The new 308 has garnered critical reviews. It won the coveted European Car of the Year Award in 2014, beating highly rated cars like the BMW i3 and Tesla’s Model S.
This driving review meant a bit more to me than usual. I am an owner of the current 308, and I will let you in on a secret…. It’s a mighty fine vehicle. Even after 3 years of ownership and many miles on the clock, the car has retained a level of refinement which is not easy to find in other vehicles in its class that I have test-driven. So this was a test I approached with trepidation.
Refinement and Interior
This model came with a lengthy list of standard kit. I mean…auto everything…. lights, wipers etc, an easy to use Bluetooth connectivity functionality, and even a seat massage function. It all felt very familiar to me, just better in all ways. Like a 5 star version of 4 star hotel room one visits often.
Ride and Handling
The engine of the GT-Line is its biggest revelation. It’s a 3 cylinder that produces 96kw and 230 NM of torque but it feels more than that. The 1.2 PureTech engine has power, and a rasp and roar when pushing along that belies its capacity, with the torque easily accessible in all 6 gears. I hardly had to change down, even when cruising at low speeds. The consumption averaged at 6.4 litres per 100 Km’s, a bit more than the claimed 4.8 l. This engine deservedly won the 2015 Engine of the Year award in the 1 litre to 1.4 litre engine.
The new 308 1.2 PureTech GTline is a great car. It’s a comfortable, well-engineered, stylish family hatch back with a extensive list of standard kit and now a bit of panache. It’s real world fast, economical and good value at R329 900. There is no reason why the entire 308 range shouldn’t perform better in the sales charts in South Africa. It certainly matches its competitors in terms of styling, desirability and technology and is worth a look if shopping for a car in this market. I suspect that it will greatly reward those who bravely buck the trend and go French.
Would I trade in the old 308? Nah…. I want both.
Phakxx's Quick Facts - 308 Range
1.2 PureTech Activ : R275'900 (81kw/205NM)
1.2 PureTech GT-Line : R329'900 (96kw/230NM)
GT : R369'900 (151kw/285NM)
all images courtsey of Peugeot