back to article Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

Peugeot’s recent mid-sized hatchbacks have been a less than inspiring bunch. The 307 and the original 2007 model year 308 were dull, globulous mediocrities and not very well screwed together to boot. The all-new 308 however is a rather more interesting bag of bananas. Peugeot 308 e-THP 110 Peugeot's 308 e-THP 110: handsome …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bah Humbug

    I used to own a 1980's 2.2 Audi 100 that did 0-60 in under 9 seconds and average 42 enthusiastic miles per gallon; and I am willing to bet that if it hadnt been killed by an old fart, that it would still be going, unlike these micro engines that are too highly tuned and turbo'ed to last.


    (Plus it is French, they will probably not have any spares for it after next year).

    1. Vic

      Re: Bah Humbug

      Plus it is French, they will probably not have any spares for it after next year

      It's a Peugeot - they will have spares available for as long as there are vehicles in existence.

      They'll cost you a King's ransom[1], though...


      [1] Four litle plastic knobs for the heater controls in my old van was £40. Thieving bastards.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Bah Humbug


      The real difference for these engines shows around town. If you're continually thrashing this engine within an inch of its life it won't last long, but small engines mean lower consumption in traffic jams or stop/start traffic.

      Realistically most engines spend 99% of their life at 10% power or lower, so it's best to build for that size and boost when needed. A petrol engine is _only_ maximally efficient (around 35%) at near full load and wide open throttle. The rest of the time the efficiency is measured in single digit percentages. Diesels are just as bad.

      I am surprised this hasn't been married to a small electric drive. That's probably next year's iteration.

      As for french electrics: I feel the pain, however my Nissan Primera P12 T-spec (full of cables and devices with Renault labels and fussy things like Lidar with "made in france" labels) has been amazingly reliable in the electrics department - only a silly tail light connector design which lets water into the plug (corrosion) and is easily cured by cleaning, then packing it with Vaseline.

      1. Dave Horn

        Re: Bah Humbug

        "Diesels are just as bad."

        Since a diesel has no throttle your comparison isn't valid. The 2 litre lump in the Vauxhall Insignia (weighing, what, maybe twice as much?) can return upwards of 75 mpg when driven like a vicar and even bumbling around town has never gone below 50 mpg.

        Admittedly it may be killing us all with its dioxides, but it has a DPF that seems to work. Still think the best solution for the dinky petrol engines is in the hybrid design where their sole job is to generate electricity under perfect load conditions.

      2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: Bah Humbug

        "I am surprised this hasn't been married to a small electric drive. That's probably next year's iteration."

        Pneumatic, actually.

  2. John Tserkezis

    Meh. There is a serious shortcoming in the engine. It has four cylinders missing.

    Or maybe I've been spending too much time around race vehicles.

    1. handle

      4 + 3 =

      Your average race vehicle has 7 cylnders then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 4 + 3 =

        I know Volvo used to use a 5 cylinder engine for their sporty models (and the BTCC 850 estate?), but surely 7 cylinders would be a harmonic nightmare?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No you havn't but you have been smoking too much funny stuff, if you're claiming a minimum of 6 cylinders to negotiate Britain's ever more congested, pot holed roads,

  3. Grubby

    Ooh I'm looking for a new car

    And will continue that search...

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: Ooh I'm looking for a new car

      Boring looking thing, isn't it?

      1. Grubby

        Re: Ooh I'm looking for a new car

        It's just very meh. Out the corner of your eye you think ooh, looks a bit like a Mercedes A Class. Then you turn and look properly and go hmmm... it isn't. A bit like when you see someone stunning at a distance with the glare of the sun, then as she gets closer you see that while not ugly, she wasn't worth the watery sun burned eyeballs you endured to get a better look.

  4. Pen-y-gors

    Single point of failure

    Don't like the idea of controlling almost everything through a touchscreen - dangerous, as noted, but when one fuse goes you lose most of your gadgets in one go.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Don't like the idea of controlling almost everything through a touchscreen - dangerous, as noted, but when one fuse goes you lose most of your gadgets in one go.

    +1 on this. Was able to borrow a Vauxhall Ampera for a weekend recently. Has touch-sensitive controls which is just insane - you can't operate them driving along because your hand shakes as you go over bumps and end up pressing the wrong button. You can't even support your hand by resting a couple of fingers on the dash and then pressing the button you want as you'll trigger something else.

    1. Jim 59

      " to change the temperature or the fan settings, you need to bring up the relevant display and use the touch controls rather than just turn a big old knob from blue to red o"

      If that's true, I never want to see one of these driving behind me, or coming in the opposite direction.

  6. joed

    region content control

    for the poor schmucks stuck in the land of the "bigger is better".

    these spoilers depress us even more.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Cars pretty much all look the same nowadays (seemingly all being designed using the same CAD package), so I'm not sure why the author sees fit to praise this particular model's styling. It looks identical to an Audi A3 from the back, to me.

    1. hardboiledphil

      Re: Looks?

      Blame NCAP and EU safety rules... Cars have to pass the same safety tests and the design to get them to pass those tests invariably forces the designers to come up with the same solutions. More here:

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Progress vs ergonomics

    > You don’t need to take your eyes off the road to use knobs, you do to use a touch screen. Such is progress.

    That is not "progress". That is the designers sucking at ergonomics.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Progress vs ergonomics

      Though it might just help contribute to real-life justification of their NCAP rating.

  9. Rabbit80


    ..I'm going for the Focus. As noted in the article, its a better car to drive (which is what I do when in the car!)

  10. EvaQ


    "EU combined cycle fuel consumption of 61.4mpg"

    I would expect EU numbers to be in ISO, so 26.1 km/l, or 3.83 per 100 km

    1. Tapeador

      Re: 61.4mpg?

      Yeah those bastard EUROPEANS, they're stealing our pints and making us sell only cubic-shaped bananas, and next they're going to try to make us call our Queen "Ihre königliche Hoheit"! Over MY DEAD BODY! Vote UKIP if you want to ban foreign-ness forever!! Gertcha!!

  11. Carl W

    What makes it the e-THP?

    I was expecting something like some sort of electric motor assist, or an electric supercharger.

    1. Tapeador

      Re: What makes it the e-THP?

      Yes I think the "e" stands for economy (or 'économie').

      Or maybe it's like a homage to the Shamen or something. Or Yorkshire.

      1. HipposRule

        Re: What makes it the e-THP?

        THP is Turbo High Pressure apparently - I reckon you're right about the e.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What makes it the e-THP?

        > Yes I think the "e" stands for economy (or 'économie').

        Or "entretien" (maintenance).

    2. A Twig

      Re: What makes it the e-THP?

      The name comes from the noise you get when carrying a little too much speed into a corner on a greasy day combines with its traditional understeer...

      Eeeeee - THUMP...

  12. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Car reviews

    I understood the first couple car reviews because they had nifty neato keen new electronic gadgets in them, which this bunch would be interested in.

    However, it's now like a boring version of 5th gear.

    I'm concerned because I realized the end of Creative Computing was near when the founding editor reviewed his son's Bukka-Bukka Bath Toys. Seriously. They folded 3 issues later.

    If you're going to keep this up, at least review unusual non-mainstream things like electric motorcycles or something, instead of boring salad bowl turd-on-wheels commuter boxes. I have my Zero paired to my Android phone and I can tune the engine settings through an official app. *That's* the sort of thing I would think would interest folks around here.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Car reviews

      Did you miss the Caterham review from a couple of days ago?

    2. Vic

      Re: Car reviews

      If you're going to keep this up, at least review unusual non-mainstream things like electric motorcycles

      Yeah, this.

      And if you need a test rider - give me a call...


  13. stu 4


    What a horrible plasticky piece of crap.

    I run a 2001 4.4 v8 x5.

    It's got everything from double glazing, 12 airbags to TV and 300hp.

    It cost 70k fully specced up in 2001.

    But I bought it in 2006 for 15k.

    8 years later it's every bit the same as it was when it came off the production line.

    My depreciation costs are less in 8 years than nearly ANY new car you buy will be after a year.

    It does 25mpg. So the fuck what ? It doesn't go wrong. My COSTS are less than this thing would be per month.

    Now you may hate bmws, you may hate 4x4s. Hopefully you will however realise that is not the point....

    Even smart people who are aware of stuff like cost per mile, etc still seem to fixate on mpg.

    If you really want cheap transport :

    1. Don't buy new

    2. Don't buy new

    3. Don't buy new

    4. Buy a 5 year old luxury car. From the body work, interior fitting to the large low stressed engines they are run and run and run. BMW, merc, Porsche, top range Audi whatever...

    Oh...and finally I'd swear blind that by NOT causing another car to be manufactured my old x5 is a damn site greener than this thing too.

    1. Tapeador

      Re: Yuk

      Apparently the 2001 model got 17mpg (probably people driving it gently...).

      Buying pre-registered isn't a bad idea, I got my car half price that way but I was its first driver.

      1. stu 4

        Re: Yuk

        I get 17/18 on little 3 mile trips to the station and back, but on longer motorway driving 25 is the norm.

        But again, its an irrelevance unless looked at within the whole 'pence per mile' idea.

        I do 4k a year - so 4-500 quid difference a year between 25mpg vs 50.

        then factor in the fact my depreciation is about 1000 a year.

        that's 1500 quid a year without servicing, etc)

        your brand new pugget will have cost you 5-8k the first year alone. But... ooo you've saved 400 quid on fuel. yippee doo.

        1. HipposRule

          Re: Yuk

          @Stu4 If you're only doing 4k a year you'd be better off cycling to the station and hiring a car for the minimal mileage you'd put on.

          1. stu 4

            Re: Yuk

            I do. I cycle around 1000 miles a year.

            the cars for for grocery runs, long trips, etc, etc

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Yuk

      People don't hate BMWs, they just hate the idea of being seen as a BMW driver.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yuk

      Does it come with indicators because most of the f@ck nuggets driving BMWs on the M6 during my daily commute don't seem to have them?

      It can be the only reason for their inability to use them when wildly veering across 3 lanes to get where they want to be 15 seconds ahead of the pack!

      1. Alister

        Re: Yuk

        It can be the only reason for their inability to use them when wildly veering across 3 lanes to get where they want to be 15 seconds ahead of the pack!

        Maybe they're trying to set the temperature on their touch screens??

    4. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: Yuk

      @stu 4

      You've been lucky to own a >10 year old BMW without having your wallet emptied. Generally, the modern ones are just so darned fragile, especially in the electronics department. BMW's used to be finely-engineered brick outhouses, now they are finely-engineered delicate machines.

      Once some mysterious module fails, you're down the dealer with his computer to get the module correctly installed.

      Anyone remember 90's-00's Light Control Modules? Failed by leaving the headlights on (never buy a BMW with "blown headlight bulb") and cost £100 or so for a new one. But, you have to have the dealer do it, as the LCM also stores the current mileage, to prevent clocking.

      Then there's dash LCD's, variable valve assembly, the list goes on. I'm sure these are fixed now, but what new device exists to catch us out?

      1. stu 4

        Re: Yuk

        I dunno. maybe, but I have 2: my other one is a 2000 BMW M Roadster.

        And I've had no problems ever with that either.

        And even when the odd things goes wrong and needs fixing, its costing you less to service than the main dealer rates your paying for your brand new pugget tin can. So you can afford to have to replace the odd component and still come up tops.

        On the other hand the amount of things that have gone wrong with mates cars that always buy new is as long as my arms.

        Saying the above, having had both now for 10 years nearly, I'm ready for a change, and plan to punt em both in for an SLK 350 2005/6. Again - it'll be a 8/9 year old car, which was 40k new, but I can pick up for 12k. And I expect to get another 10 years of pretty much hassle free cheap motoring for less than the cost of a brand new piece of tin crap.

  14. John H Woods Silver badge

    I'm thinking of one of these as a company car ...

    ... but quite like the look of that Blue Diesel (88mpg) engine. I don't tend to fiddle with the controls very much when I'm driving, so the touch panel is less of an issue for me but it's still a disappointing direction for car interfaces. Can't they at least put ridges on the touch screens?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A heap of cr@p

    I've driven a variety of these new Peugeots over the last 6 months (including the 308), and they can be summarised as follows :

    (i) Well screwed together.

    (ii) an ergonomic nightmare (touchscreen & electronic handbrake).

    (iii) understeers like a wounded rhino (I'm pretty experienced at driving FWD cars quickly, and the Peugeot just would not grip, regardless of how I drove it).

    (iv) lots of torque at low revs which deceives the brain into thinking it's fast (it's not BTW).

    (v) Not that economical when driven in normal traffic

    (vi) The bits of the car that the driver doesn't touch/see feel a little cheap and plasticky.

    Why an electronic handbrake? It's the single most pointless 'improvement' on a car. All that it managed to do was to trip me up every time I was in stop start traffic, perhaps I'm unique in using the handbrake rather than just using the foot brake.

    The touchsceen is the work of Satan himself, unresponsive and fiddly. Try changing the temperature whilst driving down a typical UK A road, it's near impossible as your fingers bounce all over the display.

    Connecting my phone by Blutooth was hit and miss. I once spent 20 minutes of a journey attempting to connect my phone. I eventually stopped in a laybay and turned the ignitiion off and then back on again (I kid you not). It then connected straight away. I had to reboot the car to make the Blutooth sync work!

    I have no complaints about the cars performance, it's a small diesel engined FWD family car, it's no better or worse than other cars in it's calss in this respect.

    Finally, I can only assume that it's Peugeots turn to win car of the year, as from my experience the Hyundai i20 I used the previous week was better in almost every other aspect.

    1. Brenda McViking

      Re: A heap of cr@p


      The only thing worse than picking one of these Peugeots up at the corporate-hire-car-operator-du-jour is a Kia Carens. Give me a Hyundai over these any day. Or a Citroen DS5 - they're not that bad.

      The new 308 (and the old - this goes for the 508 and 5008 too) has absolutely no feel in any of the controls. Steering - might be connected to the wheels, but I can't tell. I don't know whether a curved slip road requires 5 degrees or almost full lock - and neither does the car from the feel of it.

      Brakes, might be connected to the wheels somehow - I honestly can't tell. I press it and something happens, but it doesn't seem to respond to how hard I push it or how quickly. Now Ford are guilty of the so-called "digital" braking system - i.e. "1" or "0" but this is too far the other way.

      The accelerator just is a squishy mess - It doesn't give any feedback, just makes more noise as you press into the sponge of a pedal - doesn't appear to actually control acceleration.

      But by far the most hideous aspect of these latest Peugeots are the automatic gearboxes - they have all the finesse of a learner driver with 45 minutes worth of experience, over-rev, jerky, or take 18 seconds to change - it seems to pick one of these options at random every time it wants to change gear. They also seem to have programmed gear changes to happen at bang on 30 or 40 mph. Which means it can never. make. up. its. mind.

      It is the most disconnected driving experience I have ever had, and I've driven several american cars which had an entire design team focussed on being as mushy as possible. This was worse. I think it is best described as driving a bus with the handling characteristics of a bouncy castle.

      I also had a HUD in the last one i was given, which was interesting for the first 5 minutes. I then realised that I still had to take my eyes off the road to read it - so it was no different to any other dashboard display.

      This car is perfect for those who cannot be bothered with any intellectual effort whilst driving; for the person who when asked what car they drive replies "a red one," and expects a nod of recognition for that as a legitimate answer.

      Plenty of them around though - I'm sure it will sell well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A heap of cr@p

        > The accelerator just is a squishy mess - It doesn't give any feedback, just makes more noise as you press into the sponge of a pedal - doesn't appear to actually control acceleration.

        You should take over the car review section here at El Reg. That was the best description of French motoring I've heard this side of Douglas Adams.


        « The police witness in court had referred to her beloved Citroën as "the alleged car" »

        « It negotiated the bends with considerable difficulty and the straight sections with only slightly less. »

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A heap of cr@p

      > I've driven a variety of these new Peugeots over the last 6 months (including the 308), and they can be summarised as follows :

      You could have summarised your summary by saying "it's a Peugeot". :-)

      I may take issue with your mention of an electric (rather than "electronic", although technically it's both) parking brake being "pointless". My (German, high-end) car has got those and they are great--essentially, you forget about it as it's completely automatic: it engages when you park, shut down the engine, or remove your seatbelt while stopped, and it disengages when you press the gas pedal (unless you forgot to put your seat belt on--you can still drive off if you insist, but need to release it by hand). Now, if you on this Frogmobile you still have to operate the parking brake manually then yes, I agree it's sort of pointless.

  16. Dave Robinson

    What's the fuss?

    My Fiesta gets 125BHP from a 999cc 3 cylinder. OK, so you have to take the 65.7mpg with a bucket of salt, but this Peugeot is hardly ground breaking.

  17. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Wake me up when it's less boring or does more mpg

    Given the choice of a Focus or this I would definitely go for the Focus.

    45mpg is not impressive, and matches up with the other small engined cars I've driven. Either buy something with decent performance and crap mpg, or excellent mpg and lacklustre performance. A middle of the road car is no use to anyone.

    A half decent diesel will do 45mpg when run ragged. Driven carefully it'll do 60+...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wake me up when it's less boring or does more mpg

      My 3-litre, automatic transmission, diesel car has delivered a measured 39.4 MPG over the past 2 years and it complies with all the latest regulations concerning emissions/particulates etc. Nuff said.

    2. Steven Jones

      Re: Wake me up when it's less boring or does more mpg

      My 5 year old 1.6 Focus diesel turbo still averages 53-54mpg, and only costs £30 per year to tax (as it just scraped under the relevant CO2 emission target at the time). From memory it had around 112bhp, but it seems to plenty for my purposes. I think it cost be just under £14K at the time. Yes, there are issues with diesel particulates (although it's got a particulate filter, so I don't know how much that helps).

      In all, it's not obvious that much progress has been made in the last 5 years.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My last-but-one French car, a 1.8 Xantia, managed over 40mpg and was sublimely comfortable.

    Reliable too (the wonderfully simple XUD had just been put out to pasture, but this was based on the proven TU engine series).

    Unfortunately I was put off a C5, had a bad experience with a 406 HDi, and have had enough horror stories from 307/407 drivers I know to put me off PSA products.

    Though comparisons to a Golf? My wife's car has a VW engine, and my co-worker has a Golf with the same engine, they've had issues with ignition coils. The TDis seem to chew through injectors.

    The Germans aren't as reliable as their marketing bumpf would have you believe.

    A Focus? Apart from a dislike for the fussy detailed turtle-shaped silhouette (they wont sell a saloon car in the UK), I regard Ford with disdain as an accountancy company that throws together vehicles as a sideline (bad experience of a mk5 Escort based Orion, and disgust at the Visteon pension scandal).

    So, if I was forced to buy a C segment car, what would it be?

    Undoubtedly I'd have a sniff around the gorgeous Mazda 3 saloon (A marque I've always admired from afar but never actually admittedly owned) or a peek at the Volvo V40 (a modern day Saab 900?).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Though comparisons to a Golf? My wife's car has a VW engine, and my co-worker has a Golf with the same engine, they've had issues with ignition coils. The TDis seem to chew through injectors."

      We've got 2 10-year old TDI Skoda's (just a rebadged VW) that have been utterly reliable (as in, our total maintenance bill for failures across both has been under £25 in a combined 20 years of driving - most of that's been bulbs!) - maybe we've been lucky..? Whilst I've heard the 1.8TSI had an injector issue which was sorted under service bulletin/recall, I can't say that I've heard of the TDI's throwing injectors, though (there was an issue with the ~170BHP 2.0TDIs where a wire in the injector loom failed and caused the engine to cut out - was sorted by a partial recall after people complained to VOSA)..?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > We've got 2 10-year old TDI Skoda's (just a rebadged VW)

        Škoda is a Volkswagen Group company, but although they share platforms, technologies, and components, a Škoda is not "just a rebadged VW". Each brand in the VW Group have their separate R&D and design departments, so the cars can be more different than they appear at first sight. If you don't care about certain extras, a Škoda is often much better value than the "equivalent" VW.

        At least according to a friend of mine, but he's a car designer at Škoda so might be slightly biased. :)

    2. Ahab Returns

      Re Citroen C5 Xantia etc. as an impoverished petrol head I ran BX then Xantia for many years, and then a decade ago I bit the bullet and stumped up for a nearly new 2001 C5 HDi 110.

      I am happy to report that having now done 226,000 miles including many being filled with firewood and driven twice a week down 2 km of rough dirt tracks to the sailing club nothing of any significance has gone bang and I can still easily get 60 mpg.

      Best £3k I ever spent, and now has a 2006 Peugeot 407 coupe sharing the driveway, similar bargain (£2k) but I will tell you if it is as good as the C5 in ten years time :-)

      It isn't just the posh makers that do galvanic coatings and double glazing by the way, and none of the 20 French cars I have owned since the late 70's has ever died on me, unlike pals BMW forced induction diesels that appear to munch their turbos with alarming regularity. Smug mode off...

      1. Tapeador

        Haha sounds like you took a gamble on the Frenchie tech and build quality and it paid off :-)

        It was 3k because for many others it didn't pay off!

  19. Slik Fandango

    208 is more fun...

    A few months ago changed my diesel 207 (1.4 72bhp [I think]).

    Looked at 208, 2008 and 308. Now I like Peugeots - had them since 2001 so maybe I'm biased...

    Liked to 308 - but I wanted something a bit fun - and wasn't sure about EVERYTHING going through the touch screen.

    So chose a 208 GTi - bit different than the diesel, but the touch screen was much better - it controls the things you expect - Stereo, SatNav and fuel computer. Heating and everything else is still a physical control.

    Honestly - that's the only reason I chose the 200bhp 208 GTi...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better than expected

    I've been running a similar car - a 2008 - as a hire car until my company car is delivered. I was prepared to hate it, I've never had a reliable French car before, but actually it's not bad.

    The touchscreen is perhaps the worst part - yes, all the settings are on there for things like lighting, but thankfully mine has separate climate controls. However, as in-car entertainment it's dire - the bluetooth randomly drops connections to one of my phones (tested with two Android handsets, and two Blackberrys, so not a fault of the handset) which might be part way through a call. I found an update - the unit is amusingly called a SMEG - but the same happens, even after watching a command line interface scroll past on the dashboard which cheered me up slightly. Speakers are the worst I've ever heard in any car.

    The stop-start works well, and although mine is the diesel, I've got 64MPG average which is closer to published figures than I've ever had before - this is over 13,000 miles of mixed driving. Annoyingly, the trip computer stops counting at 6,412 miles so I had to go to my fuel records to find that out.Oh yeah, 13,000 miles on a hire car - Europcar are going to hate me, it's coming up for a service soon!

    Other negatives are the paintwork is mega-thin - I tapped the door against a rotten fence and it flaked the paint off. Also, the wheels just look stupid, like some Halfords chav efforts.

    Positives, it has a light-up roof lining (there's strips of LEDs in a sort of circuit design running the length) and the boot is huge for the size of car.

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