After nearly all its rivals in the compact hatchback segment have been electrified, the Peugeot 308 is finally jumping on the hybrid bandwagon. The third-generation model is looking to make up for the lost time by being offered in not one, but two PHEV configurations, right from the get-go. Both come strictly with a front-wheel-drive layout, an eight-speed automatic transmission, an electric motor rated at 81 kilowatts, and a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 12.4 kWh.
The main difference between the two plug-in hybrids has to do with the gasoline engine, which develops either 150 hp (110 kW) or 180 hp (132 kW). The former enables the new Peugeot 308 Hybrid to offer a combined output of 180 hp while the latter ups the power ante to 225 hp. In both instances, the stylish hatchback offers a pure electric range of 60 kilometers (37 miles) according to the WLTP cycle.
Peugeot has developed its VW Golf competitor to support a charging power of 102 kW and to offer two types of on-board chargers, a standard 3.7 kW single-phase charger and an optional 7.4 kW single-phase charger. Using a wallbox and the optional charger, it’s going to take 1 hour and 55 minutes to fully recharge the battery, while a traditional socket with the standard charger will require 7 hours and 5 minutes for a complete recharge.
There’s more to the new 308 than its electrified powertrains as Peugeot will sell the swanky hatch with gasoline and diesel engines as well. We’re hearing through the grapevine a range-topping variant will follow, complete with nearly 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive thanks to an upgraded plug-in hybrid system already used in other Stellantis products sold in Europe.
The completely revamped design allows the Peugeot 308 to stand out in a crowded segment while offering high-end features varying from matrix LED headlights to a pair of 10-inch screens inside. There’s also a separate touch panel below with shortcuts to various often-used functions, including the climate settings. LED ambient lighting, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats, a wireless charging pad, interior air filter, a Focal sound system with 10 speakers, and a subwoofer round off the list of niceties.
The 308 ushers in Peugeot’s retro-flavored new lion badge and comes along with the model designation located just below the hood as a nod to the past. It’s 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) longer than its predecessor and the wheelbase has been stretched by 5.5 centimeters (2.16 inches) for additional rear legroom, while the roof has been lowered by 20 millimeters (0.78 inches) to enable a sleeker profile. The reshaped body has also paid dividends in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, now at 0.28.
The 2021 Peugeot 308 certainly has a lot going for it: attractive design, efficient plug-in hybrid powertrains, cutting-edge interior, and all the tech you could ever want from a C-segment hatchback. The only downside is the French brand has abandoned plans for a North American return for the time being, meaning the 308 won’t hit stateside anytime soon, if at all.
Meanwhile, Europe will get the car from the second half of 2021 shortly after it will enter production in France at Peugeot’s Mulhouse plant. The hatchback will be the first to hit the market, with a wagon likely arriving by the end of the year or early 2022.