PEUGEOT has been producing some very good-looking vehicles in recent years, along with interiors that feel increasingly premium.

The new Peugeot 308 continues the French carmaker’s distinctive design language and is without doubt one of the most eye-catching hatchbacks on the market today.

The sharply-sculpted front end sports plenty of chrome, LED lamps and other design flourishes, while the rear has been given some prominent chrome exhaust trims.

Barrhead News: The new Peugeot 308 Hatchback GT Premium

Step inside and Peugeot’s next generation i-Cockpit helps to create a classy interior that feels state-of-the-art.

The 308 is also the first model to feature the brand’s new logo – a roaring lion’s head contained within an imposing shield shape.

It’s all a far cry from the bygone era when Peugeot was mocked by Top Gear for making ‘dreary cars’.

Indeed, the current crop of Peugeots take some beating when it comes to style and panache.

Changes to the 308 are designed to continue Peugeot’s success in the C-Segment, with the model being available from launch with efficient plug-in hybrid powertrains for the first time. Fully electric variants are set to follow in 2023.

This is another step in Peugeot's commitment to offer an electrified variant across its entire model line-up by 2025.

The hybrid powertrain tested here combines a four-cylinder in-line 1598cc turbocharged petrol engine, offering 179hp, with an 81kW electric motor capable of producing 110hp.

The two combine to offer a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds, which feels pretty swift and means there's an element of driving fun to be had.

The amount of torque on offer is also impressive, with a maximum of 360Nm being produced by the combined hybrid system.

The one slight source of frustration is the slightly hesitant eight-speed automatic gearbox, which takes a moment longer than you'd like to respond to throttle inputs.

Barrhead News: The new Peugeot 308 Hatchback GT Premium

According to WLTP stats, you can get up to 37 miles out of the 308 running on electric power alone.

It's important to keep the battery charged up to achieve the best results in terms of both performance and economy rather than letting the petrol engine chug away on its own for too long.

On that subject, it will take three hours and 50 minutes to charge the battery from empty to full using a 7.4kWh dedicated wall box.

Alternatively, it'll take just over seven hours using a 1.8kWh domestic 3-pin socket.

The handling feels sharp, well-balanced and trustworthy. A small steering wheel takes a bit of getting used to, but adds to the sporty vibe.

Barrhead News: The new Peugeot 308 Hatchback GT Premium

Inside, all models feature Peugeot’s i-Cockpit configuration with a new compact multi-function steering wheel and a 10-inch HD colour touchscreen that houses Peugeot’s new infotainment system, which is available from Allure trim upwards.

Also new for the 308 are the customisable i-Toggles controls that allow owners to set personalised shortcut keys for numerous functions for enhanced ease of use.

The new 308 can be specified with 10-way electrically adjustable front seats and a multi-point massage system.

Even without these extras, there are already plenty of creature comforts that make the chic cabin a relaxing and comfortable place to be.

It's also quite and smooth to drive, with the suspension striking the right balance between performance and comfort.

It's worth noting that the hybrid 180 is eligible for a low 8 per cent Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rate (2022 / 2023), making it more appealing to fleet and business users.

The compact family car class may be one of the most competitive segments but – on this evidence – its remains one where Peugeot excels.

Peugeot 308 Hatchback GT Premium

PRICE: £39,470 on the road

ENGINE 1598cc Turbo Petrol and electric motor

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic, front wheel drive

TOP SPEED: 146mph (in Sport mode) 83mph (in Electric mode)

0-62MPH: 7.5 seconds

ECONOMY: 213.8mpg - 266.2m and 26g/km

Electric Range: 37 miles