Help with purchasing decision - 2008 308 - should i buy turbo or diesel or neither?
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Help with purchasing decision - 2008 308 - should i buy turbo or diesel or neither?

    Hi all,

    While looking for a 2nd car as a fuel efficient run around I stumbled upon the Puegeot 308, despite never having really thought about Peugeot's or diesels for that matter prior, and am quite taken with what you get for the money. Our budget is $15K and for around this price it seems we should be able to pick up the upper spec (XSE or XTE) Petrol Turbo or 2.0L Diesel options from around the 2008 era with what I regard as "low mileage" at around 30,000 - 50,000km on the clock. The gearbox needs to be auto as it will be used for commuting and driven by the mrs who doesn't want a stick.

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    I have taken both drive train combos for test drives and am essentially happy with either... The diesel has a bit more power and pull and the 6 speed box is nice, but is typically more expensive to buy and not many are optioned with the leather interior that we prefer guess fuel conscious buyers also care about those poor cows huh!). The petrol 1.6L turbo still has plenty of pickup for the purposes, although does run out of puff sooner, and I prefer the 6 speed over the 4 speed.

    From reading online it does sound like the Diesel 2.0L with 6 Speed auto combination is much favoured over the petrol and 4 speed auto. But there are also mentions of common problems on both guises such as brakes being cactus by 30k km, carbon buildup, blocked filters, stretched timing chains and so on. I guess Im trying to figure out whether it's just a few people that have problems and are vocal on the internet, but 1000s of happy owners that havent had the need to post their woes on forums etc... or whether there really are a number of issues one is "likely" to run into at some stage and it's starting to make me question whether it's a good ownership proposition, for someone who isnt a "french car enthusiast" or not... I have read horror stories about people having half the engine replaced and still having issues for example.

    Ive searched the forum for 308 threads and unsurprisingly mostly find people with issues, but that could be because nobody tends to make a thread about how many non-issues they are having with their perfectly happy vehicle...


    So my question to you Aussie Frogs is:

    Do you think I should go the petrol + 4 speed or diesel + 6 speed or steer clear of the 308 entirely, and why?

    Specifically we have found a petrol example with 30k KM and a diesel at 50k KM both in XSE spec with leather interiors. The petrol is in worse exterior condition but has less mileage and is $2k cheaper than the diesel. But I dont mind spending more on the diesel if it's the better buy in terms of issues/reliability etc, particularly since it's in alot better nick in terms of body work and no gutter scrapes on the wheels, it also has a 12month warranty whereas the petrol has the statutory 3 months only.


    Thanks

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
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    We have not owned the 308, but rather its predecessor, the 307.

    The 307 was available in either petrol or diesel, with the diesel engine an earlier emission compliance spec to the later unit in the 308. Our model (diesel) was the 6 speed manual, but I also have friends with the 6 speed auto in the diesel. In addition we had the touring version & not the hatch.

    The 308 introduced several improvements over the 307, including ride quality, interior space & layout, ergonomics etc. As we intended to keep the 307 a minimum of 5 years, the choice of a diesel was the answer in terms of running costs, performance etc. We only had 1 issue during this time (EGR valve failure) & at trade in time (another Peugeot diesel) the front disc brakes & rotors were approaching replacement after nearly 100,000km.

    Our friend with the 6 speed auto diesel has nearly 200,000km & issues have been minor or as expected, His brakes & rotors were replaced at 140,000km (with pads only at about 70,000km) The transmission has been perfect & the car gets better with mileage. Our fuel economy varied between approx 5 l / 100km open highway to 7.5 l / 100km city or mixed cycles. When new, the consumption was a little higher.

    I hope this helps a bit, even though we did not own the 308 model. Personally, we would not now buy a petrol engine model, even though I recognise that for some owners, without diesel experience, they might be a bit cautious. The 308 diesel has a good reputation here in the country & in fact continues to be sold by our local dealer in good numbers.

    Cheers,

    K.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Mungous's Avatar
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    I have a 2008 308sw with the 2.0HDi and 6-speed auto. The things that annoy me about it are:
    - Auto trans seemingly has a large amount of backlash and takes a couple of seconds to engage D or R. Dealer told me "all the 2008 models are like that". Easily spotted if you look for it, but not obvious on a normal test drive. Put it in M1 or M2 then accelerate and decelerate sharply and quickly around cruise speed. Mine feels crappy.
    - Constant slight pull to the left. Very common on these cars, and hard to get rid of. Causes uneven tyre wear in some cases too (like mine).
    - Some rattles in the dashboard. Not all cars are bad, but mine has at least two rattles that annoy me - they've been like that since new and the dealer couldn't find/fix them.

    I still love the car though, despite these faults. I want to replace it with the new model, and will expect the gearbox to be perfect!

  4. #4
    Tadpole
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    I have just bought a 2006 307 with the same 2.0 HDi engine (DW10BTED4 / RHR) as the 308 for my wife to drive with the main reason being economy. We went for the 6 speed manual and get 7.3L/100 average for inner city BNE driving and an astounding high 4 to low 5L/100 on the highway.
    The manual has issues with the flywheel (as I found out the hard way) but otherwise the engine seems excellent. This model of engine is also used in other European makes such as Volvo and Ford.
    Ours has 140k on it and the car is in good condition considering the age. I know many other makes feel tatty with worn faded interiors etc after that age but the Peugeot is quite good. I was also impressed with the level of features we got for such a low sum (paid $7300).
    I have always had Diesel 4x4's so I prefer them as the engines are much longer lasting (due to many factors) - my diesel Hilux has 400k on the clock an the engine is still going strong.

  5. #5
    Should get a life 2353's Avatar
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    Having had a 2009 308 hatch and a 2011 308 wagon - if you can stretch to it, go for one of the MY12 upgrade models (which can also be 2011 build cars). The reasons include the nose is slightly higher and doesn't scrape anywhere near as much, there was a general upgrade of specs (the early XS models didn't all have stability control) and there were a number of problems with the 1.6 turbo petrol on "Series 1" cars that were fixed on the MY12's - including the fitment of a 6 speed auto.

    The 2009 car was a ECG Diesel and the ECG made us go for a petrol auto next time. The turbo petrols go very nicely but can drink a lot more than a diesel.

    Also look at a Renault Megane (the Citroen C4 is a 308 under the skin as well). A new model came out in 2011 that some examples will be getting close to you price point.
    Save the earth, it's the only planet with chocolate.

  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Haakon's Avatar
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    The Megane is the "sensible"purchase to some extent as its a Nissan engine and transmission. But french engines are usually very tough and the 6 speed auto is a Japanese made transmission. Avoid the 4 speed auto - its got a poor track record for reliability.

    The sedan version (the Fluence) is also super cheap these days.

    For the 308, a petrol 6 speed auto would be the pick by a mile.

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger!
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    If you're limiting your purchase to 2008 models, I would definitely go for the the 2.0 HDi engine, which I think will be more reliable than the 1.6 THP engine of the same year model.

    Plus, you get the 6-speed auto instead of the 4-speed auto.

    Fuel filters shouldn't be that difficult or expensive to replace on a 2.0 HDi, and you can always purchase aftermarket brake pads if the OEM pads don't suit.

  8. #8
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    I bought a 2009,diesel, auto, xse touring for my daughter 18months ago. Now has 80k, no issues. I keep an eye on it and have it serviced by a dealer. I have done oil/filter changes easily except the apron underneath is a pain when you are working with axle stands. The low nose is prone to bottoming on driveways etc. My daughter loves it and can take extra kids to outings with the seven seats. I would buy the diesel, goes well.

  9. #9
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    I'd agree with the 2.0 HDI also, with the 6 speed box. These have a good reputation across a range of Peugeots and Citroens. Fuel filter replacement is a simple DIY. When soft Euro pads and discs wear out, fit local replacements.

    There was a suggestion to look at the Citroen C4, as it shares mechanical parts with the Peugeot 308. Model X7, (2011 on, the current one), comes with 1.6 petrol (turbo and non-turbo) and HDI turbo diesel motors only, and if you got an auto it would be the 4 speed AL4. You can sometimes find a manual, and there are EGS boxes in the turbos. Very nice comfortable and stylish cars though, which the OH would love, but they are still not too far off $20k. Seduction and Exclusive versions are very well equipped. Attractions show some cost-cutting. There is a non-turbo petrol advertised here: 2011 Citroen C4 B7 Seduction Sports Automatic

  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    Thanks for all the comments. $15k is already a stretched budget (we started at $8K honda civics lol) so it doesnt look like the MY12 model refresh will be within reach. Am going ahead with an RACQ inspection on the $15k XSE HDi that I mentioned we were looking at. 2.0L diesel with the 6 speed auto, babylon red with cream/beige leather interior, great paint work and no scratches on the wheels etc and around 45k KM on the clock which is pretty good for a 2008 car. If the RACQ inspection is good, we are home and hosed. It also includes a 12 month warranty from the dealer which offers some peace of mind I guess

  11. #11
    Should get a life 2353's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarecrow420 View Post
    Am going ahead with an RACQ inspection on the $15k XSE HDi that I mentioned we were looking at. 2.0L diesel with the 6 speed auto, babylon red with cream/beige leather interior, great paint work and no scratches on the wheels etc and around 45k KM on the clock which is pretty good for a 2008 car. If the RACQ inspection is good, we are home and hosed. It also includes a 12 month warranty from the dealer which offers some peace of mind I guess
    Sounds reasonable - good luck with the inspection.
    Save the earth, it's the only planet with chocolate.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Bear in mind that 2.0L 100kw diesels are not really frugal on fuel.

    My 6 speed manual 307 wagon averaged 6.6L/100km over 99,000km. 1/2 inner city driving, 1/2 110kmh freeway

    My 6 speed EGS Citroen C4 with 1.6L 80kw diesel managed 5.3L/100km overall over 99,000k, same conditions as above.

    I drove for economy but always used cruise on the freeway to mainatin a constant speed at 110kmh by GPS.

    You cannot rely on trip computers to give accurate readings - in all cases that I have tested except one, both cars in the US and here, petrol and diesel, trip computers were around 10% optimistic measured over many refills. I kept immaculate records on a spreadsheet I kept with me on my PDA.

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