Peugeot 308 SW tested | TopCar – Part 2

2 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Peugeot 308 SW tested | TopCar – Part 2
Peugeot 308 SW

Peugeot 308 SW

tested

June 18, 2009

I’ve been married for six months, and maybe that’s why the keys to the Peugeot 308 SW were dangled before me. Amid fleeting thoughts of 2.5 children and an avalanche of nappies, I also reminded myself that the French have a special way with style and design.

The French connection

Walking towards the car I was drawn to the smooth lines, well defined hips, interesting rear lights and a front grille that looks like a Southern Right whale taking a yawn. It makes an impression all right quite avant-garde, quite French. It’s an exterior that, as the English might say, has a certain ‘I don’t know what’ . Either way, it works.

Getting inside, the cabin feels spacious, helped no doubt by that huge sloping windscreen, even if the overall effect lacks the necessary je ne sais quoi . Don’t get me wrong, the interior ergonomics are not bad and there’s no shortage of creature comforts including bi-zone automatic climate control, a refrigerated glove compartment, rain-sensing wipers and little storage compartments that would make a drug mule envious. It seems well put together too and should stand up to the mom’s taxi industry test. But it fails to inspire blame it on the exterior which sets expectations at a high point.

Three party tricks and a winner

Peugeot 308 SW

It’s not all bad. As standard you’ll get a large panoramic roof. Think of it as a cheap form of in-car entertainment for the kids. There’s a tailgate that cleverly splits in two, with the rear glass lifting to allow easy access for smaller parcels though figuring it out might take some time. There is a seven-seat option too, but as third-row pews sell at R18 122 per set, it’s never going to compete in this segment.

But hang on. With the rear seats folded flat, the station wagon aspect comes into its own, making 674 litres of boot space available.

When it’s all said and done

Ride quality is good with the suspension admirably soaking up the bumps and dips. Long journeys should be a breeze, depending on how well behaved your kids are. That said, the 88kW 1.6-litre petrol engine feels underpowered.

Point it at a hill and it feels like a chain smoker with emphysema trying to do the Comrades. Personally, I feel that the 2.0-litre HDi diesel engine offered in European markets would make the Peugeot a more attractive purchase. The diesel offers more power, lower fuel consumption and a smaller carbon footprint. Moms like to get with the green thang too.

So to the million dollar (or in this case R250 000) question: does a hatch with station wagon ambitions justify this kind of spend? In my opinion, if you want a real seven-seater minus the French flair and fancy roof, try a Toyota Verso. Or if your heart is truly set on a station wagon, go for a marque that has a frisson of exotic appeal yet dishes up loads of sensibility, and opt for the 2.0-litre Volvo V50. Station wagons: I don’t really get them.

Maybe I haven’t been married long enough yet.

ROAD TEST: PEUGEOT 308 SW

Peugeot 308 SW
Peugeot 308 SW
Peugeot 308 SW
Peugeot 308 SW
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