Peugeot 308 1.6 THP 156 Feline: Review
“There’s no key thingy, how do you start this thing” I asked the Mr. who was looking back at me in amusement.
“You don’t, just put the key down and press the button marked Stop and Start,” He laughed.
Pressing the button the car purred with life, “I knew that, I was just testing your car knowledge”; I could hardly hear the engine from inside the car, impressive.
“Now let’s boldly go where no blogger has gone before” I pointed to the road. He didn’t look amused by my smart witty comment, definitely not a start trek fan.
Last Friday the lovely guys at Peugeot had sent over the new Peugeot 308 1.6 THP 156 Feline for me to test-drive and review, I decided to take the car on a little road trip to in the heart of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham’s finest No.131 hotel.
So what is the Peugeot 308 1.6 THP 156 Feline you ask?
The Peugeot 308 is the company’s second generation revamped five-door hatch back from the Peugeot Feline range, sporting a number of great features and it seems Peugeot was determined to target the car at the more upmarket mainstream segment rivalling the VW Golf, Astra, Focus and Kia.
Although the new 308 seems slightly bigger than the last model it replaces, Peugeot somehow have managed to make the car much lighter, trimming 70kg from the car with the new EMP2 platform also reducing a further 70kg from the body shell by to using lightweight materials throughout the vehicle, which definitely adds humph to the cars fast of the mark acceleration. The 1.6 liter 156 bhp petrol engine easily achieves 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds with top speeds of 132mph. The fact the car is 140 kg lighter and lower creates a more connected feel and a thrill to drive I might add.
The first thing I notice when entering the car is that Peugeot has stripped the centre control which as a result is virtually absence of buttons which has all been replaced with a central 9.7 inch touch screen. Though this adds to the simplicity and rather futuristic design of which Peugeot have dubbed the i-cockpit, my anti-Tech alarm bells started to ring – I had to scroll through endless options to change the radio, set the Sat-Nav, change the temperate and so on. Although this might have been an interesting feature for the die-hard Tech-savvy fans, I however found it a little frustrating at times, especially when I had to heavy rely on my passenger to navigate the settings for me, as I was too afraid to take my eyes of the road to change settings whilst driving.
There was a smaller screen set on the dashboard behind the wheel, which reflects that of the touch screen control, which I found useful however it took a little getting use-to the different settings. Even though I like to think of myself as somewhat clued up on the generation-i technology however the 308 touch screen functions were far from the comforts of navigating around an i-phone or i-Pad device.
Upfront in the cabin there is plenty of space and legroom to swing a cat, well if you wanted to swing a cat. However the space in the back is less desirable, I couldn’t help but think that Peugeot scarified the space in the back for a much larger boot space, which is perfect if you’re carrying a large pram, shopping or as I found two large suitcases for my hotel stay. Although the leg space in the back of the 308 would be crumpling for a large adult, the size is perfect if you’re are chauffeuring small children.
The panoramic glass roof also creates the added feel of space, and it was certainly a head turner as a few people glare at the car whenever I stopped at the lights. The lumbar support seats also have built in massaging settings, which was put to good use during my 3-hour drive. There is also the added bonus of the access cruise control, DAB radio, Electric hand breaks, LED lights, full colour navigation system, front and rear parking sensors as well as a blind spot monitor a clever sensor that warns you when something is in your blind spot when you’re manoeuvring, makes the car an appealing package especially for those looking to buy their first car.
Would I buy the new 308?
The truthful answer is, yes, I would.
Although I had a love hate relationship with the touch screen control it was clear that Peugeot had invested some substantial research and development into 308 with noticeable improvements, which is probably one of the reasons why the 308 won the 2014 European Car Of The Year Award beating off competition from BMW, Mazda and Mercedes. Personally, at first I was not expecting much from the new 308 however there is something about the car that goes beyond the smartly trimmed cabin and gizmos, the car is not only fun to drive but also practical and competitively priced cheaper in the market, sure I could eventually get my head around the irritating touch screen display and could possibly even grow to love it, yes that’s right I used the L-word. The only downside to the car was the lack of passenger space in the rear. Over looking that factor I personally think, without a doubt this has to be one of the best-designed compact hatchbacks Peugeot has made to date.
Peugeot 308 Feline THP 156
Mechanical: 156bhp, 1,598cc petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual transmission
Max speed: 132mph
0-60 mph: 8.4 seconds
Combined mpg: 48.7
CO2 emissions: 134g/km
To find out more about the new 308 and prices visit http://www.peugeot.co.uk/showroom/308/5-door/p=technology/