Despite the proliferation of the SUV, European manufacturers continue to invest in the development of small wagons.
When it arrives, the 308 SW compete directly with the Volkswagen Golf Mark 8 wagon in a dwindling marketplace of small wagons.
The new 308 SW shares its EMP2 platform with the outgoing car. However, like in the hatch, the platform has undergone a suite of changes to improve chassis stiffness and NVH suppression.
The new 308 already promises much more space than the old car. In hatch form, the 308 has stretched 110mm in length to 4,367mm. However, the 308 SW takes this to the next level, measuring 4,640mm long with a 2,730mm wheelbase and a whopping 608L boot. That generous size means that the new 308 SW will also vie with the Skoda Octavia for sales.
Like the new hatch, the 308 SW is heavily focused on improving efficiency with its slipperier shape. That means a canted-back windscreen and 20mm lower overall height than before. In addition, the front grille design is lifted from the 3008 SUV along with the Lion’s claw LED signatures.
As much as these changes help aerodynamics, they also make the 308 SW easy on the eye. The proportions of the wagon look especially good in photos, like a slightly shrunken 508 SW. That extra rear kick is particularly attractive – we can’t wait to see one in the flesh.
Like the exterior, the cabin changes mirror the hatch with a strong focus on technology. A 10-inch touchscreen features a new operating system influenced by slick smartphones. Across the range there is a 10-inch digital driver’s display set deep into the dash, too.
The design is typically Peugeot with the tiny, polygonal steering wheel designed to sit below the binnacle. Peugeot has emphasised its individual design language by creating a customisable digital interface for the climate control using what it calls ‘i-Toggles’.
Like Volkswagen did with the Mark 8 Golf Peugeot has ditched the gearstick for the new 308. This opens up storage space including a cleverly hidden wireless charging pad.
Peugeot offers several powertrains for the 308 globally, though it’s likely Australia will only have the option of the more powerful 1.2L turbo petrol three-cylinder found in the 2008 Allure and GT.
In the more powerful state of tune Peugeot claims 96kW of power and 230Nm of torque. The French marque offers the choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. In addition, Peugeot sells a detuned 81kW/210Nm version that is unlikely to be offered in Australia. Peugeot will also offer a 1.5L four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 96kW/300Nm.
Finally, Peugeot offers a pair of plug-in hybrid powertrains pitched as performance offerings. The most potent of which – the Hybrid 225 – makes 165kW and 360Nm, offers an electric-only range of around 59km and culls emissions to 26g/km of CO2. All Peugeot 308 SW variants will send power to the front wheels exclusively.
Peugeot has invested heavily in safety features for the new 308. Lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, AEB with pedestrian detection, and driver attention alert are standard globally.
Australian specification is likely to include an auto-cleaning rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse AEB and blindspot monitoring. A 360-degree monitor with front and rear parking sensors will likely be options.
An additional package – dubbed Drive-Assist 2.0 – adds lane-change suggestions, speed recommendations and the ability to judge the severity of bends and adjust the pace accordingly.
Peugeot will confirm the Australian specification closer to the launch of the new 308 range in the first half of next year.
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