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Car Of The Year – The Peugeot 308.

Car Of The Year – The Peugeot 308.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming did you? Peugeot’s lacklustre reputation of recent years – whether deserved or not – may have meant that this brand was only of interest to people who needed a car but couldn‘t care less what it was. That dull. Earlier this year however Motor Blogger had the chance to test a Pug 208 GTI and found it very good. So, thinking that things must be picking up at the venerable French company, it seemed like a good idea to try the COTY.

Thus, we have spent some time with a Peugeot 308 THP 156PS hatchback and the first thing to say is that it is ten times better than any other Peugeot I have ever been in prior to this year. It is such an improvement in fact that it has been awarded the ‘COTY for 2014’ by international motoring journalists – and they should know.

The new 308 is lower, wider and lighter than its predecessor. It sits on a new platform and as a consequence the wheels have been pushed further towards the corners and the front and rear overhangs have thus been reduced, improving handling, and all riding on smart 18” alloys.

308a Car Of The Year   The Peugeot 308.The body styling is subtle but effective with attractive light clusters and I especially liked the detail on the door handles.

The car in the images is furnished in top-of-the-range Feline trim and motivated by a powerful 156bhp four-pot turbo petrol engine that is smooth and likes to rev. Under acceleration, the car makes a satisfying noise. Wind and tyre noise are well within acceptable levels.

The performance of this car is verging on hot hatch territory. It will whisk the occupants to 62mph in an athletic 8.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 132mph. The 308 handles extremely well with an almost perfect blend of comfort and sporting ability. An average of 35.6mpg was achieved during the test, which, to be fair, was more demanding than regular driving, so expect nearer to 40mpg in general use.

The minimalist interior of the 308 is very comfortable. There are few switches as most functions, radio and navigation are controlled through the 9.7 inch touch-screen which I generally found was easy to use. There’s the usual connectivity that buyers expect but I must offer a word of warning: There is no CD player as standard! You have to order it. A sign of the times.

A particular highlight is the panoramic glass sunroof. A rear-seat passenger, with plenty of leg and headroom in the back, mentioned how nice it was to have the feature extend to make the interior light and airy. The sports seats are great with plenty of adjustment and lumbar support. There’s keyless entry, front parking sensors and a very good reversing camera. In Feline trim the 308 comes pretty much fully loaded. With the pearlescent paint at £675 the total price for this Peugeot is £21,345. Very competitive.

Overall, Peugeot can give themselves a corporate pat on the back. They have produced a fine family car.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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