Peugeot 308 XSE

22 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Peugeot 308 XSE
Peugeot 308

Jaedene Hudson and Joshua Dowling

The car: Peugeot 308 XSE

The price: $30,390.

Vital statistics: 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol with four-speed automatic transmission.

Power and torque: 88kW and 160Nm.

Consumption and emissions: 7.3L/100km and 174g/km.

He: Peugeot has released a new version of its popular small hatch. The 308 replaces the 307. It went on sale earlier this year but we got reacquainted with it during our Drive Car of the Year testing.

What did you think?

She: Actually, we didn’t get reacquainted because Peugeot didn’t have any 308s available when we asked earlier in the year. So it was our first chance to sample it. I was quite surprised.

I liked it more than I thought I would.

He: Do you think Peugeot was worried about the quality of previous models?

She: Possibly. We have reported on several occasions the quality and reliability issues previous models have had. But my understanding is the company is aware of most of these and is working on them.

He: It’s a shame there is a question mark over quality because in every other regard they are nice cars. They look great, have excellent safety credentials and are a delight to drive. We’ve experienced a few problems with some new-generation cars and hear from readers from time to time.

I must say, though, the new model certainly seemed better.

She: The perception of quality in the cabin is good, however I found the fit and finish was a bit ordinary, with a few panels not matching up. Of course, none of this is likely to leave you stranded but it’s not a good look on a luxury car.

He: I really liked the interior layout, it looked classy. And I liked the technical grain on the dash and doors. The only problems I encountered were a lot of reflection in the windscreen of the light-coloured dash (not a problem with the dark dash) and a few of us during the week bumped our heads on the low roof as we got in and out.

She: I thought the dials were easy to read, the seats were comfortable but could do with more bolstering. I liked the way it drove.

He: There’s no doubt it is one of the most sure-footed models in the small-car class. But I’m not so sure if the decision to go for a small engine (1.6-litre four-cylinder) for better economy will necessarily deliver that.

She: The problem is the poor little 1.6 has to work so hard, it ends up using as much fuel as a bigger engine. The fuel rating label for the Peugeot 1.6 auto says 7.3 litres/100km but, for example, a Toyota Corolla 1.8 auto hatch shows 7.7L/100km. But in the real world the results are opposite; the Peugeot ends up using slightly more than the Corolla.

He: And the other catch: the Peugeot 308 requires the more expensive premium unleaded, according to the Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide.

She: I know these aren’t supposed to be race cars but the official 0-to-100kmh claim is 12.9 seconds. This makes it slower than most class rivals. The lack of urge from the engine was more apparent on the hilly section of our road test loop.

The 308 would be fine if you don’t live in a steep area, though.

He: At least it steers well around the bends. Peugeot had lost its way for a while but the model we tested shows the trademark agile handling is back.

She: I liked the 308 but it’s a shame the base model (called XS and priced from $27,990 with auto) doesn’t get stability control as standard – it’s a $450 option. And a driver’s knee airbag is a $250 option on most 308 models. At least they all get curtain airbags and a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

He: With all that in mind would you buy or recommend one?

She: For me the price is a bit steep. I’d probably go for a Mazda3 with the optional safety gear or if I wanted a European car I’d go for the Volkswagen Golf. You?

He: Tough call. I love the look but would want something with a bit more urge for the money.

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