Over the past few decades, the BMW 3 Series has taken on, and dispatched, the likes of the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and virtually every other competitor that crossed its path. A few newcomers have been taking the 3er on lately, with varying degrees of success. But what about a competitor a bit out of left field? In this new comparison test from New Zealand’s Driven, we get to see the new G20 BMW 3 Series take on the all-new Peugeot 508.
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On paper, this doesn’t look like much of a fair test. The Peugeout 508 only packs a 1.6 liter turbocharged four-pot in this test, making 225 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent through an eight-speed auto to just its front wheels. While the BMW 3 Series (330i in this case) uses a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, making 255 hp and a hefty 295 lb-ft of torque. It also uses an eight-speed automatic but sends its power to the rear axle.
So, it seems like the Peugeot is at too much of a disadvantage to take on the 3 Series. And, if we’re judging these cars strictly by their driving fun, it is. The French offering is no match for the Bavarian one on a twisty road. However, that doesn’t mean the Peugeot is entirely lacking to the BMW. In terms of interior, it might not have the quality of the Bimmer but it’s far more stylish and interesting. It feels more special, too.
The Peugeot 508 is also more comfortable than the BMW 330i M Sport. So it’s the better luxury car than the 3 Series. Also, the Peugeot gets a liftback tailgate, a la 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback. That makes it more practical and usable than the 3 Series.
Considering that it’s also the cheaper car by quite a bit, it starts to look like a more attractive package to the average buyer. For someone that wants a sporty driving experience first, with all else being secondary, the 3 Series is the better car. But for someone that just wants a premium, fun and special feeling experience with great style, the Peugeot actually might be the better choice. For a newcomer like the 508, that’s a win.