Peugeot 308 and DS 4 tested: You won’t like the brakes on these cars

Peugeot 308 and DS 4 tested: You won't like the brakes on these cars

This article was first published in Finansavisen Engine.

car test: The children’s song “Noen barn er brune” from 1960 is as politically incorrect as it can be in a society that has zero tolerance for racism, even if the intent is to convey that all children are equal in kindness.

As for the plug-in hybrid versions of the Peugeot 308 and DS 4, it is true that we are “the same on the inside”, while it is also correct to say that “a lot is different, but it’s on the outside”.

Now they both have four wheels and doors, and lights, and windows and a roof, but neither is worse than the other, even if taste dictates one to like one better than the other. Under the skin, they share the same plug-in powertrain and much of the same technology, so it’s easy to admire them both, even if they have their weaknesses.

Comfort: The nappa seats in Criollo brown with a watch strap pattern, heating, massage and cooling are nice looking and good to sit on. Photo: Håkon Sæbø / Finansavisen

non-sensitive brakes

Now it is true that the brakes work perfectly when you really need them, but you feel the brakes when you adjust the amount of braking a little bit in the queue and towards the traffic light, it is strange and insensitive.

It’s hard to eat energy right and you have to correct it frequently. This is not a problem with PSA cars alone, but there are car manufacturers that can better solve this problem.

When you use the second pedal, both cars perform perfectly, whether you set the drivetrain to electric, hybrid or sporty. The electric motor of 81 kW or more than 110 hp is understandably more than enough for all normal driving with your gasoline engine 225 hp.

The top speed of 135 kilometers per hour should hold up on pure electric as well, but if you’re going to Munich you can increase the speed by another 100 kilometers per hour in the 308 and 98 in the DS 4. Acceleration from 0 to 100 disappears in 7.5 and 7, 7 seconds straight, so you rarely feel the need to depress all of the gas.

little athlete

If you put the car in Sport mode, the throttle, steering and gearbox response are sharper, while the DS 4 has taut suspension as well. Also standing on 20-inch rims, it should look more sporty, but the 308 is, with 18-inch wheels and narrower rims.

The powerful, compact and thick sports steering wheel with flat bottom edges and perforated grip areas also contributes. The car also has Peugeot’s innovative i-Cockpit, in which the instrument panel is positioned above the steering wheel, so you can do away with the head-up display, as in the DS 4 as well as its digital instrument panel. This is relatively easy in both cars, but the 308 has a nice 3D screen for optional display options.

French engineers aren’t the best at making good, fast touchscreens, but with a little practice they work well and shouldn’t be used much while driving anyway. In addition, the DS 4 has a touch surface on which you can type commands, but the “B” becomes “I3” until you learn the typing technique. It could be debated whether buttons and other function selectors were quirky or special, but the distinctive design wasn’t a negative, right?

Gnarly: The combination of the touchscreen and the static elements below looks good on the 308, but the French car’s infotainment system isn’t the most user-friendly. Photo: Håkon Sæbø / Finansavisen

defending the prize

This also applies to much of the remaining interior, where the DS stands out even more with special patterns in the leather, otherwise there’s a lot of neat stitching, a lot of padded materials, and very little plastic. This largely justifies the rather high price, as well as the fact that the level of equipment is higher. Among other things, the car has infrared night vision, which makes it safer for both deer and pedestrians in the fall and darkness.

Some of the slightly clumsy air vents in the air conditioning make it difficult to adjust the air flow and using the charging cable often leads to the automatic tailgate opening. For a short time, the sound from the wonderful Focal Electra 14-speaker stereo system disappeared, but then the annoying sound from the turn signals disappeared, which was quickly resolved by the “Swedish button”. Other than that, it’s the numerous design details, inside and out, that make the DS 4 a car of its kind.

very different

Both cars have headlights that operate with dynamic approach and keyless start behavior. Automatic locking when leaving the car is also practical. The designers at DS and Peugeot clearly do not share the canteen, because it is difficult to find cars that are more different than the two sisters. The 308 has more sporty lines and details, while the DS 4 manages to look more elegant and luxurious.

Three-section headlights, a high grille, black roof and large wheels contribute to this. Streamlined rear with narrow lights and small exhaust pipes, while the 308 has three-segment taillights and large exhaust pipes. The lower, more defined front cover contributes to the sporty look of Peugeot.

A large electric sunroof, a 690W focal stereo with 10 speakers and a 360-degree camera are among the extras that make the 308 well-equipped. The DS 4’s night vision and extended leather package with woodwork raise it another notch.

Touchpad: The DS 4’s functional touchpad between the seats is surrounded by leather and elegant details. Photo: Håkon Sæbø / Finansavisen

French comfort

They both have firmer seats than you’d expect in a French car, but they’re comfortable with good support, especially in the 308. They both have good adjustment options, heat and massage, while the DS 4 also features cooling. Both have room for two large people and a slightly smaller one in the 60/40 split rear seat with ski hatch. The luggage compartments with a capacity of 360 and 391 liters do not look large, but they still feel spacious due to their flexibility.

If you’re one of those who’s not quite ready to make the leap into the all-electric world, the two described electric hybrids have relatively good electric range, both on paper and in practice. Winter is a little shorter with active and fast driving, but everyday life will be affordable and emission-free for most people.

Main information: DS 4 E-Tense 225 Rivoli

Driving group: 1.6L R4 T + FWD Electric Motor

HP / kW / Nm (system) 225/162/360

From zero to 100 km / h: 7.7 seconds

maximum speed: 233 km/h

Net weight without driver: 1,726 kg

L/W/H: 440/186/149 cm

battery capacity: 12.4 kWh

electric range 55 km

consumption: 0.13 L/mile

CO2 emissions: 30 g/km

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Box: 390 liters

trailer weight: 1400 kg

price: From 440,000 NOK. The price of this is NOK 475,000. Price with equipment 550200 NOK


  • design
  • comfort
  • Equipment level


  • feel the brakes
  • Voice curl
  • price

design: DS has managed to create a stylish car that stands out in many ways

Driving environment: Nice design and challenging details, but not so good at infotainment.

Driving characteristics: A comfortable, smooth but less sporty ride even with 20-inch wheels.

Offers: Fast enough on pure electricity and with both motors together.

place: Spacious and practical for a compact car.

Value for your money: Tough to compete with affordable sister and cheap electric cars.

Conclusion: 6. A stylish, convenient and practical rechargeable hybrid that postpones the purchase of an electric car.

So the choice is between design and price as well as driving feel and equipment level, as “a lot varies, but that’s on the outside.” If we had to choose, we’d let 57,200 crowns speak for the Peugeot 308, which is also more fun to drive. Even if we miss the DS 4’s sleek design, higher level of equipment and the night camera that confirms it bodes well for fall hunting.

Key information: Peugeot 308 GT PHEV

Driving group: 1.6L R4 T + FWD Electric Motor

HP / kW / Nm (system) 225/162/360

From zero to 100 km / h: 7.5 seconds

maximum speed: 235 km/h

Net weight without driver: 1,633 kg

L/W/H: 437 / 185/144 cm

battery capacity: 12.4 kWh

electric range: 59 km

consumption: 0.11 L/mile

CO2 emissions: 27 g/km

Box: 361 liters

trailer weight: 1500 kg

price: Starting from 379,900 NOK. The price of this is NOK 444,900. Price with equipment 493000 NOK


  • Driving Characteristics
  • price
  • i- cockpit


  • feel the brakes
  • More plastic
  • Information and entertainment

design: Not amazing, but Peugeot has created its own modern identity.

Driving environment: The sport steering wheel and i-Cockpit pull a lot, but the infotainment is a bit down.

Driving characteristics: Smooth and comfortable, but also a sporty touch.

Offers: Fast enough on pure electricity and with both motors together.

place: Spacious and practical for a compact car.

Value for your money: It’s hard to compete with electric cars, but rechargeable hybrids have a job.

conclusion: 7 Affordable, fun-to-drive, hybrid rechargeable operation puts off buying an electric car.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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