only non-cost colour is the one our test car wore - Bianca White. Gust Blue, Artense Grey and Perla Nera Black are $590, while Ultimate Red and Pearl White are both $1050.

How practical is the space inside?  7/10

Small hatches are popular first cars, last cars and everything-in-between cars, and there are big expectations for them be practical. But size will always limit space.

So, what's rear legroom like in the Peugeot 308? Tight. At 191cm tall I can't sit behind my driving position, which I can do in the Kia Cerato and the Ford Focus.

Headroom in the 308's second row is great thanks to the tall, flat roofline, and those rear windows are large, unlike some other small hatches which have coupe-like styling that ruins visibility - especially for children.

What is impressive is how big the Peugeot 308's boot is, with a cargo capacity of 435 litres. What is impressive is how big the Peugeot 308's boot is, with a cargo capacity of 435 litres.

Sitting up front there's plenty of headroom, as well as shoulder- and elbow-room, and and space in the footwell is good, too.

Cabin storage is disappointing compared to some rivals. Up front, there's a tiny centre console bin, a hidey-hole in front of the shifter housing a 12-volt outlet and a USB port, one cup holder, and adequate door bottle holders.

Rear passengers have two cup holders in the fold-down armrest, a pull-out drawer in the back of the centre console that also houses a USB port, seat-back map pockets, and small door-storage areas.

What is impressive is how big the Peugeot 308's boot is, with a cargo capacity of 435 litres.

So, what's rear legroom like in the Peugeot 308? Tight. So, what's rear legroom like in the Peugeot 308? Tight.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?  8/10

The 308 Allure has a list price of $35,857 and it sits above the entry grade Active in the range.

At the time we published this review Peugeot was doing a drive-away deal of $29,990, which is outstanding and was being offered until the end of June, 2019. If you're reading this after that date check then with the dealership or Peugeot's website – they may still have a good deal on.

Coming standard on the 308 Allure is a stack of features including a 9.7-inch touch screen with sat nav and a reversing camera, a CD player, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 308 Allure comes with 17-inch alloy wheels. The 308 Allure comes with 17-inch alloy wheels.

There's also front and rear parking sensors, auto parking, a proximity key and an ignition button.

The Allure has Sports seats up front that you can option with leather upholstery, but the faux leather with Alcantara is standard and feels good. By stepping up to this grade you'll also get LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Is it good value? For $29,990 drive-away, it is great value, but for $35,857 plus on-roads it looks rather pricey.

To me, the look is less impressive now than it was five years ago when the car made its debut. To me, the look is less impressive now than it was five years ago when the car made its debut.

As a model comparison, you could get a Hyundai i30 Elite for $27,790, a Kia Cerato Sport Plus for $28,840, a Toyota Corolla ZR for $30,370 or a Golf 110TSI Comfortline for $30,190

What about more quirky-cool alternatives? Sure, if you're looking at the Peugeot 308 Allure, you should also check out the Renault Megane in the Zen grade for $27,990, the Skoda Rapid for $24,990 drive-away, and even the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Super for $29,900.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?  8/10

The 1.2-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder unit in the Peugeot 308 was crowned engine of the year for the fourth time running in 2018, drawing praise for its fuel efficiency and performance.

We'll get to the fuel economy below, but let's look at the output first. The 1.2-litre produces 96kW and 230Nm - which is impressive for such a small engine. Is it enough grunt? Yes, plenty. That said, 0-100km/h in 11 seconds isn't quick.

The 1.2-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder unit in the Peugeot 308 was crowned engine of the year for the fourth time running in 2018. The 1.2-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder unit in the Peugeot 308 was crowned engine of the year for the fourth time running in 2018.

The transmission in our test car was a six-speed automatic made by Aisin, which is also found in Mazdas and Toyotas.

The engine and transmission are individually great, but together don't seem to work as well as I'd expect. I'll explain in the driving section below, but basically I feel it's like taking Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Prince and expecting them to  perform perfectly together. OK, that's a bad example - that would be amazing. But you get what I mean.

How much fuel does it consume?  8/10

Peugeot says the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine in the 308 will only use 5.1L/100km when driven on a combination of open and urban roads, while around town during city driving you should see a mileage of 6.4L/100km.

My own testing saw a higher figure of 8.3L/100km. That consumption was measured at the fuel pump and came after mainly city testing.

The fuel tank capacity is 53 litres.

What's it like to drive?  7/10

This is a Peugeot and so you're in for a journey into the world of surprising design quirks, some which are truly good and others that are perplexing.

You'll begin this voyage of discovery the moment you take your seat behind the small, oddly shaped steering wheel, before noticing the the high-placed instrument cluster. You'll also notice that the tacho needle turns anti-clockwise as the revs increase - the opposite direction to most other cars.

In another different-to-most case is Peugeot calling that cluster a head-up display, even though its not the kind which is projected onto the windscreen. That's not an issue. What is an issue is how the steering wheel obscures the digital display and part of the tacho and speedo, when I'm in my driving position. See the images, I kid you not.

We haven't even started driving yet. But when you do, you'll notice how that steering wheel, while futuristic looking, doesn't exactly flow through your hands around corners. And in car parks or in any situation where you need to turn the wheel more than 90 degrees, the experience isn't as controlled and comfortable as you'd have with a regular circular wheel. It's form over function here, I'm afraid.

The Peugeot 308 Allure is the quirky-cool alternative to the types of small hatches everybody else seems to drive. The Peugeot 308 Allure is the quirky-cool alternative to the types of small hatches everybody else seems to drive.

The steering itself is great - accurate, well weighted and with good feedback - and this along with a comfortable ride and good handling for a small hatch ensure the driving experience is a mostly good one.

Mostly, because while the 1.2-litre engine has plenty of grunt and I've liked the Aisin six-speed auto in other vehicles I've tested, in the 308 the combination doesn't feel quite right.

In the Normal drive mode there's a lack of responsiveness with slow gear changes and turbo lag rearing its head frequently. Selecting Sport mode helps solve the issue, gear changes are quicker and those gears are held for longer, too.

For this reason, I spent most of my time in Sport mode - and that would also be another reason for my higher fuel consumption.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?  7/10

The Peugeot 308 was given a five-star ANCAP rating when it was tested in 2014. Safety benchmarks have moved, of course, but the 308 has been updated since then with advanced safety equipment such as AEB. There's also blind spot warning, lane keeping assistance and speed limit sign recognition.

A space-saver spare wheel is under the boot floor. A space-saver spare wheel is under the boot floor.

For child seats, you'll find two ISOFIX mounts and three top-tether mounts across the second row.

A space-saver spare wheel is under the boot floor.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?  8/10

The 308 Allure is covered by Peugeot's five-year unlimited-kilometre warranty. Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 15,000km and, according to the price calculator on Peugeot's website, you can expect to pay $391 for the first service, $625 for the second, then $463, $629 and $396.

The 308 Allure also comes standard with five-years' roadside assistance.

Pricing Guides

$36,490
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$26,990
Highest Price
$45,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Active 1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $26,990 2019 Peugeot 308 2019 Active Pricing and Specs
Allure 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $35,990 2019 Peugeot 308 2019 Allure Pricing and Specs
Allure 1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $31,990 2019 Peugeot 308 2019 Allure Pricing and Specs
ALLURE TOURING 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $27,990 2019 Peugeot 308 2019 ALLURE TOURING Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.5
Price and features8
Design7
Practicality7
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption8
Driving7
Safety7
Ownership8

“The Peugeot 308 Allure is the quirky-cool alternative to the types of small hatches everybody else seems to drive. The value is good at the drive-away price, but not at it's regular list price. Yes, there are some quirks, such as the small and weirdly shaped steering wheel, but over time these could become the things you love most about your 308.”

Would you pick a Peugeot 308 over a Volkswagen Golf? Tell us what you think in the comments below.