Menu

Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Peugeot 308 hatch vs Honda Civic hatch


Honda's Euro-built Civic hatch takes on the Peugeot 308. Richard Blackburn separates two Continental rivals.

value

Peugeot 308 Active

$29,990 drive-away

Peugeot now has drive-away pricing and the 308's ask compares favourably with the Civic VTi-L, which is about $1200 dearer on the road. It can't match the Civic's reversing camera, rear sensors, folding mirrors or push-button start and there's no satnav. Capped price servicing is cheaper at $1335 over three years but there are three fewer services, with intervals at 12 months/15,000km.

Honda Civic VTi-L

$26,990 plus on-roads

It lacks leather trim and satnav but gets reversing camera as well as front and rear parking sensors. There are climate control, electric folding mirrors, push-button start, dusk-sensing headlights and auto-up function on all windows. Capped servicing is expensive at $1768 over three years, at six months/10,000km.

design

Peugeot 308 Active

The interior is simple and elegant; the Honda's is busy. The dash is clean and uncluttered and the dials are simple and easy to read. The centre touchscreen looks great but is a little fiddly and not as practical to operate as the Honda's knobs — even the air-con controls are linked to the screen menu. The front seats give good support, the leather-trimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel feels sporty and rear vision is better than the Honda.

Honda Civic VTi-L

The interior feels well put together but the dash is too busy — three different colour schemes vie for attention. The centre screen is functional and easy to navigate but looks plugged in rather than integrated. The ambient blue lighting in the doors lifts the appearance at night, though. The front seats are comfortable, with plenty of side support, while the seats fold two ways to fit high or long loads. A 12V plug and luggage net in the load area are among the deft touches.

technology

Peugeot 308 Active

Engine

The 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo loses out to the Honda on size and power (96kW v 104kW) but it feels much livelier thanks to a lot more torque (230Nm v 174Nm) on tap much lower in the rev range. An intuitive, quicker-shifting six-speed auto widens the performance gap while stop-start tech endows a fuel economy advantage, both in the claimed 5.1L/100km and in heavy traffic (we saw mid 9.0L). It's not all good news — the engine is coarse at low revs and the transmission can be a little jerky.

Honda Civic VTi-L

Engine

The 1.8-litre four-cylinder requires a lot of revs to get going and even then, it's not one of the stronger engines around. The five-speed automatic isn't state of the art either and doesn't shift as smartly as the class leaders. Official fuel consumption is good, at 6.6L/100km, but we used up to 12L in bumper to bumper-to-bumper city traffic. It takes premium unleaded.

safety

Peugeot 308 Active

Five stars from ANCAP (whose latest crash score is for the diesel, 35.82 out of 37). The lack of reversing camera is a major oversight but, as in the Honda, it has hazard light activation in an emergency stop and seat belt warnings for all five seats.

Honda Civic VTi-L

The Civic hatch scored five stars and 36.03/37 in ANCAP crash tests. It has six airbags and seat belt reminders for all five seats. The hazard lights activate after an emergency stop and there's a tyre pressure warning. It lacks the more sophisticated driver assistance tech.

driving

Peugeot 308 Active

The Peugeot feels poised, to a point. For the most part, it feels stable and composed through corners. Push harder, however, and the tail can wiggle a little. The steering also lacks the feel of the Honda but the ride is excellent. The 308 glides over smaller bumps and soaks up the bigger ones well, without getting too floaty.

Honda Civic VTi-L

The engine may be somewhat asthmatic but the little Honda is otherwise a sporty drive. Its steering feels sharper and more accurate than the Peugeot and it has plenty of grip in corners. When provoked, the nose pushes wide predictably and progressively when provoked. The ride is a bit busy around town due to the firmer suspension but it soaks up bigger bumps well.

Verdict

Peugeot 308 Active

Honda Civic VTi-L

It's neck and neck. The Peugeot has the edge in the style and power contest but the Honda just edges ahead on safety and driving dynamics.