Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Peugeot 308 Rises to Sales Challenge

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Peugeot 308 Rises to Sales Challenge

Article excerpt

Byline: Alistair Coull

THE latest generation Peugeot 308 has got off to a flying start, scooping the 2014 European Car of the Year title.

Success breeds success ... demand has already exceeded 60,000 orders across Europe since launch last autumn.

The 308 hatchback made its UK debut in January, boldly sweeping into the most popular car sector - the five-door medium hatchback segment - which accounts for 30% of all European car sales.

This car was powered by the 1.6-litre e-HDi 115bhp diesel unit, boasting a combined fuel return of 74.3mpg and a tax-beating CO2 of just 95g/ km. But on test that heady consumption figure was nearer the 62mpg mark.

Reasonably strong and flexible, but not what ywas smooth and surprisingly subdued which helps in Peugeot's bid to present a classier, more upmarket second-generation 308.

The French family hatch felt well-composed most of the time. A softly set-up suspension was quite supple yet maintained poise despite some fairly battered stretches of Tarmac. And it still provided a comfortable and cosseted ride even though the 308 sat on larger 18-inch alloys.

The Peugeot handled niftily through bends but decorum gave way to some roll.

However, it was within acceptable tolerances. Steering though light was precise and reassuring but feedback was lacking to the much smallerthan-usual steering wheel. The six-speed manual gearbox was smooth and precise, essential when dropping down a shift or two to muster more power, which was often, particularly when overtaking. Otherwise the 1.6-litre unit cruised happily. Excellent braking power made for further reassurance.

Interior space is good, though rear passengers may be a little cramped on leg room.

Headroom is average but if, like here, the 308 comes with a panoramic glass roof, it does further reduce headroom that bit more.

The boot offers a class-leading 470 litres of space which can expand to 1,130 litres with the rear seats folded.

Prices for the 308 start at PS17,800, but in top-range Feline trim as here, you add a further PS3,000 which adds a multifunction colour touch screen, sat-nav, electric handbrake, 18-inch alloys, panoramic glass roof, keyless entry, Driver Assistance Pack - which includes cruise control, Emergency Collision Alert and Emergency Collision Braking System, plus half Alcantara trim, sports seats and passenger lumbar support. …

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