IT BARELY RAISES A SWEAT, GLASS ROOF APART
A DIESEL station wagon is hardly the most sought-after automotive fashion accessory these days. Wagons have been overrun by SUVs and private sales of diesel cars are down by almost a third on last year.
They do, however, work incredibly well as an open road tourer, as we discover when we stretch the legs of our Peugeot 308 Touring with a 700km trip up the coast.
For a start, the 308 Touring can fit a lot of gear in the back — the higher-riding, chunkier looking Mazda CX-5 might appear bigger but it has only 403L of luggage space compared to the 308’s 625L.
With four on board, their luggage and a set of golf clubs, you’d expect a small four-cylinder car to struggle up hills and overtaking.
The Peugeot takes it all in its stride, barely raising a sweat when called on to round up a semi-trailer on a short, uphill overtaking lane.
Fuel economy is impressive too — roughly 6.0L/100km on our round trip. That’s a fair way off the claimed 4.2L/100km but it’s still a solid result given the extra load. Back in town, in heavy traffic, we still keep below 10.0L.
The seats, trimmed in Alcantara and leather, give good support and adjust for differing body shapes — the massage functions are for show only, with little or no therapeutic value.
Our only question mark is over the panoramic glass roof, which exposes the cabin to our unforgiving sun. It adds an airy open feel but on warmer days, even with the sunshade in place, you need to crank the aircon to compensate for the temperature increase.
The best news about the 308 is that it has been fault free over our extended loan period. French cars have a reputation for being temperamental but ours hasn’t missed a beat.