2017 Peugeot 308 Active long-term review one - introduction

$14,520 $17,270 Dealer
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We say bonjour to our latest long-term test car, the 2017 Peugeot 308 Active. It's the base model in the range, but fights against mid-range models from competitor brands.
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The 2017 Peugeot 308 range has been made simpler, and we’ve decided to get our hands on the new entry-level version of the French hatchback.

The 2017 Peugeot 308 Active may not be priced like a base model car compared to its sharply-positioned mainstream competitors – because $27,990 plus on-road costs is hardly a budget small car.

Thankfully, the 2017 model update has added some better equipment, with the Active variant scoring a rear-view camera and satellite navigation, all powered by the brand’s 9.7-inch touchscreen unit, which also acts as a display for its fuel consumption. And, the car’s dual-zone climate control is also run through the screen: that’s right, there are no simple manual knobs or switches to adjust the air. We’ll run over how annoying that is when we assess the car’s infotainment system in update two.

After we look at the screen we’ll take a deeper dive into the interior pros and cons, then we’ll give you the rundown on the way it drives around town, and how it copes with country road driving.

But so you’re in the know, this version of the Peugeot 308 is powered by the French company’s pushy little 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, and is available solely with a six-speed automatic gearbox that propels it via the front wheels.

The engine pumps out 96kW of power at 5500rpm and 230Nm of torque at 1750rpm – enough for it to zip from 0-100km/h in a rumbly 9.1 seconds. Peugeot claims it sips a miserly 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres, and that’s partly thanks to its fuel-saving stop-start system. It needs 95RON premium unleaded, though.

Other specification highlights for this model include 16-inch alloy wheels with tyre pressure monitoring, auto on/off halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, front fog lamps, auto wipers,

The interior trim is cloth all-around and there’s no electric seat adjustment or seat heating in this specification, but there’s a leather-wrapped (miniature!) steering wheel.

There’s the requisite Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and a USB and auxiliary input, but there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity, nor is there a voice control system.

Along with the previously mentioned rear-view camera, the 308 Active comes with rear parking sensors. There is no autonomous emergency braking system, nor any other form of high-tech driver aids such as lane keeping or blind-spot monitoring. There are six airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain) and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

On first impressions the Peugeot 308 Active seems a bit overpriced. Indeed, you can get similar levels of equipment in a $23,000 Mazda 3 or Volkswagen Golf.

You’ll just have to stay tuned for our coming updates to see if it stacks up as a premium offering, then…

2017 Peugeot 308 Active

  • Price: from $27,990 plus on-road costs
  • Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol
  • Power: 96kW at 5500rpm
  • Torque: 230Nm at 1750rpm
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
  • Claimed fuel use: 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres
  • Weight: 1123 kilograms (tare mass)
  • Seating: five
  • Boot space: 425 litres
  • Country of origin: France

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