PEUGEOT 308 ALLURE
Updated model is about $1000 more expensive than predecessor but has much more driver assist technology as well as self-parking, keyless entry and start and more up-market trim. Other standard equipment includes satnav, electric park brake, dual-zone aircon and an air-conditioned glovebox. It lacks the Renault’s rear air vents, though. Warranty is only 3 years/100,000km and servicing is due every 12 months/15,000km and costs $1665 for three years.
The 308 is more understated. The dash design is clean and simple with minimal buttons. The only blemish is an instrument panel that is partially obscured by the steering wheel for most drivers. Knee and headroom are tighter than Megane but the boot is roughly the same size. The centre screen is easy to operate, although having to use the screen to adjust the aircon is a pain.
Lineball with the Megane on power, but has more torque available lower down. On the open road, with sport mode selected for sharper throttle response and gear shifts, it hustles along at a decent clip. It’s also quiet and smooth. Officially, it uses slightly less fuel (5.1L/1OOkm v 5.6L) while it will reach 100km/h in a claimed 9.1 sec compared with 10.3 for the Renault.
The diesel version received five stars in Europe. Matches the Renault’s six airbags, reversing camera and blind spot monitoring and has active cruise control and pre-collision braking.
Tthe 308 is the more accomplished vehicle through a set of corners. It feels planted, the suspension copes better with corrugations and the steering feels sharper. The better overall balance means it is happier when asked to change direction. Around town it is also more comfortable.