SMALL CAR A BIG WINNER
PEUGEOT HAS OPPOSITION’S NUMBER
PEUGEOT's new generation 308 small car has arrived with a $5000 price cut and a new three-pot petrol turbo engine.
Peugeot seems focused on capturing more sales in Australia with its new model.
They benchmarked VW's Golf and want Mazda3 buyers to consider the all-new Pug small car and that just might happen this time around.
The new 308 won this year's European Car of the Year award, and the company points out its added value and class as well as comfort as important factors, along with four million kilometres of testing and a body that's 140 kilograms lighter.
But the first models to arrive here miss out on a rear-view camera as standard equipment.
The price kick-off is $21,990 – pretty good when compared with the competition, though some are less and have driveaway pricing.
The base 308 has steel wheels and a mono infotainment screen.
At the other end of the scale, the Allure touring wagon runs a 110kW diesel and auto and sells for $37,490.
The car is available elsewhere in a choice of hatchback and wagon bodies, five equipment levels, six-speed automatic and manual gearboxes, and three engines with six power outputs.
Perhaps the most interesting is the new PureTech three-cylinder with self-shifting six-speeder that helps it meet coming Euro6 emission regulations.
Sime Darby, the local Peugeot/Citroen importer, has to contend with a two-stage launch phase for the 308 with the 1.2litre turbo triple and 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel here now and 1.6-litre petrol engine due in March.
The entry level is the $21,990 hatch with Access pack, PureTech 1.2 (96kW/ 230Nm) and five-speed manual.
Kit includes six airbags, aircon, the usual electronic aids and a compact leather-wrapped wheel.
Thankfully the 308 has softtouch plastics, new switches, and soundproofing to deaden unwanted sound from the wheels, a drivetrain and wind.
The preview was in France over mixed driving conditions designed to highlight the 308’s strengths.
Most interest was on the base model which doesn't really feel ‘base’ in the accepted sense.
The triple has stop-start and delivers plenty of pep while the six speed auto captures available torque efficiently.
The cabin has adequate room for five inside and it feels bigger than a Golf in this area.
Ride and handling are up to Peugeot's high standards, but the entry level 308 couldn't be considered sporty at all.
Easily the best new Peugeot in a long time.
The 308 is Peugeot’s best in a long time.