Cut­ting a dash-board

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

www.coven­try­tele­graph.net

THE Peu­geot 308 is a classy in­di­vid­ual that de­lights in bring­ing a novel take on the tried-and-trusted fam­ily hatch­back formula. There are a num­ber of clever ideas that grab the at­ten­tion as soon as you slide into the driver’s seat.

Fire up the en­gine via the push­but­ton ig­ni­tion and some­thing on the dash­board di­als catches your eye. As you drive along you re­alise it is the rev counter which op­er­ates in re­verse to the speedo so both nee­dles head to­wards each other as you ac­cel­er­ate.

They are all part of the French car maker’s ul­tra modern, but slightly off the wall, i-Cock­pit de­sign which an­nounces it­self via a steer­ing wheel which is smaller than nor­mal and set below the di­als.

Peu­geot doesn’t want your eyes to stray for too long from the road so avoids mak­ing you peer be­tween steer­ing wheel spokes, but the low-down po­si­tion­ing won’t be to ev­ery­body’s taste.

I found it gave the car a sporty feel and set the tone for a neat cabin whose cen­tre point is a 9.7-inch touch­screen giv­ing ac­cess to the ra­dio, dual-zone air con­di­tion­ing and an ef­fi­cient nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

With all those di­als and but­tons re­moved the car’s cen­tre con­sole of­fers an un­clut­tered look that is easy on the eye.

Good qual­ity ma­te­ri­als are used while the fit and fin­ish are ex­cel­lent. Nice touches in­clude natty air vents while Peu­geot doesn’t stint on the lev­els of kit in­cluded.

The Al­lure model I drove is one up from the Ac­tive en­try-level trim and adds a panoramic glass roof, elec­tric park­ing brake, snazzy 17-inch al­loy wheels, front and rear park­ing sen­sors and pow­ered wing mir­rors to the im­pres­sive in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem of­fer­ing Ap­ple and An­droid smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity, plus au­to­matic wipers and lights al­ready in­cluded.

Step up to the GT Line and GT mod­els and fur­ther de­lights such as tinted rear win­dows and a ‘GT’ in­stru­ment panel dis­play are thrown in.

There is plenty of room up front but things are a lit­tle tighter in the rear as Peu­geot have given the model a size­able 470-litre boot. It can be ex­panded to 1,309 litres with the rear seats folded over and caters nicely for the needs of fam­ily mo­tor­ing.

The sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of the 308 ben­e­fited from a mi­nor facelift in the mid­dle of 2017 which re­vamped the front and rear bumpers, bring­ing the model into line with the new 3008 SUV.

The ex­te­rior de­sign looks sharper with the grille now boast­ing a jewel-stud­ded ef­fect on all lev­els of trim ex­cept the en­try model.

The 1.2-litre, three-cylin­der petrol en­gine un­der the bon­net of my test car of­fers plenty of get up and go as 62mph is reached from a stand­ing start in a shade over ten sec­onds on the way to a claimed top speed of 125mph.

Aided and abet­ted by a slick six-speed man­ual gear­box, the award­win­ning PureTech unit sips fuel fru­gally, achiev­ing a claimed econ­omy fig­ure in ex­cess of 60mpg and emis­sions of 107g/km.

The 308 of­fers an en­gag­ing drive with sharp han­dling and lots of con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing grip, al­low­ing you to get out of tight cor­ners with ease. The ride is rea­son­ably smooth al­though it does get a bit jig­gly over rougher road sur­faces. That said, this is a well bal­anced mo­tor that ma­jors on en­sur­ing all oc­cu­pants are trans­ported in com­fort.

The 308 is a stylish, hi-tech, modern mo­tor that is an able con­tender in a highly com­pet­i­tive sec­tor of the mar­ket.

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