SISJ LIFESTYLE: THE ALL-NEW PEUGEOT 308 REVIEW >
I will be completely honest with you, I was initially a little hesitant about joining the other Australian motoring journalists on our European Road trip. I could safely say that this group of people have about 50 years of combined experience and knowledge of the car industry – and who am I?! Well, I am one of the 80% of women who strongly influence car purchases in Australia. In fact, in my household, let’s call it 99.9%! I quickly realised that buying a car is no different to purchasing clothing or cosmetics. It’s all about going back to basics and WHY we are drawn to a particular brand in the first place. It’s not the 1.2 or 2.0 litre engine that draws us in, its WHAT does the brand say about me. To pull out an easy cliché, I could compare it to being a Coke or a Pepsi kinda-gal. We all have our reasons – whether they are conscious or unconscious. A funky sunroof or a cool coloured car can only do so much. What we really buy into is a lifestyle choice and making a statement of who we are and what we stand for. Being able to experience who Peugeot really are was such a fascinating experience and I have walked away with a big car-crush! Je suis amoureuse!
So, who is the Peugeot woman? She is… confident but quirky, she values travel and cultural experiences, she appreciates art and the finer things in life, but above all, she values quality and performance. She knows what she wants, so don’t mess with her!
With Peugeot’s illustrious history and strong personality, the all-new 308 encapsulates these values as well as taking us to a new level of design and performance. Winning The European Car of the Year for 2014, comes as no surprise after experiencing the car myself for the last ten days. The elegant yet sexy new design is further complimented by the safety, efficiency and overall driving experience.
“Peugeot’s signature lights are like the eyes of Sofia Loren” said Gilles Vidal, Director of Design at PSA Peugeot Citroën. If that comment didn’t bring a knowing smile to your face, then I don’t know what will!
The all-new 308 is sleek, it’s elegant and it’s dynamic. While the car has undergone an ‘extreme makeover’ (pardon the pun!), it is still reflective of the brand’s personality and quality. At the 29th International Automobile Festival, the Peugeot 308 was voted the Most Beautiful Interior of the Year 2013 by a jury of experts as well as fashion, design, architecture, culture and media businesses. This award pays tribute to the new 308’s originality, modernity and overall quality of the Peugeot ‘i-Cockpit’.
She has a strong personality and the diamond-like LED headlights reminded me straight away of a Tiffany & Co tennis bracelet! The higher spec models come with full LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillights. While you wouldn’t describe the car as particularly sporty, they have managed to capture an urban sophistication with an accent of attitude – she says: I am here and I will out-do you any day, so don’t mess with me! In terms of colour, my personal preference is definitely the Bianca White – Solid, Pear White – Pearlescent (additional cost) and the Perla Nera Black – Metallic.
For those tech-heads who are out and proud, this is your kind of car! The Peugeot ‘i-Cockpit’ is innovative and elegant. The ‘i-Cockpit’ (even that sounds cool!) is lead by the multifunction 9.7 inch colour touchscreen display. This is balanced perfectly with the all-new streamlined dash design. Adding a touch of luxury, it controls the audio, communication, navigation, climate control and some computer functions. I think this is a fantastic solution to replace the overloaded (and overwhelming!) dash we see in so many cars.
DRIVING & RELIABLITY >
If anyone is qualified to talk about how the 308 drives, it’s me! I’ve spent a whole week touring the south of France in this baby! The back and neck support were great in both the front and back seats of the car. We drove over 1500kms and not once did I feel cramped or uncomfortable. The chances of getting that awkward back pinch or backache are lowered in the Active and Allure versions of the car, which all have front seats with adjustable lumbar support and massage functions – it never gets tiring!
With a sporty driving position and a compact wheel, you feel 100% in control and the responsiveness is great. There were no major issues regarding blind spots and of course the blind spot monitoring system was fantastic (only available in some versions). With the quick response steering time, the car was easy to park – even with limited Paris space!
The 308 earns five stars in its safety rating. The Allure model has an added option of the Emergency Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes if it senses that a crash is imminent (this is not available in the cheaper versions). FOR SPEC INFO > CLICK HERE
MY VERDICT > 9/10
NEGATIVES: Unfortunately Australia misses out on the super handy power outlet (which I used every day in my mobile office!); there is only one cup holder (a big no-no); not enough storage in centre console. They may sound like #firstworldproblems, but they do matter!
SPECS THAT YOU WILL LOVE ABOUT THE NEW PEUGEOT 308 >
HATCH PRICE: Prices range from $21,990 – $34,790 // TOURING PRICE: From $37,490
SOME STANDARD FEATURES: anti-lock braking, dual airbag package, side front airbags, engine immobiliser, central locking control, power mirrors, fog lights, cruise control, parking distance control (a must!), power steering, 16 inch alloy wheels, dual temp zones and auto climate control.
SOME OPTIONAL FEATURES: full length sunroof, 17 inch alloy wheels, metallic paint (mentioned above), leather trim and satellite navigation.
FROM PEUGEOT > The all new 308 gives you the reassurance of 3 Years warranty and capped price servicing plus a car that has won the prestigious European car of the year title.
I hope you enjoyed my review and if you have any questions, please let me know.
*Image of me is with the Touring.