PEU­GEOT 308 GT

Herald Sun - Motoring - - The Tick -

VALUE

The $2500 pre­mium over the Re­nault is bal­anced by ex­tra fea­tures, in­clud­ing au­to­mated park­ing. Add $950 if you want any colour other than white. As with the Me­gane, the 308 GT per­sists with hav­ing con­trols mounted be­hind the scaled-down steer­ing wheel where they have to be op­er­ated from mem­ory. The Pug has three year/100,000km war­ranty and capped price ser­vic­ing will av­er­age $495 an­nu­ally over five years.

TECH

Out­right power doesn’t al­ways win the day. The Peu­geot’s turbo 1.6-litre (151kW/285Nm) is well down on its ri­val … but so is weight at 1200kg, giv­ing the Pug a 0.1-sec­ond edge in the 100km/h time. It works hard to de­liver that, nudg­ing fuel use to 7.4L/100km.

DE­SIGN

The Pug has the classier in­te­rior, largely as it’s newer. The 9.7-inch touch­screen con­trols all func­tions from ra­dio to air­con. The re­sult is a stylish look with qual­ity chrome trim and a marked ab­sence of but­tons. The small steer­ing wheel needs to be ad­justed to see the “head-up” dis­play, par­tic­u­larly the dig­i­tal speedo. The tacho spins an­ti­clock­wise, an ar­gu­ment the de­sign­ers shouldn’t have won. There’s rea­son­able rear space and boot is 435L.

SAFETY

ANCAP rated the diesel at 35.82/37 — the lighter petrol en­gine should per­form at least as well. Stan­dard driver’s as­sis­tance pack­age adds adap­tive cruise con­trol, blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing and emer­gency brak­ing.

DRIV­ING

Fast but not fu­ri­ous, the 308GT tends to be slightly more com­posed on the limit than its fel­low French ri­val. Its lower mass helps here, keep­ing the GT’s front end ad­her­ing to the road and the steered line as the power is pressed on to liven things up. It is a more be­nign beast and lacks some of the Re­nault’s adrenalinein­duc­ing raw edge but for those look­ing for a grand tourer — as dis­tinct from a per­for­mance hatch — it is a marginally bet­ter propo­si­tion than the Me­gane purely be­cause it is more pre­dictable.

VER­DICT Peu­geot bal­ances luxury and per­for­mance just that lit­tle bit bet­ter than the Re­nault. Whether that in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ment is worth $2500 is in the be­holder’s eye

but the bet­ter laid-out in­te­rior gives it the edge in this con­test

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