It’s longer, lower and claimed to boast the most advanced eco credentials in its class.
But a price realignment producing big savings over like-for-like current models is likely to be the factor that allows Peugeot’s latest 308 to register the biggest showroom impact with buyers.
Reductions averaging £800 have dramatically improved the value of 60-strong range of hatchback, estate and coupes.
Innovative technology cutting tailpipe CO2 emissions by 5g/km has also played a key role in boosting claimed residual values by up to £1,450 over 12 months and 10,000 miles and £775 over three years and 60,000 miles.
Eight petrol and diesel engines power the facelifted range, but an Oxygo version with an optimised motor, micro-hybrid system, regenerative braking, reduced ride height, improved underbody airflow and ultra-low rolling resistance tyres will take emissions down to just 98g/km when it becomes available in July.
In the meantime, models with the latest 1.6-litre HDi unit developing 112bhp are the star performers with up to 67.2mpg combined economy and 124g/km emissions.
The engine boasts one of the most effective stop-start systems on the market.
A Peugeot spokesman told AM at the media launch: “We acknowledge that we need to be more competitive against the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
"But that doesn’t mean we’re not proud of our achievements in cutting the cost of family and business motoring – our e-HDi line-up features the best stop-start system on the market and is a clear indication of where the brand is heading with regard to technical improvements.”
A more modern kerbside appearance via new frontal styling featuring a shorter nose, smaller grille, a more compact bumper and additional chrome detailing help promote an upmarket air for the hatchback that has won more than 72,600 UK registrations since it was launched in 2007.
But the upgrade action has also resulted in an average 25kg weight loss across the range.
With LED running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning, auto wipers and lights, leather steering wheel and MP3 connectivity as standard, the Active version is well equipped.
Neat handling characteristics and a comfortable ride make it relaxing transport that is surprisingly agile and the money-saving stop-start gadgetry is impressively fast and quiet in operation.