Released last year, the new Peugeot 308 is the latest successor to a line launched 90 years ago, when the very first Peugeot 301 was launched in 1932. But the most striking model of this “3” series is undoubtedly the second generation Peugeot 308. launched in 2013: a real commercial success that we owe to its successful strategy in the luxury market. The now mature 308 was to remain the same and returned with the third generation. Its appearance now shows an assertive personality with imposing lines, such as can be found on its front bumper, its muscular sides and elongated bonnet, but also refined, as evidenced by its tapering optics: c This is also the first Peugeot to feature the brand’s new logo .
For its part, this new generation of the BMW 1 Series, launched in 2019, marks a real break with the previous ones: the rejection of the powertrain architecture that made this little Bavarian special. From now on, room for profitability: it really uses the Series 2 Active Tourer platform and goes front-wheel drive. This technical choice is also reflected in its design: you can almost see the lines of a compact minivan in its lines, such a short hood, high height and pronounced waist. As such, it looks pretty versatile, despite that new front end fitted with imposing beans, as is now the custom at BMW.
Practical aspects: two radically different universes
Inside, two rivals oppose their own universe: in the Peugeot 308 we find ourselves in a neat cabin where technology is ubiquitous. Peugeot is showcasing here the latest iteration of its famous i-Cockpit, which combines a 10-inch 3D digital instrument cluster located in the top position with a small, compact steering wheel complemented by a 10-inch touchscreen located in the center of an imposing instrument panel: just below it is accompanied by a second touch screen offering five customizable shortcuts. The materials are neat, even if you note the presence of hard plastic in the lower parts.
In contrast, the BMW 1 Series has a more classic interior that offers an austere appearance but more meticulous materials. The tech is there, with a floating touchscreen in the center of the dash, as well as a digital-screen instrument cluster, but it won’t disorient fans of the Bavarian firm. Those who resist being touched will appreciate the Series 1’s physical controls even more, while the 308 goes much further in dematerialization… A matter of taste and habit. On the other hand, we appreciate the presence of a real automatic transmission lever on a BMW, which is easier to operate than a tiny button on a Peugeot. The Frenchman, however, makes up for this with his small steering wheel, which is much nicer to drive than its German rival.
In both models, habitability is correct and spacious for the segment, especially in the rear seats, which can comfortably accommodate two adults. A slight advantage over the Peugeot 308 which has a more comfortable rear seat and AGR (German back health organization) branded front seats providing great support, while the BMW 1 Series suffers from stiffer seats and above all a narrower center seats. behind, with a prominent central tunnel.
On the trunk side, the Series 1 offers a volume of 380 liters when the bench seat is in place, and when it is folded down, this volume increases to 1200 liters. The 308 has a more spacious trunk: its volume is 412 liters, and with the bench seat folded down, it increases to 1323 liters. BMW makes up for this with some small equipment that Peugeot doesn’t have, such as a 12-volt outlet in the trunk or a power tailgate (available as an option for 510 euros).
Equipment: a good dose of technology
Our Peugeot 308 tested is based on the top-of-the-line “GT” trim, which offers a lot of standard equipment, including a host of driving assistance technologies and systems such as automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking assistance, and reverse. camera, matrix LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and speed limiter, as well as blind spot monitoring. Of course, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and start or even an induction smartphone charger are standard, as are a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 10-inch 3D digital phone.
Our Series 1 model is a fairly upscale ‘M Sport’ trim that offers a lot of standard equipment such as parking assist, full LED headlights, cruise control, BMW Live Cockpit Navigation Pro infotainment system, automatic air conditioning or front park assist. and behind. . But to get certain standard equipment in the 308, you’ll have to put your hand in your pocket and note the many options offered in the catalog, such as a heated steering wheel (210 euros), dual-zone automatic air conditioning (560 euros). ), hands-free access and start (560 euros), advanced full LED headlights (610 euros), induction charger (460 euros) and active cruise control (460 euros). Very quickly, the additive becomes quite salty!
Budget: Best price/equipment ratio for the 308.
Powered by a 136-horsepower “118i” engine with a DKG7 gearbox, the BMW 1 Series is available in five trim levels: 1 Series (€32,350), Business Design (€35,260), Sport Edition (€35,940), M Sport (€38,250) ). . €) and M Sport Pro (€43,000). Unsurprisingly, the Peugeot 308 with its 130-horsepower PureTech engine and EAT8 gearbox is more affordable, with five lower-priced trims: Active Pack (€29,220), Allure (€31,220), Allure (€32,020), GT (€32,020). 34,020) and GT Pack (€35,620).
Finally, at 128g and 138g CO2/km, consider respectively a fine of €50 for the Peugeot 308 and €260 for the BMW Series 1. Despite being more expensively priced, the Series 1 also has a higher expected rating than the 308, which offset its higher reliability and repair costs, which should be lower than those of its German competitor.