We wouldn’t normally lead a new car story by talking about the badge, but it’s not often a car manufacturer updates their logo quite as significantly as Peugeot just has. The French manufacturer recently revealed the 11th update to the Lion emblem it’s used since 1850, rebooting a design that was first around in the 1960s.
The first car to wear the fresh badge is the all-new 308, to which Peugeot has affixed a particularly sizeable version. Granted, it’s probably no bigger than the old silver Lion logo, but the shield-backed logo does look rather conspicuous in this form. What’s arguably weirder is having the model name on the front of the car as well as the rear. In time, we’ll surely get used to it.
As for the car those badges are stuck to, it’s a handsome C-segment hatchback sitting on an updated version of the Stellantis ‘EMP2’ (Efficient Modular Platform) architecture used for the outgoing 308. It’s 11mm longer and has a 55mm stretched wheelbase, giving more room inside. Oddly though, the official luggage capacity figure has dropped relative to the old car from 470 to 412, but you do get a 28 litres compartment beneath the boot floor. Fold the rear seats down, and you have 1323 litres to play with, an improvement of 138 litres.
In terms of engines, there’s the choice of a 1.2-litre inline-three turbo petrol or a 1.5-litre ‘BlueHDI’ diesel each producing 128bhp, or one of two hybrids that each have an electric motor mounted their eight-speed automatic gearboxes. The Hybrid 180 gives you 178bhp and a 37-mile electric-only range, while the 225 is good for 222bhp and 38 miles. Don’t expect the latter to be a hot hatch, though - we don’t have performance figures yet, but since both plug-in models cart around 12.4kWh battery packs, they won’t be light.
Inside, Peugeot is persisting with its unusual ‘i-Cockpit’ layout, meaning there’s a tiny steering wheel sitting under a high-mounted 10-inch digital instrument cluster. Down slightly and to the side of that is a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It features six shortcut keys underneath (importantly, one for the climate controls), below which is a neat line of toggle-style physical buttons for things like the hazard lights and windscreen demist.
Safety systems (some standard, some optional) include 75-metre long-range blind-spot monitoring, a high-def 180-degree parking camera with its own cleaning nozzle, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. A Drive Assist pack joining the range later in the year will include a ‘semi-automatic lane change’ feature.
UK pricing and specs aren’t available just yet, but we’d bank on a starting point somewhere between £22,000 and £23,000. It’ll be available to order “later in the year,” Peugeot says, and produced in the company’s Mulhouse factory.