Peugeot has simplified its 308 range in Australia, so we got behind the wheel of the Allure hatch to see if the funky French city car is as fresh as ever.
TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR
The Allure sits in the middle of the Peugeot’s 308 range, bridging the gap between the flagship GTi, and above entry-level Active.
It can be equipped with either a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine producing 96kW and 230Nm, or a 110kW/370Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel – both engines send power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.
READ NEXT: 2016 Peugeot 308 Active Quick Review
Dual-zone climate control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors are standard in the Allure, along with a reversing camera displayed through a central 9.7-inch touchscreen which connects to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
Priced from $31,990, the Allure can be differentiated from the cheaper Active thanks to 17-inch alloy wheels (our test car was fitted with 18-inch optional rims), LED headlights, electronic parking brake, keyless entry and start, and the addition of blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist as well as a self-parking system.
Peugeot offers a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance guarantee as standard.
- Design: The 3018 Allure follows Peugeot’s design-led mantra, with handsome exterior looks, and trendy interior styling. For those wanting to focus on looks over practicality, which some customers in this segment do, the 308 is an … alluring … choice.
- Engine: Our test car was fitted with the 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo, which is a peach to drive. While it doesn’t stand out on a spec sheet, the petrol engine offers a frugal 5.0L/100km claimed combined fuel efficiency, but has enough pep in its step to perform overtaking manoeuvres and merges with ease.
- Ride: While slightly on the firmer side of the equation, the 308 Allure’s ride blends the line between driver-focused stiffness, and everyday useability. Over rough potholes which patter Australian roads the 308 remains unfussed, without sacrificing dynamic ability. Opting for the standard 17-inch wheels will retain more of the ride’s plushness.
- Steering: Turning into a carpark can have you yearning for a twisty road with the 308 – which boasts an engaging and progressive steering calibration. This is a car which rewards the driver if they so wish.
- Lack of buttons: While having the infotainment system contain all your climate control, sat-nav, and music controls may play well in the showroom, it can get frustrating on the road. The volume dial and hazard lights buttons are the only physical tactile experiences in the cabin, which can make operating the infotainment of air-con difficult when driving. It looks schmick, but falls short practically.
- Storage: There is just a single central cup holder in the 308 Allure, and the door cards will struggle to swallow even medium-sized bottles.
- Off the line acceleration: In all other instances the six-speed automatic gearbox is well calibrated, but it struggles when accelerating from a standstill. There is a slight hesitation which gives the unit a dual-clutch feel, and can frustrate if attempting to accelerate with haste.
- Space: There is no doubt the 308’s main focus is the front two passengers. While the moon roof gives the cabin a light, airy feel, rear passengers are constrained by the physical dimensions. Adults or teenagers may find longer trips in the second-row uncomfortable.
ARE THERE ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?