Peugeot 308 VS BMW 1 Series: a surprise shock

Launched last year, the new Peugeot 308 is the latest successor to a line that was inaugurated 90 years ago, with the very first Peugeot 301 sold in 1932. But the most unique 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 upmarket strategy. Now mature, the 308 should stay the course, and return with the third generation. Seeing it today shows a compelling personality, with lines that are both impressive, seen for example in its front bumper, its muscular sides and its extended bonnet, but also subtle, as which is reflected in its tapered optics: c It is also the first Peugeot to feature the brand’s new logo.

The new Peugeot 308 makes an impression with its more aggressive appearance. For its part, the BMW 1 Series, despite its new, prettier front end, has more versatile styling.

For its part, this new generation of the BMW 1 Series, released in 2019, marks a real break with its predecessors: exiting the propulsion architecture that makes the particularity of this small Bavarian. From now on, place of profit: it actually adopts the platform of the Series 2 Active Tourer, and becomes front-wheel drive. This technical choice is also visible in its design: one can almost see its lines of a compact minivan, so its hood is short, its height is high and its waistline is pronounced. It thus promotes a full-purpose view, despite this new front end equipped with many seeds, as is now customary with BMW.

Practical aspects: two very different worlds

Inside, the two rivals are opposed in their universe: in the Peugeot 308, we enter a tidy cabin where technology is everywhere. Peugeot presents here the latest version of its famous i-Cockpit, which combines a 10-inch 3D digital instrument cluster placed in a high position with a small compact steering wheel, completed by a 10 -inch touch screen placed in the center of the impressive. dashboard: just below, it is joined by a second touch screen that offers five customizable shortcuts. The materials are smooth, although we can notice the presence of hard plastics in the lower part.

At 308, the atmosphere is modern, rewarding and technological.
At 308, the atmosphere is modern, rewarding and technological.
Despite the more careful materials, the spirit is more austere in the 1 Series.
Despite the more careful materials, the spirit is more austere in the 1 Series.

Diametrically opposed, the BMW 1 Series has a more classic interior, offering a sharp presentation but more careful materials. The technology is there, with a floating touch screen in the center of the dashboard, as well as an instrument cluster with a digital screen, but the whole thing will not confuse fans of the Bavarian company. Those who resist all touch will be more appreciative of the physical air conditioning controls of the Series 1 of all, while the 308 is more of dematerialization … A matter of taste and character. On the other hand, we appreciate the presence of a real automatic transmission control lever in the BMW, easier to hold than the small push button in the Peugeot. The French, however, makes up for it with a smaller steering wheel, which is more pleasant to hold than its German counterpart.

Both models offer decent room in the back, with the 308's deeper bench seat.
Both models offer decent room in the back, with the 308’s deeper bench seat.
The central plaza of Series 1 is relatively narrow, with a prominent tunnel in the center
The central plaza of Series 1 is relatively narrow, with a prominent tunnel in the center

In both models, the habitability is correct and spacious for the segment, especially in the back seats that can comfortably accommodate two adults. Slight advantage of the Peugeot 308, with a more comfortable rear bench seat and front seats marked by AGR (a German organization for back health) that offer excellent support, while the BMW 1 Series suffers from harder seats, and above all a narrow central seat in the back, with the presence of a prominent central tunnel.

The trunk of the Peugeot 308 is more welcoming, with a capacity of 412 liters.
The trunk of the Peugeot 308 is more welcoming, with a capacity of 412 liters.
The BMW 1 Series has a volume of 380 liters.
The BMW 1 Series has a volume of 380 liters.

On the side of the trunk, the Series 1 offers a volume of 380 liters when the bench seat is in place, and once it is folded, this volume increases to 1,200 liters. In the 308, the boot is more generous with a capacity of 412 liters, which increases to 1,323 liters once the bench seat is folded down. BMW makes it with some small equipment that Peugeot does not offer, such as the 12 V socket in the trunk or the motorized tailgate (available as an option for €510).

Equipment: a good dose of technology

Our Peugeot 308 on test was based on a top-of-the-range “GT” finish, which offered a lot of standard equipment, including many technologies and driving assistance systems such as automatic braking emergency, front and rear parking assist, recovery. camera, Matrix LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and speed limiter, and blind spot monitoring. Of course, the dual-zone automatic air conditioning, keyless access and start, or even the induction charger for smartphones are standard, as is the 10-inch touchscreen multimedia system and the 10-inch 3D digital handset. .

The 308's 10-inch touch screen is supported by a second screen, with customizable shortcuts.
The 308’s 10-inch touch screen is supported by a second screen, with customizable shortcuts.
Series 1 offers a more classic 10.2-inch screen, but retains some useful physical controls such as air conditioning.
Series 1 offers a more classic 10.2-inch screen, but retains some useful physical controls such as air conditioning.

Our Series 1 model is slightly upscale “M Sport” finish, which offers a lot of standard equipment such as Park Assist, Full LED headlights, cruise control, the BMW Live Cockpit Navigation Pro multimedia system, automatic air conditioning or front and rear parking assistance. . But to get the specific equipment of the 308, you need to put your hand in your pocket and check the many options offered in the catalog, such as heated steering wheel (€210), dual-zone automatic air conditioning (€ 560). ), hands-free access and start (€560), Advanced Full LED headlights (€610), induction charger (€460) and active cruise control (€460). Very quickly, the addition will be salty!

The 308's 10-inch digital instrument cluster has a 3D display, and is fully customizable to the driver's preferences.
The 308’s 10-inch digital instrument cluster has a 3D display, and is fully customizable to the driver’s preferences.
The Series 1 has a more classic 10.2-inch digital handset, which changes appearance depending on the selected driving mode.
The Series 1 has a more classic 10.2-inch digital handset, which changes appearance depending on the selected driving mode.

Budget: better equipment/price ratio for the 308

For the 136 horsepower “118i” engine with DKG7 gearbox, the BMW 1 Series is offered with 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 130 horsepower PureTech engine with EAT8 gearbox is more accessible, with five trim levels at lower prices: Active Pack (€29,220), Allure (€31,220), Allure Pack (€32,020), GT (€34,020) and GT Pack (€35,620).

Finally, with emissions of 128 g and 138 g of CO2/km, count respectively a penalty of 50 € for the Peugeot 308, and 260 € for the BMW Series 1. Despite a more expensive price positioning , the Series 1 also has a higher expected rating than the 308, which makes it better reliable and a repair cost that should be lower than its German rival.

Comparative - Peugeot 308 VS BMW 1 Series: a surprise shock

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