Peugeot 308 - Family View - FRENCH FIT
|Total:||22 out of 30|
To be honest, though this might have bothered me on paper, it doesn't irk me at all in day-to-day use. Like the car itself, the engine does, after all, have more important virtues. For a start, it's very quiet. You slip into 6th gear and forget about it. Helping in this regard is the realisation after a few hundred miles that it's hard to think of a rival that offers a more absorbent ride.
I was brought up with Peugeots that were a hoot to drive on twisty roads, something that the marque rather lost with the 307. While the 308 can't be seen as the start of a whole new era in this regard, it's a significant step forward and is really rather satisfying on the back roads that make up my daily commute. I've the improved suspension to thank for this. However, there's a bit more roll than you'd find in a Focus or a Golf and a bit less steering feel too.
Having a family has put safety several notches further up my priority list with a car of this type, so the 308's 5 star NCAP safety rating was a must if I was going to assign the 308 over to my wife Katie to transport our three young children on the school run. For this kind of work, the cabin needs to be easy to clean and most of all practical.
One of the things that my wife most likes about the interior of the 308 is the vast number of storage pockets, luggage hooks and nets, slide out trays and cubbyholes. If you're carrying anything from a diamond dripping engagement ring to a 1.5-litre bottle of coke, you'll find somewhere secure to stow it - although the trick may be remembering exactly which pocket you put it in. For chocoholics like my daughter Ellie, the air-conditioned glove box keeps her Cadburys bar just as she would want to find it, rather than the sloppy mess that so often results.
Once you've finished losing things in the storage bins, you tend to notice how spacious the rest of the car is. Not only is it one of the tallest vehicles in its sector (useful as it ensured that I could cultivate a wild hairstyle) but it has a seriously large windscreen adding to the ambiance of space and light.
We all thought that the rear accommodation was impressive and the decor, while a little sombre, feels as though it comes from a car high up the automotive hierarchy. Good fuel economy, a comfortable driving position and plenty of space make this an ideal car for work around town or for longer trips. I could even see my family going on holiday in one, such is the comfort and available space.
In my view, the cabin now vies with that of the Fiat Bravo (yes, really) as arguably the nicest in the Family Hatchback sector - and yes, this observation includes that of the Volkswagen Golf (quality fitments but a rather dull overall feel). As with both Focus and Golf interiors, it's impressively spacious but the ambience is a lot more inviting, especially if you order the (non-opening) full-length panoramic glass roof. Soft-touch plastics are everywhere, attractively set off by slivers of faux aluminium. The rear of the 308 has more of a bulbous look to it, helping to maximise luggage space that runs to 430 litres and can be extended to 1,398 litres by folding the rear seats.
So, in summary, my family is in no hurry to part with our 308. There may be family hatches that are slightly better to drive, or cheaper or a little better equipped. But none that offers as good an all-round package as this one.
Facts at a Glance
Facts At A Glance
CAR: Peugeot 308 HDi range
PRICES: £13,295-£20,045 - on the road
INSURANCE GROUPS: 6-13E
CO2 EMISSIONS: 118-132g/km
PERFORMANCE: [1.6 HDi 110] 0-60mph 11.3s/ Max Speed 118mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: [1.6 HDi 110] (combined) 60.1mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: seven airbags / ABS & EBD
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: [5dr] Length/Width/Height mm 4276/1815/1498
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