Not For Sale Around Here: 2012 Peugeot 301

The interior materials and colours give away the intended market. Surely this exterior would appeal to a fair few buyers?

2012 Peugeot 301
2012 Peugeot 301

What are those interior materials like? Pale, hard plastics on the door casings and velour upholstery. Nothing about the shapes scared me. With more appropriate trim I don’t see why this couldn’t find customers.

2012 Peugeot 301
2012 Peugeot 301

It’s neat, isn’t it? And less troubling than its predecessor (307 saloon) or cousin, the Citroen Elysee. It’s made in Spain, China and Nigeria and has three engines: two petrol and one diesel.


I know everyone hates small saloons yet I’ll still say this one demonstrates they need not frighten horses and small children. It’s 4.4 metres long, the same as an Alfa Romeo Giuila (the classic). The 508 is huge and there’s a gap in PSA’s line-up where this would fit without stepping on other PSA models toes in those bits of Europe where it is not currently on sale.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

12 thoughts on “Not For Sale Around Here: 2012 Peugeot 301”

  1. I’ve only seen the 301s used as taxis – in Madrid. To me, they look like they are designed for public transportation. I find the shape appealing, but somehow I don’t like the cheap, black piece of plastic by the c-pillar.

  2. I like “small” (they aren’t that small – it’s just the next class up is now huge in size) saloons and wonder what the general public reticence is all about? It could be that many are rework of a hatch and often suffer for it stylistically. However, this 301 is neat enough, and, I’m a big fan of the A3 saloon and Mazda 3 ‘Fastback’. The Audi is quite common now in place I frequent, so maybe things are a changing …

  3. Oh, and when in Spain last week I saw a rather nice previous generation Astra saloon which is not sold in the UK – it was a bit corpulent, but in am attractive way!

    1. Indeed, that is quite a nice looking saloon

  4. PSA wants Citroen to be the brand for cheap (better called fresh, modern and affordable) products, so it is Citroen that offers this low-price-product in Europe. That even makes some sense, because it is the C-Elysee that is running in the WTCC.
    Here in Germany (and other central european markets) there is almost no demand for small sedans. Last weekend i was visiting a brandnew great SEAT-Dealer with a huge showroom. There were Leons in all versions, Mii, Ibizas (what a cheap car), Alhambras and some new boring Atecas. Not a single Toledo there – besides one that was hidden behind the building….

    The 301 is not a beauty but better than the C-Elysee. The Astra is one class above such cars. Competition comes from Skoda and Seat (Rapid, Toledo) and of course Fiat with the Tipo. In other parts of the world there are some more competitors – like the Yaris or Fiesta Sedan – choosing my favourite car of these is not so easy….:

    1. That ‘Yaris Saloon’ looks remarkably like a Mazda with a different nose cone. The Fiesta looks like Gieger’s Alien from the film of the same name, and not in a good way!

    2. The Yaris reminds me of a particularly horrible Buick concept car from c.1997-1998 whose name I can’t remember. The Fiesta shows that a sharply rising waistline is incompatible with a saloon; the 301 is quite alright and I can’t see corpulence in the Veranastra.

  5. Laurent: despite regal trim options and the same engines as in the hatch, nobody went for the Astra saloon even they Hoovered up A3 and A-Class saloons. That makes no sense.

    1. I can see why. At least in case of the A3. That saloon has spotless proportions. Most notchback designs in this class are way too bulky in the back, and the Astra is no exception.

      Now for the A-class… This one looks wrong in every body style, so why not take the one with the larger boot.

  6. The 301 is very close in dimensions to the second generation Logan, which arrived a year before. The Tipo and VAG Rapedo are close too. There’s some sort of Universal Unsophisticated Market Sedan orthodoxy emerging, with numerous Chinese 2650mm wheelbase contenders.

    The UK only gets the Logan wagon, which to me looks far more Third Worldly than the saloon.

    Returning to matters Peugeot, what became of the -01 plan where sophisticated market products had codes ending in -08, and the rest of the world got -01? It seems to have begun and ended with the 301.

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