Peugeot’s naming strategy has gone pretty much unchanged since it’s 301 was launched back in the 1930’s, quite simply the numbers are ordered in size (1 being the smallest…going up to 6, 7 or even 8), and the ‘0X’ going up each time the car was replaced, so the 301 was replaced by the 302 and so on. The numbers have generally corresponded across the line up to a point, so the current line up consists of the 208, 308, 508 etc, although the little 107 is due a replacement.
But with the replacement for the 308 family hatch, the French company has decided that the current numbers will stick, and so the ’08’ generation will be around for the foreseeable future. Is this a problem? Well certainly it is alot less confusing for buyers who may not grasp that there isn’t much difference size-wise between a 207 and 208, but the 308 being as underwhelming as it was, it seems a bit of an anti climax that the new models shares its name.
Pictures have only been released properly today, and early indications are good. The newest crop of Peugeots represent their desire to shift upmarket and as such styling is sleek and modern, not perfect by any means but a hell of a lot more sophisticated than the previous generation and more akin to the Golfs and Astras of the world.
Inside looks abit more controversial, with the button-free dash and teeny tiny steering wheel being similar to that of the 208. I actually think it looks nice, and the small steering wheel is supposed to make the car’s handling better (or at least feel so), but not having sat in a 208 let alone drive one I cannot comment on how this translates to real life. Given the attractive looks, the car’s success may well come down to how buyers take to the interior, but at least it looks cool and will come with PSA’s excellent diesel engines.
The new 308 should be in UK showrooms by early next year, and anyone who likes the look of the new car might do well to take a test drive of a 208 and see if they get on well with the steering wheel before it is launched.