Contrary to other French brands, Peugeot has followed a straight upward trajectory in recent years. The manufacturer integrated into the Stellantis group aligns the commercial successes – the small 208 was the best-selling model in Europe for several months at the beginning of the year while the SUV 3008 has become a real cash machine – and patiently nibbles the shares of market in Europe (6.5% in 2017, 6.8% in 2020).
Unlike other automobile companies, each new product of which is presented as an act of refoundation, the new 308 benefits from the dynamics of the previous generation, voted “European Car of the Year” in 2014 and distributed to 1.3 million units. However, it is part of a different register. No question of overplaying false modesty; according to its designers, this new generation must be able to measure up to « premiums » German Volkswagen Golf, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes Class A and Audi A1. Concretely, Peugeot intends to hoist on the European podium the 308 which, at the end of its career, occupied in recent months the seventh place on the market of compact sedans.
Aesthetically, Peugeot sends an unambiguous message. Extended by 11 cm but lowered by 2 cm, the 308 appears uninhibited with a significantly longer hood, like a BMW, slimmed down side pillars, a lower and larger grille. Sculpted with taut lines to “To gain presence”, it appears wider than it actually is and sports the brand’s new logo all the way to its sides. The SW version (station wagon), whose rear part was quite clumsy until then, benefits from this approach called “Hyper-expressiveness” by the brand’s designers. Choices which impose the same counterparts often criticized for German compacts, in particular an average roominess with a volume of trunk in slight decline, including for the station wagon.
The interior goes upmarket
The ground connections have been recalibrated in order to favor a softer comfort, even if it means frustrating the aesthetes attached to the “Touching the road” very sharp from the previous generation. The interior goes upmarket, adopts cutouts and neat materials as well as a central ten-inch touch screen, new driving aids and a complete infotainment system. For Peugeot, the priority was to design a car with an eye-catching style and sufficient “Rewarding” to attract a younger clientele than that of SUVs, attached to the values of dynamism and made up of two-thirds of beneficiaries of a company vehicle. “Sedan enthusiasts love beautiful cars and sometimes feel that brands are letting them down by making compromises. Peugeot offers them a model that they will not choose by default ”, assures Agnès Tesson-Faget, project manager 308.
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