Tag Archive | "Peugeot"

Family Cruiser – The Peugeot 508.

To  give it its full name, this is the Peugeot 508 Allure Blue HDi 150 saloon. You don’t see many about and yet it is unquestionably a very good car. It drives well, looks good and has an absolutely humungous boot. The 508 is comfortable and the whole thing seems well screwed together. It’s hard to understand why this car doesn’t have more buyer appeal as if the public have taken against the brand.

1mb Family Cruiser   The Peugeot 508.The metallic ‘Alpine Blue’ paintwork helps the good looks. It’s as classy as the more business-like darker hues but without being quite so anonymous. Motor Blogger’s test car was fitted with an optional, clear and readable ‘heads-up’ display. This isn’t something that’s essential but if a driver think it helps then it will set you back an additional and rather hefty £310.

Peugeot have breathed efficiently on their engine range and their old 2.0L diesel is replaced with the new 2.0L Blue HDi 150PS unit, producing an extra ten horsepower while slashing particulate emissions and NOx. Our engine, with Stop/Start, was refined and returned well over 40mpg, and we were not striving in any way for hyper-mileage or eco-records.

It’s also very quiet once the initial growl of acceleration fades away and at motorway speeds you’d be hard put to notice that it was a diesel at all. VED is an abstemious twenty quid thanks to the low 109g/km.

Our test car was furnished with Allure trim, one step below the range topping GT. It loses that car’s full leather upholstery and 19” wheels, but otherwise there isn‘t much difference, although we’re not so keen on the part leather seat trim. There’s good space front and rear – easily enough for five grown-up people – and, as mentioned, a large and well-shaped boot. There’s very little wind noise and generally good visibility all around.2mb Family Cruiser   The Peugeot 508.

The dashboard layout is simple and quietly attractive with all the usual connectivity. The dials are clear and easy to read, and look smart. Sadly, especially in this day and age, the satellite navigation isn’t good enough. It’s not so much that it doesn’t work, it’s just that it seems dated and running behind the opposition.

Overall we were content. It would make a good business fleet car and for the private owner Peugeot offer their ‘Optiway’ service plan which looks like a very good deal. To summarise, the Peugeot 508 fits the bill in most areas as a long-legged cruiser and good all-round family motor.

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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.

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Ford Fiesta ST 2013 – The Most anticipated hot hatchback on the market

The new Ford Fiesta ST is arguably one of the most anticipated hot hatchbacks to arrive on the market this year. The Fiesta ST, the junior version to the Focus ST is set take the market by storm with its reasonable price tag, performance and style. With the upcoming Peugeot 208 GTI and Renault Sport Clio 200 due for release the market has never been closer but who will take pole position.

The Ford Fiesta ST is the cheapest option out of the three pricing at £2,000 lower than the Renault sport Clio 200 with the Peugeot 208 GTI a £100 cheaper than the Renault. This makes the Ford the best value for money and with Fords reputation of high quality expect reliability to come with the price tag. All boast a 1.6 litre turbo charged engine with the Fiesta ST using their Ecoboost engine providing 20% better fuel efficiency along with 15% reduced greenhouse emissions. The Renault Sport Clio 200 has the highest power with 197bhp; all models have had their performance vastly improved to appeal to the sporting drive.

The Ford Fiesta ST clearly sets itself apart from the modest Fiesta, a black mesh grill, chunkier bumpers, lowered suspension and 17-inch alloys creates a sporty persona for the usual family friendly car. Each hatchback has had a transformation of look and style; all becoming sleeker and leaner. It’s hard to pick out which model has the greatest looks, it could be argued that the Renault Clio has had the greatest change and seems to have benefited the most from this reinvention.

The Ford STs driving position is placed perfectly with the steering wheel and seats adjustable so the driver can ensure they have a comfortable driving position to suit them. Dab radio and air conditioning come as standard and £1000 extra will add leather trim seats, a higher spec stereo, LED headlights, keyless start and climate control. The Renault Clio comes with a 7 inch touch screen and electric folding door mirrors although this still may not justify the £2000 price difference.

The Ford Fiesta ST, Renault sport Clio 200 and the Peugeot 208 GTI are sure to be leading the way in the hot hatchback market. All are reasonably priced and will prove to be a popular choice with sporting enthusiasts but which will be the most popular? The Ford Fiesta ST seems to be the most eagerly anticipated but when all three are released onto the market a true verdict will be made.

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New Cars, Concepts And Rumours

Regardless of what the world thinks of Alfa Romeo there can be no denying that they really know how to style a car. This time they have let twenty ‘Master in Transportation Design’ students loose on the drawing boards. The prototype sports saloon so dramatically pictured is what they have come up with.

It is codenamed ‘Gloria’ although why they would want to name a car after the barmaid down at the Ferret and Trousers Public House is not known. What is known is that it is absolutely gorgeous and that AR should rush it into production, like right now. In the meantime, now that the flawed but beautiful 159 has gone, they will be selling the new Guilia saloon from 2014 into the executive sector.

Staying in Italy it seems clear that Dacia’s assault on the European market with budget priced cars has rather aggravated directors at mighty FIAT. As a consequence, rather than leaving a beef lasagne in the beds of Dacia staff as a warning, they are now considering a rival low-cost new car.

In the knowledge that premium car sales are flatlining and with some manufacturers in trouble the company thinks that dormant build capacity outside of Europe could be used for a suitable vehicle with an eye especially on developing markets. The rumour is the cars could be branded Innocenti, a budget marque that FIAT purchased in 1990.

After the Geneva Show fans of cabriolets will be able to get their hands on the terrific Vauxhall Cascada that Motor Blogger featured a while back but on the concept front they appear to be getting down with the kids with the Adam Rocks. The Adam, Vauxhall’s new small car has been well received so the company is showing the Rocks as a possible advance on the model.

It’s apparently an ‘urban mini-crossover’ that could well herald yet another sector within the industry as car makers strive to boost sales with variants. The Adam Rocks is taller, wider, tougher yet more compact allegedly (How?) than its sibling and offers a cabrio roof. Certainly the Adam is almost infinitely customisable so where are they going to go with this? In addition Vauxhall intend to take the Adam rallying with an R2 version that meets FIA regulations and can be set up for tarmac or gravel conditions. Interesting.

Finally, for now, Peugeot have a strategy for reducing fuel consumption with its Hybrid Air technology that follows on from our recent article about compressed air cars. The 2008 Hybrid Air combines petrol with compressed air in a fully hybrid configuration. This, Peugeot say, moves forward their plan to one day soon achieve 140mpg. The sooner the better as far as Britain’s motorists are concerned.

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Compressed Air Cars

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? There is a fair bit of air about and by and large it is free – for now at least. Owning a car that runs on air would be the dream of every cash-strapped motorist and, in the past, some manufacturers have looked at this as a possible solution but without any meaningful success. The rise of the electric car and the various hybrid options means that other technology has rather gone on the back burner but over at Peugeot Citroen they haven’t given up.

The company have presented a new hybrid that uses compressed air instead of electricity as the secondary means of drive and they are getting pretty puffed up about it. It’s called Hybrid Air and could potentially allow a small hatchback to run with CO² emissions as low as 69g/km.

The set-up consists of a regular petrol engine linked to an epicyclical transmission. Apparently this uses gears that revolve around a central gear in the same manner as planets orbit around the sun. This in turn is assisted by an hydraulic motor running on compressed air. The air tank is slung underneath the car and is recharged by regenerative braking technology.

As with any other hybrid the car can run on petrol or air alone, or as a combination of the two. Air power alone would, of course, mean zero emissions and could be suitable for city driving for over fifty percent of the time.

Inevitably this extra equipment means extra weight but it isn’t as bad as the common petrol/electric versions, adding about one hundred kilos overall. The simplicity of the system coupled with the lack of battery packs means no expensive lithium-ion content and Peugeot Citroen reckon this will help promote the science to the greener motorist. It should also make the cars more affordable. They also believe that Hybrid Air will offer up to 45% improved fuel consumption over a regular car with benefits also in range.

The company will show Hybrid Air cars at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Initially appearing in B and C segment cars using petrol engines between 80 and 110bhp they hope to start production in 2016. The ultimate aim is to be in a position to offer well over 100mpg by 2020. Nothing as yet on pricing but it is very encouraging that Peugeot Citroen are investing in technology that could make a real difference in the long run on the expense of car ownership and the health of the planet.

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Peugeot Reveal 2008 for 2013

For some reason Peugeot have been a bit neglected of late on these pages. It’s nothing personal, honest; they make some very good cars, but there’s not been much to seriously whet the appetite lately; being rather eclipsed by the classy offerings from sister company Citroen.

Well that might be about to change. The French company will reveal their new small crossover – the 2008 – at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and jolly nice it looks too. Peugeot plan to take on the likes of Skoda’s Yeti and Nissan’s quirky Juke later on this year.

As is the current trend, there is some model family design cues currently seen on the regular 208 but for the most part the car looks like the concept they showed last year. The only changes are to generally tone things down a bit. The result, as you can see from the photo, is a very good looking set of wheels indeed.

There’s a tendency for SUV’s of whatever size or brand to have a similar look about them as if all the designers worked from the same initial blueprint. This is presumably because to make an all-purpose car results in a particular shape. Never mind – the car makers have still managed to give their offerings a sense of individuality and the 2008 is no exception.

The stepped roofline and the roof rails coupled with a purposeful stance gives the car a rugged look and the panoramic roof should make the roomy interior a nice light and airy place to be. Under the bonnet there’s the usual selection of frugal engines we’ve come to expect. There’s the now ubiquitous three cylinder job and a tax-busting diesel and these are likely to be the main customer choices. The sporting look of the car seems to suggest that the more enthusiastic driver might prefer the 156bhp 1.6L with a comely turbocharger fitted.

There will not be a four wheel drive version (not yet, at any rate) which seems a shame but higher specification versions will get Peugeot’s Grip Control system that varies the torque at each driven wheel to gain maximum grip when the going gets tricky.

The company are confident about how this car will fare in the global market place and as a consequence will build it at three different locations around the world. When it goes on sale expect a starting price from around £13k in the UK. The 2008 certainly looks like a worthy challenger.

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Small But Perfectly Formed

My Citroen C1 has just returned from rugged North Yorkshire en route to which and during its stay it encountered all sorts of roads, terrains and weather. It ran through the briars and it ran through the brambles. It ran through the places where the rabbits wouldn’t go. It ran so fast that a Hummer couldn’t catch it – all through the dales of Yorkshire and on to Scarboro’. This little car has performed faultlessly. It kept up with the big boys and went down lanes too narrow for them. And they call them city cars. Frankly, my car laughs in the face of such sobriquets.

The point is that these small cars are growing up. Sure, a motorway express is always going to be better for long journeys, no question, but what if you can’t afford one or indeed afford to run one now that motoring costs have risen out of all proportion? Motor companies are beginning to understand that tastes are changing. For some, it is because the drip – drip – drip of the green lobby has finally worn them down and for some, to be fair, it is because they are genuine believers. Either way, small modern cars are becoming increasingly popular for all the right reasons.

For some of the more unscrupulous in the halls of government this is a worrying trend. Revenue from fuel and road tax is falling. Expect any day now for the VED rates to be ‘re-aligned’ to bring healthy electric cars into the tax bands, even though they were supposed to be exempt. The Citroen C1 pays only £20pa now and sips petrol so don’t be surprised if the fuel price stays artificially high. Just to remind you – this is the party that castigated those labour chappies for their ‘war on motorists’. Ha!

If you keep the revs up the Citroen C1 has zippy performance, The same presumably goes for the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107 because they are, effectively, the same car. It can only be a matter of time, as drivers adjust to smaller vehicles, that manufacturers will start to offer hotter versions of their baby cars. In fact, it has started already with the news that both SEAT and Skoda have shown concept versions of a Mii FR and a Citigo Rally, respectively; both were revealed at the GTI Treffen Tuning Festival in Austria. It is suggested that the SEAT Mii FR will not have any chassis or tuning upgrades, just that it will look ‘the business’. No word yet on performance upgrades for the Skoda Citigo Rally but it does look like a miniature Fabia S2000 rally car (pictured above with optional accessory). Brilliant!

As far as most regular drivers on regular budgets are concerned, the larger car may well have had its day. In the not too distant future small city cars are going to be big.

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How Sportscar And Endurance Racing Could Take F1’s Crown

Sportscar and endurance racing has always been a brilliant breeding ground for road car technology. The cauldron of battle that is round the clock racing breeds performance with the necessity of reliability.

Disc brakes, double-clutch gearboxes, variable turbine turbo geometry, carbon-fibre brake discs and direct injection petrol engines are but a few inventions pioneered through endurance racing.

As manufacturers look to tighten their belts and the outlay for a full calendar of racing in the F1 circus carries on rising unabated, sportscar racing for many looks appealing.

With a direct link from racecar to road car there’s real benefit for the manufacturer, too. And then there’s the fans, the all important fans.

Without fans there’d be no motorsport, so with ticket prices for a Grand Prix almost prohibitively expensive and a full week’s ticket for five days worth of action, including a full 24 hours at the twice-round-the-clock French classic in Le Mans, sportscars really could steal F1’s crown.

It could rival it for on track action too. With BMW, Lamborghini, Corvette, Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Audi, Peugeot, Ford and other bespoke racecar manufacturers like Oreca and Zytek confirmed for the new 2012 World Endurance Championship – set up after the settling of a feud between the ACO (the organisers of the Le Mans 24 hours) and the FIA – sonorous sounding automotive exotica lapping within tenths of a second of each other would surely draw crowds. And at a fraction of the cost.

It’s close racing that makes good viewing, not one team with the most money – thanks to backing by a certain Austrian energy drink – waltzing of into the distance unchallenged. With sportscar racing you get that.

After 24 hours of racing at the 2011 24 hours of Le Mans, less than 13 seconds separated the eventual winner and the second place car – now that’s close racing.

Formula 1 is definitely the pinnacle of on-track motorsport – no question. But big-cube V8 Corvettes rumbling by, shaking your chest cavity making it difficult to breathe, and wailing Aston Martin V12s screaming past blurring your vision they’re engine notes are that piercing, proves there is more than one way to skin the proverbial.

The new World Endurance Championship will hopefully bring with it more fans, meaning more money, meaning more manufacturers, creating a self-perpetuating cycle.


With all that high-powered metal on show, we can’t wait to see how the inaugural season pans out.

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