The Peugeot 308 Review
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Quick Facts
Model spec: Peugeot 308 Active Price: £16,145.00 Engine: 1.2 e-THP, 3-Cyl, Petrol
BHP / Torque: 110 / 154 Max Speed: 117 CO2: 105g/km 0-62mph: 11.1 seconds
Economy/Range: 44mpg combined Tax: £20/year
So here we are, the all new Peugeot 308, when you go face to face and fend off the Mercedes S Class, Tesla Model S and BMW i3 EV to win the European car of the year award for 2014 then Peugeot must be doing something right. But as the post award hysteria fades and the trophies gather dust a truer picture usually emerges. The all new 308, is just that, from the ground up and not just a recycled refresh. OK so it shares the same platform as the C4 Picasso, but from the outside its all about Peugeot’s new style, some say its bland we say it’s very neat, very tidy, understated. On the inside the interior is simply laid out, dominated by a 7 inch touchscreen interface which houses all primary and secondary functions from the heater settings to audio controls, although a single rotating dial remains for quick access. This is the iPad car for the iPhone generation. The interior is all very nicely put together and stylishly designed, again understated, almost Germanic in order and logic. Upfront it’s a mix of soft touch surfaces, flashes of piano black trim and one or two areas of hard plastic and aluminium trim. It all combines to give a more refined experience for this class of car, more so than the last generation. I like it more than the VW Golf. Rear seat passengers are treated to acceptable levels of comfort though anyone at 6ft plus will experience the downsides of being unnecessarily tall in a compact hatch. And then there is the practicality, boot space is what it is, effective in that the rear seats fold flat which enlarges the standard 470 litre’s of boot space into 1,309 litre’s which is bigger than the previous generation because of the revised and better packaged cooling system which allowed for that increase in space. The 308 has also shed some weight, that new platform is 140kg lighter despite using higher grade steel. Peugeot have improved the overall build quality and this can be seen in the exterior panel gaps which have been reduced, even the light clusters now fit more flush into the body work. And all this has impacted the refinement, meaning that its improved, on the move there is less wind and tyre noise. European politician’s want the car industry to reduce C02 emissions, Peugeot’s answer is a backward trend and adoption of a new era of three cylinder turbocharged petrol engines ranging from 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre powerplants. The 1.2 litre, three cylinder turbo petrol has the same power output as the 4-cylinder unit it replaces. Diesel power units range from the 1.6-litre eHDi and 2.0-litre Blue-HDi which come in four power derivatives and emission’s ratings. If you are thinking a 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder engine is still not powerful enough to meet the demands of the modern motorist then think again. The new 1.2-litre three pot engine certainly is lively enough to carry the basic weight of the 308 with unfussed ease. Then there is that typical raspy, three cylinder engine note when accelerating hard. Its much more ebullient than the 1.6, 4 pot ever was. There is slight lag at low revs, for example, when accelerating away from a junction/crossing the bite point seems to die just when you need it most, but this is over come with excess revs. Then there is the ride, its probably the most  complete ride in Peugeot’s entire model line up, including the 508. A typical Peugeot ride’s on the err of indifference, excellent and pliant on smooth roads but not sure footed over rough road surfaces. The 308 exhibits none of those old traits, Peugeot have changed the 308’s suspension details, softer spring rates, and torsion bars at the rear. It all adds up to a very mature ride which is now more consistent with higher levels of grip, its compliant over rough and smooth surfaces and the suspension soaks up bumps like an executive car although there is a slight floaty aftertaste. However the handling agility has been reduced there is a bit more body roll thorough the corners and the use of fuel efficient technologies such as electronic steering have yet to be fully calibrated to match the naturalness of hydraulic powered steering. The 308’s steering feels a bit too sharp on low speed turn in and when you really throw it into corners the front grips assertively while the rear steps out with a trailing lateral “jiggle”. Fuel economy is impressive, at sixth gear cruising speed around 70-75 mph the 308 rests just below 2,500 revs which is the golden zone for those fuel saving warriors, 44mpg isn’t bad going for a petrol powered car of this size. The 308 comes with a familiar range of trims, from the entry level Access to the top spec GT versions, prices range from £14k up to 25k. Equipment levels are good throughout the range, and the new generation of lower emission engines mean lowered taxes and BIK rates, if that’s your priority. Every car is going to have a slight flaw whether it be subjective or objective, but overall the 308 is probably the most complete car Peugeot have ever made.  Peugeot-308-2014-Review-A
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