Peugeot 308CC 2009 Review

Peugeot 308CC 2009 Review

The Mazda MX-5 could be credited with bringing affordable open-air motoring to the modern masses but it wasn’t Japan where going topless first began; it was in France almost 75 years ago. George Paulin a full-time dentist and part-time automotive designer penned and patented the first retractable hardtop roof in 1935. Unlike the first MX-5 many decades later Paulin’s roof was power-operated and first entered production on the Peugeot 401.

In 1998, Peugeot sent the CC (Coupe Cabriolet) vehicle type into a renaissance with its 206CC and then 307CC models both achieving strong sales results. Now, it’s the 308CC that’s picked up the torch and while it may look simply like a fun vehicle to many, for Peugeot it’s serious business. So does the 308 CC have the right assets to drop its top and impress all this summer? Car and SUV got its hands all over one to find out more.

Convertibles are great for seeing and sensing your environment more than regular cars, but they’re also about being seen and the 308CC has no problem drawing the eye. The exterior aesthetic displays a subtle aggression that starts out front with a gaping toothy air intake and squinting headlights. At the rear large LED taillights are distinctive in shape and illumination. A small boot lip spoiler, a splash of chrome trim and 17-inch alloys round off the sporty look. Visually the 308CC hasn’t completely escaped the awkwardness that plagues CC vehicles and the fluid character line that starts from the bonnet and works into the A-pillars is cut short early. However, retract the roof and the Peugeot instantly appears more elongated, elegant and at its best.

Inside, the 308CC has an interesting mix of style and substance. The dashboard looks and feels quality, mixing blacks and generous silver trim with orange illuminated display screens. The retro-styled instrument cluster offers a feeling of occasion and the leather seats are cosseting and luxurious. Switchgear is a touch fiddly and climate controls are placed very closely to the gearstick but remain fairly easy to use. Cabin storage is limited with a small centre console for CDs, slim door pockets, a glove box that can’t fit the owner’s manual and a complete lack of cup holders. But space restrictions aren’t just limited to small items; adult-size back seat passengers will struggle to get comfortable on longer journeys with limited legroom and also restricted headroom when the roof is up.

The 308CC’s equipment list is very good and includes a six-speaker stereo with auxiliary input, dual-zone climate control, rear parking aid, air-conditioned lockable glove box and automatic wipers. Get the leather upgrade pack and you receive electrically adjustable heated front seats with a head restraint air vent to keep your neck warm when motoring alfresco.

It will take 20 seconds and the touch of a button to get the roof tucked away in the Peugeot’s boot and will reduce luggage capacity from 465 litres to 266 litres. With the roof down, windows up and wind blocker in place the cabin is a relatively calm place, even at motorway speeds.

Available with a single engine option in NZ, under the 308CC’s bonnet lays a 2-litre direct-injected turbo diesel engine producing 100kW of power and 320Nm of torque. It’s a flexible unit that offers a decent serve of grunt at low revs. Push it higher into the rev range and the motor struggles against the 308CC’s bulky 1695kg weight. So it’s no high performance vehicle but it was never planned to be. In terms of its cruising focus the diesel engine is capable, isn’t too loud and returns a good fuel economy of 7.0l/100km combined.

The impressive fuel economy figure is helped largely by a clever 6-speed automatic ‘box which is intuitive and has a sport mode that holds the Pug in a lower gear longer. A tiptronic feature is also available for manual shifting.

While the 308CC can’t offer sports car performance the ride is sports car firm and slightly at odds with its cruising focus. That said, the overall handling is impressive with ample grip and a flat balanced feel during cornering. The steering has a very light, artificial feel that works fine around town but on twisted roads mid-corner adjustment may be required to compensate for the vague communication between road and driver.

Safety systems have been a focus with the 308CC and this has seen it achieve a maximum 5 star Euro NCAP rating. A full compliment of 6 airbags is on board as are ABS brakes, electronic stability control and pyrotechnic rollover bars if it all turns ugly.

Priced at $59,990 the new 308CC offers many things for the money, an interesting automotive bloodline, a heavy dosage of styling flair inside and out, a calm cabin with the top down, excellent fuel economy within its segment and solid safety cred.  In terms of dynamics and straight-line acceleration the 308CC isn’t as sporty as its looks might suggest but this shouldn’t dissuade many within its largely female target market.

So does the Peugeot have the goods to prance around top down this summer? Definitely, it’s eye-catching especially when topless to observers and has just enough character to keep drivers happy too.

Price: $59,990

What we like:

  • Intriguing styling
  • Fuel economy
  • Well-balanced handling

What we don’t like:

  • Harsh ride
  • Cramped back seat
  • Could use more power

Peugeot 308 CC HDI – Specifications

ENGINE

High-Pressure Direct Injection Turbo Diesel, 16 valve
6 speed Tiptronic System Porsche Automatic Transmission
Cubic Capacity (cc) 1997
Max Power kW (HP) @ rpm 100 (136) @ 4000
Max Torque (Nm) @ rpm 320 (340) @ 2000

WHEELS AND TYRES

Size 225/45R17
Alloy Wheels Alloy

BRAKES

Front ventilated with sliding calipers 302 x 26 mm
Rear solid discs with sliding calipers 249 x 9 mm

SUSPENSION

Front”Independent McPherson type, helical springs and
hydraulic dampers, set to operating pressure of 5 bars.
Rear”Rear Torsion beam, helical springs and hydraulic
dampers set to an operating pressure of 5 bars.

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm) 4400
Width (mm) with mirrors 1817
Height (mm) 1426
Boot capacity”roof down (litres) 266
– roof up (litres) 465

WEIGHTS AND CAPACITIES

Kerb weight (kg) 1695
Braked trailer towing weight (kg) 1400
Unbraked trailer towing weight (kg) 750

FUEL CONSUMPTION & EMISSIONS

City cycle l/100km 9.6
Highway cycle l/100km 5.5
Combined l/100km 7.0
Emission of CO2 by weight  (g/km) 185
Emission Control EURO 4
Top speed kms/hr 202

SECURITY

  • Remote central locking, including glovebox & central armrest
  • Rolling code transponder immobiliser
  • Visible VIN number
  • Security coded in-car entertainment
  • Auto-lock doors/boot over 10 km

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

  • Cruise Control with speed limiter
  • Rear park aid
  • Internal operated central door locking
  • One-touch electric windows with anti-pinch front and rear
  • Electrically operated door mirrors and electric folding mirrors
  • CD / MP3 Player
  • Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls
  • Dual and digital climate control airconditioning
  • Airconditioned glovebox
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Automatic rain sensing wipers
  • Automatic headlight illumination system
  • Front storage bins
  • Boot net
  • Accoustic laminated front windscreen
  • Front and rear fog lights and reverse lights
  • Retractable 2 piece hard top folding roof
  • Under boot storage compartment

LEATHER UPGRADE PACK

  • Black Leather
  • Heated front seats
  • Head Restraint Air-vent
  • Windstop

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

The Mazda MX-5 could be credited with bringing affordable open-air motoring to the modern masses but it wasn’t Japan where going topless first began; it was in France almost 75 years ago. George Paulin a full-time dentist and part-time automotive designer penned and patented the first retractable hardtop roof in 1935. Unlike the first MX-5 many decades later Paulin’s roof was power-operated and first entered production on the Peugeot 401.

In 1998, Peugeot sent the CC (Coupe Cabriolet) vehicle type into a renaissance with its 206CC and then 307CC models both achieving strong sales results. Now, it’s the 308CC that’s picked up the torch and while it may look simply like a fun vehicle to many, for Peugeot it’s serious business. So does the 308 CC have the right assets to drop its top and impress all this summer? Car and SUV got its hands all over one to find out more.

Convertibles are great for seeing and sensing your environment more than regular cars, but they’re also about being seen and the 308CC has no problem drawing the eye. The exterior aesthetic displays a subtle aggression that starts out front with a gaping toothy air intake and squinting headlights. At the rear large LED taillights are distinctive in shape and illumination. A small boot lip spoiler, a splash of chrome trim and 17-inch alloys round off the sporty look. Visually the 308CC hasn’t completely escaped the awkwardness that plagues CC vehicles and the fluid character line that starts from the bonnet and works into the A-pillars is cut short early. However, retract the roof and the Peugeot instantly appears more elongated, elegant and at its best.

Inside, the 308CC has an interesting mix of style and substance. The dashboard looks and feels quality, mixing blacks and generous silver trim with orange illuminated display screens. The retro-styled instrument cluster offers a feeling of occasion and the leather seats are cosseting and luxurious. Switchgear is a touch fiddly and climate controls are placed very closely to the gearstick but remain fairly easy to use. Cabin storage is limited with a small centre console for CDs, slim door pockets, a glove box that can’t fit the owner’s manual and a complete lack of cup holders. But space restrictions aren’t just limited to small items; adult-size back seat passengers will struggle to get comfortable on longer journeys with limited legroom and also restricted headroom when the roof is up.

The 308CC’s equipment list is very good and includes a six-speaker stereo with auxiliary input, dual-zone climate control, rear parking aid, air-conditioned lockable glove box and automatic wipers. Get the leather upgrade pack and you receive electrically adjustable heated front seats with a head restraint air vent to keep your neck warm when motoring alfresco.

It will take 20 seconds and the touch of a button to get the roof tucked away in the Peugeot’s boot and will reduce luggage capacity from 465 litres to 266 litres. With the roof down, windows up and wind blocker in place the cabin is a relatively calm place, even at motorway speeds.

Available with a single engine option in NZ, under the 308CC’s bonnet lays a 2-litre direct-injected turbo diesel engine producing 100kW of power and 320Nm of torque. It’s a flexible unit that offers a decent serve of grunt at low revs. Push it higher into the rev range and the motor struggles against the 308CC’s bulky 1695kg weight. So it’s no high performance vehicle but it was never planned to be. In terms of its cruising focus the diesel engine is capable, isn’t too loud and returns a good fuel economy of 7.0l/100km combined.

The impressive fuel economy figure is helped largely by a clever 6-speed automatic ‘box which is intuitive and has a sport mode that holds the Pug in a lower gear longer. A tiptronic feature is also available for manual shifting.

While the 308CC can’t offer sports car performance the ride is sports car firm and slightly at odds with its cruising focus. That said, the overall handling is impressive with ample grip and a flat balanced feel during cornering. The steering has a very light, artificial feel that works fine around town but on twisted roads mid-corner adjustment may be required to compensate for the vague communication between road and driver.

Safety systems have been a focus with the 308CC and this has seen it achieve a maximum 5 star Euro NCAP rating. A full compliment of 6 airbags is on board as are ABS brakes, electronic stability control and pyrotechnic rollover bars if it all turns ugly.

Priced at $59,990 the new 308CC offers many things for the money, an interesting automotive bloodline, a heavy dosage of styling flair inside and out, a calm cabin with the top down, excellent fuel economy within its segment and solid safety cred.  In terms of dynamics and straight-line acceleration the 308CC isn’t as sporty as its looks might suggest but this shouldn’t dissuade many within its largely female target market.

So does the Peugeot have the goods to prance around top down this summer? Definitely, it’s eye-catching especially when topless to observers and has just enough character to keep drivers happy too.

Price: $59,990

What we like:

  • Intriguing styling
  • Fuel economy
  • Well-balanced handling

What we don’t like:

  • Harsh ride
  • Cramped back seat
  • Could use more power

Peugeot 308 CC HDI – Specifications

ENGINE

High-Pressure Direct Injection Turbo Diesel, 16 valve
6 speed Tiptronic System Porsche Automatic Transmission
Cubic Capacity (cc) 1997
Max Power kW (HP) @ rpm 100 (136) @ 4000
Max Torque (Nm) @ rpm 320 (340) @ 2000

WHEELS AND TYRES

Size 225/45R17
Alloy Wheels Alloy

BRAKES

Front ventilated with sliding calipers 302 x 26 mm
Rear solid discs with sliding calipers 249 x 9 mm

SUSPENSION

Front”Independent McPherson type, helical springs and
hydraulic dampers, set to operating pressure of 5 bars.
Rear”Rear Torsion beam, helical springs and hydraulic
dampers set to an operating pressure of 5 bars.

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm) 4400
Width (mm) with mirrors 1817
Height (mm) 1426
Boot capacity”roof down (litres) 266
– roof up (litres) 465

WEIGHTS AND CAPACITIES

Kerb weight (kg) 1695
Braked trailer towing weight (kg) 1400
Unbraked trailer towing weight (kg) 750

FUEL CONSUMPTION & EMISSIONS

City cycle l/100km 9.6
Highway cycle l/100km 5.5
Combined l/100km 7.0
Emission of CO2 by weight  (g/km) 185
Emission Control EURO 4
Top speed kms/hr 202

SECURITY

  • Remote central locking, including glovebox & central armrest
  • Rolling code transponder immobiliser
  • Visible VIN number
  • Security coded in-car entertainment
  • Auto-lock doors/boot over 10 km

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

  • Cruise Control with speed limiter
  • Rear park aid
  • Internal operated central door locking
  • One-touch electric windows with anti-pinch front and rear
  • Electrically operated door mirrors and electric folding mirrors
  • CD / MP3 Player
  • Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls
  • Dual and digital climate control airconditioning
  • Airconditioned glovebox
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Automatic rain sensing wipers
  • Automatic headlight illumination system
  • Front storage bins
  • Boot net
  • Accoustic laminated front windscreen
  • Front and rear fog lights and reverse lights
  • Retractable 2 piece hard top folding roof
  • Under boot storage compartment

LEATHER UPGRADE PACK

  • Black Leather
  • Heated front seats
  • Head Restraint Air-vent
  • Windstop

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

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