This new 308 is much less quirky than earlier versions, and it is the better car for it. So much so that it was voted European Car of the Year in 2014. I am not sure it is quite that good.
The interior is smart, uncluttered and, well… chic. It is French after all. I did not like the counter clockwise rev counter, but otherwise the cabin is really pleasant, with many controls via the large touch screen, which is really easy to use. The materials appear to be good quality and have been well chosen with pleasant contrasts, from brushed aluminium to soft touch plastic. Fit and finish is good.
The boot is big enough to pass the pram test twice over and when you fold down the back seats is borderline huge.
The 1.2L turbo-petrol engine, like in the Cactus, puts out 230Nm of torque, which coupled to the rather light body means good performance is the order of the day although the clutch and I never really made friends. I got fuel consumption of around 7 Litre/ 100km on my normal route, but Peugeot claim below 6L/100km.
The suspension has been soundly engineered to achieve that balance or sweet spot between being able to take on the rough but not insulate the driver from the road. It is very good. The brakes, steering, acceleration are all well set up. Its a nice car to drive.
An automatic gearbox is expected early in 2016.
As with all French cars the safety package is comprehensive. Its got everything.
Although it is a refined and classy car, I feel it is a little pricey at R329 900.
This car competes with all the C sector heavyweights: Ford Fusion, VW Golf, Toyota Auris, as well as the Renault Megane, Mazda3, Kia Cerato and Opel Astra.
It comes with a 5 year maintenance plan.