FIRST impressions often prove important as was the case with a recent test drive, the car in question the new Peugeot 308.
The moment I took the wheel of this very well proportioned hatchback I felt at home, spacious despite its compact dimensions and an excellent driving position.
More was to follow, ride quality and a rewarding drive experience. Yes Peugeot have ticked a lot of boxes with the latest version of the 308.
The new model shares the styling elements already seen on the 508 and the SR1 Concept Car and there are three body styles; Hatchback, CC and SW, and four multi-model trim levels; Access, SR, Active and Allure. A range topping hatchback and CC THP 200 model is also be available in a single GT trim level.
The front ends get a make over with the latest LED headlamps and running lights leaving an elegant and modern look.
Powering the new look 308 more efficient engines and Peugeot’s innovative micro-hybrid e-HDi Stop & Start technology.
Peugeot’s micro-hybrid e-HDi Stop & Start technology is the latest generation technology and combined with the company’s class leading 1.6 litre HDi FAP 112 Euro 5 diesel engine which reduces CO2 emissions to 98 g/km.
This engine option, as tested is available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed electronically controlled manual gearbox, thus giving the lowest emissions in its segment.
All models feature air conditioning, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), ABS, EBFD, EBA, front and rear electric windows with child security, remote control central door locking with deadlocks and six SMART safety airbags.
Looking at performance and economy, power output at 112bhp is generous and delivers rest to 62mph in 11.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 118mph.
For me and I suspect many others an important factor is economy, this member of the 308 family can deliver 62.7mpg on the combined fuel cycle, now that is impressive and wallet pleasing.
The good news story continues with a group 15 rating under the new insurance figures.
All of this is of prime importance in reducing the cost of motoring. Priced just shy of £20,000 the 308 Allure e-HDi 112 as tested cannot be described exactly as cheap, but it does provide overall quality.
My test car was finished in Nera Black with Black half leather trim and the options fitted at extra cost, metallic paint finish (£400) and an aluminum pack consisting of footrest, gear lever and pedals at a cost of £100.