Yesterday, the 61 members of the European Car of the Year (COTY) jury, representing 23 countries of the continent, selected the new Peugeot 308 hatchback and station wagon from 39 candidates to join the list of 7 contenders for the final victory. This is the fifth time in 9 years that a Peugeot model has been among the finalists.
Its lineup of powertrains includes two plug-in hybrid (PHEV) options which give customers the power to choose between electrified and internal combustion engines (ICE). A full-electric engine will soon complete the range.
With no categories, no subdivisions, and classes, there is only one “COTY” winner, and the winner of the 2022 “COTY” award will be announced on February 28th in Geneva, Switzerland. With the new 308, Peugeot has joined the closed circle of finalists for the European “COTY” award for the fifth time since 2013. The 208 was chosen at the end of 2019 (winner in 2020), the 508 (hatchback and station wagon) at the end of 2018, then 3008 at the end of 2016 (winner in 2017), and the previous-generation 308 (hatchback and station wagon) at the end of 2013 (winner in 2014).
The “COTY” award is the most coveted in the automotive industry, its 61 jurors come from 23 European countries. Each of them chose their 7 finalists in an initial vote from a long list of 39 competitors. The list of the contenders and finalists can be found on the COTY website.
The new Peugeot 308 is revamping the C-segment segment. More than 24,000 customers had already placed orders in Europe by the end of October, 22% of which were for the PHEV version.
Peugeot’s design team really outdid themselves, incorporating the brand’s latest design language the new 308 has a low-slung sleek profile from the side. This is due to the design team actually lowering the roof height, less than an inch over the previous model. Along with aggressive-looking wheels and a 2-inch longer-wheelbase, the new 308 is one of the more stylish hatchbacks out there.
Upfront, the new 308 features the new Peugeot “fang” LED daytime running lights running vertically under the LED headlamps. The bold styling of the corporate grille features the all-new Peugeot brand lion logo and creates a much sportier performance-oriented look to the vehicle, compared to the 308 models in the past. The new lion badges also adorn the front fenders, similar to the four-leaf clover on the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio models.
The lion motif continues at the rear of the vehicle, with the brand’s signature “three claw” signature taillamp design. The vertical lines running across the hatch, make the hatchback look as if it is as wide as most large sedans. While angular dual rear exhaust bezels and rear back-up lights are carefully placed down low on the rear fascia.
Inside, we can see just how different the PSA-side of Stellantis is when compared to the FCA-side we have all come to love. The new 308 features a lot of angular shapes across the instrument panel, giving the vehicle a less refined take and more of a modern look. The brand’s familiar i-Cockpit design features a 10-inch digital instrumental cluster, something we are seeing as a trend across all of the Stellantis brands. On GT models, the screen can also have a 3D feature.
Located in the center of the dash is a large 10-inch infotainment system featuring configurable i-toggles next to the screen. Sorry, there is no Uconnect 5 infotainment here, but it does Peugeot’s new i-Connect infotainment software package allows for 8 different driver profiles and offers a wireless screen mirroring function. Like Uconnect, i-Connect allows for two smartphones to be paired to the system at once.
Seats can be equipped with Alcantara and embossed leather, depending on the trim. There are also available 10-way power seats for both the driver and passenger, as well as a multi-programable message feature (that right, no need to pay the big bucks on a Grand Cherokee L or Grand Wagoneer to get that feature here). GT models and up, also feature a new Air Quality System, that allows for air to be filtered as it enters the cabin and allows the 308 to give read-outs of the air quality on the touchscreen for its passengers.
Underpinning the all-new 308 is Stellantis’ Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2) platform. Its EMP2 platform also underpins the Citroën C5 Aircross, and DS7 Crossback and is capable of using gasoline, diesel, and electrified powertrains. This means that for the first time, the 308 will be available with plug-in hybrid options, two options to be exact. The plug-in hybrid models use a gasoline turbocharged four-cylinder internal combustion engine (ICE) with either 148 horsepower or 178 horsepower combined with a 109 horsepower (81 kW) mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Both systems use a 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack allowing the 308 Hybrid to travel up to 37 miles on electric power alone. The system can be charged with a 7.4kW charger in under two hours.
For those who are looking to be more conventual, there will be a 1.2-liter PureTech three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine offering either 108 horsepower or 128 horsepower. For those who want diesel power, there is a 1.5-liter BlueHDi four-cylinder with 128 horsepower. The higher-performance gas engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic, while the other powertrain options come with a 6-speed manual.
Instead of the common rotary-dial shifter we have become a custom to in several FCA-side vehicles, the 308 gets a push-button select for its transmission selections. A push to start button is located just in front of the transmission selector on the center console. A wireless phone charging pad, a 34-liter storage compartment, and a pair of USB sockets are all located on the center console as well. A leather-wrapped steering wheel featuring a flat-bottom and flat-top design is also equipped, giving a more performance-oriented look.
The new 308 comes available also with the latest safety and driving aids. These features include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Keep Assist, Semi-Automatic Lane Change, Curve Speed Adaptation, and Anticipated Speed Recommendation. There is also Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Blind-Spot Monitoring, 360-Degree Surround-View Parking Assistance, Reverse Camera with Cleaning Nozzle, Heated Steering Wheel, and Emergency Call Function (known as E-Call+).
The new 308 will be available in 7 exterior colors. Those colors include Olivine Green, Bianca White, Cumulus Grey, Nera Black, Pearlescent White, Vertigo Blue, and Elixir Red.
Stellantis has confirmed it has no intentions to bring the Peugeot brand to the competitive United States and Canadian marketplace. Instead, it will focus its efforts and resources on the FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands. For those who live in Mexico on the other hand, the 308 will be making its way into the lineup there.
2021 Peugeot 308 Image Gallery: