Peugeot 308 2019 Review: Allure

This is a Peugeot and so you're in for a journey into the world of surprising design quirks, some which are truly good and others that are perplexing.

You'll begin this voyage of discovery the moment you take your seat behind the small, oddly shaped steering wheel, before noticing the the high-placed instrument cluster. You'll also notice that the tacho needle turns anti-clockwise as the revs increase - the opposite direction to most other cars.

In another different-to-most case is Peugeot calling that cluster a head-up display, even though its not the kind which is projected onto the windscreen. That's not an issue. What is an issue is how the steering wheel obscures the digital display and part of the tacho and speedo, when I'm in my driving position. See the images, I kid you not.

We haven't even started driving yet. But when you do, you'll notice how that steering wheel, while futuristic looking, doesn't exactly flow through your hands around corners. And in car parks or in any situation where you need to turn the wheel more than 90 degrees, the experience isn't as controlled and comfortable as you'd have with a regular circular wheel. It's form over function here, I'm afraid.

The Peugeot 308 Allure is the quirky-cool alternative to the types of small hatches everybody else seems to drive. The Peugeot 308 Allure is the quirky-cool alternative to the types of small hatches everybody else seems to drive.

The steering itself is great - accurate, well weighted and with good feedback - and this along with a comfortable ride and good handling for a small hatch ensure the driving experience is a mostly good one.

Mostly, because while the 1.2-litre engine has plenty of grunt and I've liked the Aisin six-speed auto in other vehicles I've tested, in the 308 the combination doesn't feel quite right.

In the Normal drive mode there's a lack of responsiveness with slow gear changes and turbo lag rearing its head frequently. Selecting Sport mode helps solve the issue, gear changes are quicker and those gears are held for longer, too.

For this reason, I spent most of my time in Sport mode - and that would also be another reason for my higher fuel consumption.

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