Discover the very long history of Peugeot’s compact sedans, from the 301 from 1932 to the 308 III from 2021!
Few car families will have had such a long career: 89 years , between the release of the Peugeot 301 in 1932 and that of the Peugeot 308 III in 2021 ! Over the decades and the many turmoils encountered by the automobile and Peugeot in the 20th and 21st centuries, the compact sedan of the Lion has been transformed. A look back at the history of a family of models that defined the French manufacturer.
Peugeot 301: 1932 – 1936
The Peugeot “300” lineage began in 1932 with the Peugeot 301 . Family Compact and popular , it adopts some of the technique of the 201 but innovates by becoming one of the first cars equipped with independent suspension at the front . As a result, better handling and less vibration in the steering wheel.
Peugeot 302: 1936 – 1938
With its rounded curves and headlights integrated into the grille, the Peugeot 302 is reminiscent of the popular 402, with which it shares a technical base. As was customary at the time, it receives many different bodies, including one that has remained legendary: the 302 Darl’mat , a sporty roadster with pretty lines, engaged in competition.
Peugeot 304: 1969 -1980
After the Second World War, times are hard for Peugeot and the Lion must concentrate on a very reduced range. The compact sedan segment was then abandoned, or in any case taken over by the 403 . It was not until 1969 that Peugeot returned with the 304, a sedan with modern lines inspired by the 504 . Sold more than a million copies, it will be available in coupe, convertible and many other versions.
Peugeot 305: 1977 – 1988
In 1977, the 304 became 305 and gained in passing ten centimeters and more modern engines. Above all, it now also takes the place of the 404 , which will not be replaced by a 405 before 1987, hence the increasing dimensions.
Peugeot 309: 1985 – 1994
Strange, this passage from the Peugeot 305 to the 309! It must be said that the 309 has had an atypical history : it was not expected to become a Peugeot! Indeed, it was developed as a Talbot, replacing the Talbot Horizon . But Peugeot then decides to end the Talbot brand and it becomes the Peugeot 309. Despite everything, it remains an important car in the history of the “300 lineage”, since it is the first Peugeot compact . After the 309, all models in this segment of the brand will also be compacts.
Peugeot 306: 1993 – 2002
From the 309 to the 306 , the style takes a leap forward. The hatchback look of the compact is now fully assumed, while the lines are softer, to fit in with the times. We can see the inspiration of the 205 , which hit the mark in France. The style is also signed by the prestigious Pininfarina. She shares her technique with the Citroën ZX . The 306 S16, the sporty version, then developed 167 hp. The 306 is a great commercial success, with more than 2.8 million copies sold.
Peugeot 307: 2001 – 2008
New generation, new style revolution at Peugeot ! The 307 grows, especially in height, and gains the large grille and tapered headlights typical of Peugeot of the early 2000s. Offered with a wide range of diesel and petrol engines, it is also available in many versions, including the Coupé. convertible 307 CC , very fashionable at the time. Still a great commercial success (3.8 million copies worldwide), in 2002 it received the title of car of the year.
Peugeot 308 I: 2007 – 2013
Visually, the Peugeot 308 I has changed little compared to its predecessor. We discover the typical muzzle of the Peugeot of the time, but the proportions remain similar. The RCZ sports coupe will resume its technical base, and the GTi name is back . But sales are disappointing, with around 1.4 million copies sold.
Peugeot 308 II: 2013 – 2021
With the second generation of Peugeot 308 , it is only the name that does not change . Exit the look of compact with a very high roof, return to a more classic profile . Above all, with the city car 208, it embodies a complete change of image for Peugeot, which wants to go upmarket. The style is more consensual, while the interior takes a big step forward . It adopts the now famous i-Cockpit already seen on the 208, with its small steering wheel and its counters to see above. It is also the first Peugeot to use the EMP2 platform, which is still relevant today. It won the title of car of the year in 2014 .
Peugeot 308 III: 2021 –
Peugeot has great ambitions for the third generation of the 308 : to attack the German premium ! The dimensions are up, the look more statutory with a long, very horizontal hood. Now also available in plug-in hybrid versions, it should not know on the other hand of sporting variation . Available in the second half of 2021, it will be assembled at the Mulhouse plant in France.