Peugeot: 2015 Peugeot 308 SW Allure review

July 2nd, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

Buttons and dials need to be manufactured and assembled. Each button needs its own design and graphic, each dial must be smooth, and then they have to occupy space on the dashboard, so the layout needs to be ergonomic, intuitive and easy to reach for the driver. Continue reading “Peugeot: 2015 Peugeot 308 SW Allure review” »

Peugeot releases 308 sedan in Chinese market

October 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot has just revealed its third new model for the Chinese market the 308 compact sedan. The small four-door made its debut at the at the Chengdu Motor Show in mid-September this year and is now available for purchase in China.

The striking Pug has been manufactured locally in cooperation with Peugeot’s Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Corporation. It will join the the French carmaker’s other offerings in the C-segment that also include the 307 and 408 sedans.

Peugeot says that the new 308 will further strengthen its presence in the very competitive category and is targeting 60,000 sales in its first year.

Together with the 307 and 408 Sedans, Peugeot will sell 150,000 cars in the C-segment in 2012. This will account for about 60 percent of the brands total sales in the country. Continue reading “Peugeot releases 308 sedan in Chinese market” »

Peugeot 308 HDi 2011 Review

June 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

While it’s never managed to kick the same foothold into the NZ car market as its 207 supermini sibling, the 308 hatch has diligently chipped its way into the consciousness of kiwi car buyers. In our hardest fought market segment, dominated by Japanese metal, the 308 remains a refreshing alternative and has won its fans accordingly. It reached showrooms for the first time back in 2008 and now, has been updated with a reworked Euro 5 compliant diesel engine. Car and SUV had some seat time in the French family hatch to reconnect and feel the impact of the cleaner, greener 2.0-litre diesel motor.

With European emissions regulations changing to the stricter Euro 5 standard earlier this year Peugeot has got with the program on its 308 diesel range. The results have reached us here in NZ with the new 308 diesel hatch not just releasing less emissions (down to 120g) but with more power too. The turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel mill has had a power increase of 20kW to 120kW and a torque bump of 20Nm to a solid 340Nm in total. Can you notice the difference? You bet. The 308 HDi is a livelier performer, it gets off the line quickly and the high torque output makes it responsive at most speeds. There is a slight hesitation waiting for the turbo to spool up, but you won’t be left hanging long. While you wouldn’t call the 308 HDi a hot hatch, the power bump up has certainly given it a more muscular bend. That said, it remains a nicely refined diesel motor with very little vibration and noise once warmed up. Continue reading “Peugeot 308 HDi 2011 Review” »

Peugeot 308 CC 1.6 2011 Review

April 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For some people buying a product is as simple as knowing it’s original manufacturer. If they want fleece-lined footwear they buy Ugg boots, if they want a flying disc they buy a Frisbee and if they want to hear Knocking on Heaven’s Door they buy a Bob Dylan CD. If these same people were in the market for a coupe cabriolet (CC) vehicle with a folding hard top, then they would have to buy a Peugeot. Why?

Peugeot has a long history as an innovative automaker and was responsible for the very first metal retractable roof vehicle in the mid 1930s. While the 1934 Peugeot 401 Eclipse is fairly basic by modern standards, the concept of open-top motoring with hard top practicality remains as relevant as ever. To see just how far coupe convertible vehicles have come, Car and SUV plays purist with Peugeot’s latest offering, the 308 CC.

When the 308 CC first touched down in NZ it was only available with a 2.0-litre diesel mill, now for 2011, Peugeot is offering the 308 CC with a peppy petrol powertrain. It’s an exciting prospect for those who want top down motoring but have a diesel phobia. More about the mechanicals later, firstly lets examine what really drives the 308 CC – dramatic style.

Peugeot’s convertible coupe is a visual feast of curves and shapes with a pouncing stance and sporty design cues. At the front, a chunky bumper features recessed fog lamps and an exposed middle section with a toothy chrome air intake. Squinting headlights, pronounced Peugeot badging and dipping bonnet lines round off a highly styled front aesthetic. At the rear, large jeweled taillights dominate with a distinctive LED illumination. A subtle boot spoiler houses a high brake light and a broad plastic diffuser signals speedy intent. Continue reading “Peugeot 308 CC 1.6 2011 Review” »

Australian Motor Show heading to Melbourne this July

March 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

An international motor show is returning to Melbourne this year with the Australian International Motor Show being held there for the first time.

The new event is the result of the organisers of the motor shows in Melbourne, the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce, and Sydney, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, joining forces to create one annual show which alternate between the two locations each year.

This year’s event will take place from 1 to 10 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and will be the first major motor show in Melbourne for more than two years. The show also promises to be the biggest in Melbourne for many years, with exhibitors committing to a larger presence and promising to reveal a host of new models and concept cars.

A new website is now online at to promote the show and sell tickets from today.

AIMS event director Russ Tyrie believes Melburnians will come out in force to get their first taste of motor show glitz since the beginning of 2009.

“The motor show has been a tradition, and iconic event in Melbourne for more than 80 years, and our last show here was warmly received by exhibitors and patrons,” said Mr Tyrie. “I’m expecting that after a two-year absence, there will be strong enthusiasm for checking out the latest in automotive trends and technologies on show. “Certainly, with the success we had in Sydney last year, it seems that the show will be substantially bigger than the last time we were in Melbourne – with a lot of exhibitors asking for more space. Continue reading “Australian Motor Show heading to Melbourne this July” »

Peugeot 308 tops class at Energywise Rally

December 9th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Energywise Rally Peugeot

The Peugeot 308 AT-e has come top of the Compact Car Class for the lowest CO2 emissions in the 2008 AA Energywise Rally, with a total emissions figure of 106.03 g/km. The 308 has also come first in its class for using the least amount of fuel, with an overall consumption figure of 4.047 l/100km.

“At Peugeot we are very proud of this result. The Compact Car Class is very competitive and is a growing sector of the market as it’s largely reflective of modern family consumers needs,” said Simon Rose Divisional Manager for Peugeot in New Zealand.

The 308 AT-e is the first vehicle in the world to be fitted with the new Michelin Energy Saver tyres. This high-tech tyre, by optimising rolling resistance by 20%, can reduce the quantity of energy required to move the vehicle, and thus give a reduction in fuel consumption of around 0.2 litres per 100 km, or about 4 g of CO2 per km. This corresponds to about one tonne less of CO2 discharged during the life of a vehicle.

The electronically controlled gearbox, which takes away the need for a clutch pedal, is an alternative to traditional gearboxes due to its limited additional cost with respect to a manual gearbox. This highly responsive gearbox will appeal to gear change enthusiasts who will be able to use the gear lever or paddles situated behind the steering wheel.

The AA Energywise rally shows motorists how they can slash their fuel bills by choosing a fuel-efficient car and driving it in a fuel efficient manner. A record 59 vehicles entered this year’s four-day rally around the North Island which began and finished in Auckland and during the event, drivers travelled to Wellington and back, via Palmerston North, Wangamomona, Rotorua and Hamilton, covering a distance of 1626 kilometers. They were put to the test with a combination of driving on motorways, unsealed roads, rural state highways, and in peak-hour city congestion.

Peugeot 308 Sport 2008 — Road Test

October 15th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


Pareidolia is the human trait whereby we see faces in objects such as clouds, pieces of old muslin cloth, and cars. This is so prevalent that a study was conducted by Viennese company EFS Consulting which looked at whether it influenced what type of cars we like. It does.

People overwhelmingly prefer angry, dominant, masculine-looking cars as opposed to happy, playful, fun-looking cars. Whether this is social conditioning is yet to be determined (EFS will perform a study in Ethiopia soon using people who haven’t been exposed to modern cars). So where does this leave the Peugeot 308 Sport you see here? With Sport in the name, it’s obviously gagging for a liberal helping of steroidally pumped wheel arches, and a face so mean it would have frightened Kublai Kahn into messing his Emporer’s robes.

Slanting cat-like eyes and a grimacing tooth-filled mouth — that’s a good start, but what’s with the drooping punched lip? OK, two out of three ain’t bad, and from the front you don’t notice it, but start walking around to the three-quarter view and that fat lip is very noticeable.

But a car’s face is only one factor. Price, economy, performance and brand preference are others, and with a European hot hatch like the Peugeot 308, your desire for a small, peppy car that’s not run-of-the-mill is going to be one of the deciders.

The sporting credentials are adequate from the — 128kW, 240Nm, top speed of 224kph, and a 0-100kph time of 8.3 seconds. Performance doesn’t come at the expense of fuel economy with the 1.6-litre turbo delivering 7.6l/100km on the combined cycle.

A six-speed manual gearbox adds to the sporty feel, and the shifts are precise, if a little long. Care has to be taken pulling away in first gear as all of a sudden the turbo comes on boost, lots of power is channelled through the front wheels, and the traction control ends up working overtime, despite a pair of 225/40R18 tyres doing the gripping at the front.

Clean and elegant five-spoke alloys underpin the angular forward-sloping shoulder crease that makes the 308 Sport look like it’s moving forwards even when standing still. Unusually, though, despite the small size of the car, the 18-inch wheels look like they could do with being 19 or 20 inches.

I’m confused as to how a model with a Sport designation have the second highest weight of the whole range at 1471kg, a full 62kg more than the HDI AT diesel. I thought perhaps it could be a difference in specification (i.e. lots more goodies), but like in the diesel model you get the full complement of safety features — seven airbags, electronic stability program with traction control, seatbelt pretensioners, etc; the dimensions are the same; there’s the same inverted pseudo Macpherson strut suspension with linked anti-roll bar and rear torsion beam for the suspension; and the same 283mm ventilated front disc brakes and 249mm solid disc rear brakes.

I took it on a long cruise down the motorway, stereo blaring. One of the tests I usually do is how well the cruise control works. It’s easy to use in the Peugeot, but not accurate — after setting it at an indicated 106kph, I reset the average speed. The trip computer was showing an average of 102kph after less than a kilometre of fundamentally flat motorway. It didn’t get any better. I suppose under-reading is better that over-reading, but it’s still a wide margin.

I eventually found some sinuous roads to experience whether the 308 is all fire or lukewarm. In a hot hatch it’s spirited driving that is the true test of whether a marque has achieved perfection. The 308 Sport is a great deal of fun to drive. You do get the feeling that if the ESP and traction control weren’t there to guide you that you could easily be having the type of heart-in the-mouth experiences the Peugeot 205GTI was famous for, but it does grip well.

We may like angry faces in our cars, but we don’t like angry faces in people. Fortunately, rather than cause a scowl there will more than likely be a smile on your dial after you’ve finished driving the 308 Sport.

Click through to the next page to read the full specs of the Peugeot 308 Sport

Price: from $47,490

What we like

  • Excellent performance/fuel consumption

What we don’t like

  • Peaky first gear makes wet weather standing starts tricky
  • Poor interior storage

Peugeot 308 Sport Specifications


Litre, 1.6
Valve, 16
Cylinders, 4
Cubic capacity (cc), 1598
Bore x Stroke (mm), 77 x 85.8
Max power kW (HP) @ rpm, 128 @ 6000
Max torque (Nm @ rpm), 240 (260) @ 1600
Emission control, Catalytic converter
Emission standard, EURO 4
Emission of CO2 by weight, 180
European End-of-Life Vehicles Directive, 99%

Wheels and Tyres

Size, 225/40 R18
Alloy / Steel, Alloy
Spare tyre, Full size
Tyre pressure sensor, Yes


Ventilated front discs 283 mm / 26 mm
Rear solid discs with sliding calipers 249 mm / 9 mm


Electro-hydraulic power steering
Height / Reach adjust steering wheel


Front, Inverted Pseudo McPherson strut with linked anti-roll bar
Rear, Rear torsion beam, two suspension arms and an integral anti-roll bar


Maximum speed (km/h), 225
Acceleration 0-100km/h (sec), 8.3


Kerb weight (kg), 1471
Braked trailer towing weight (kg), 1650
Unbraked trailer towing weight (kg) 750

Fuel Consumption

City Cycle l/100km, 10.7
Highway cycle l/100km, 5.7
Combined l/100km, 7.6


Driver and front passenger airbags
Driver’s Knee Airbag
Front side airbags
Front and rear curtain airbags
Door / boot ajar warning
Collapsible steering column
Trajectory supervisor
ABS (with EBFD & EBA)
Electronic Stability Program (ESP) (with ASR &
Rear 3-point seatbelts with warning
Pretensioning and load limiting front seatbelts
Force limiting rear seatbelts
Height adjustable front seatbelts
Isofi x on front passenger seat
Isofi x on rear outer seats
Fuel cut off inertia switch

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

Peugeot 308 HDi 2008 Review

March 29th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot 308 HDi 2008 fq

I’ve been telling people I’m driving a 308 hoping they’ll think it’s a Ferrari 308, but it’s unlikely. Ferrari had a few models that featured a zero as the middle number (the 206 for example), but now Peugeot has an exclusive monopoly on that way of naming cars.

One thing that Ferrari owners will be jealous of is the 308’s frugality (and probably reliability). The 1.6-litre version of the 308 has just set a fuel economy record for driving around Australia in the hands of John and Helen Taylor. I wonder about the reasons for doing this in the same way I wonder if Nandor Tanczos’s hair is prehensile like a monkey’s tail because by far the best way to travel around Australia is to fly between the bits that aren’t vast barren expanses of orange dust and thorny plants.

I’m not here to set fuel economy records though because I’ve got the 2-litre HDi (turbo-diesel) with a 6-speed Tiptronic auto and a tempting ‘S’ button for Sport mode, which changes down earlier and up later.

This gives the 308 plenty of wallop. It’s not so much the power (100kW), but the torque (320Nm) that gets you going quickly. Fortunately the 308 has 215/55R16 wheels and well-calibrated traction control otherwise vaporised tyres would be on the menu. Tempting as it is to use this I still managed 7.1l/100km (against a quoted 6.8 from Peugeot) without it, and somewhere in the high 8-second range with it.

The panoramic glass roof has all the benefits of a convertible without the sunburned forehead and bad hair. I will guarantee that while travelling around Australia the Taylors (if they had had it) would have kept the sunroof’s electric blind firmly closed because in strong sun it’s significantly warmer, and you don’t want to be using the air conditioning when trying to sip the diesel frugally. I personally loved the roof, though, and the enormous Mitsubishi Pajero I swapped it for felt positively claustrophobic in comparison.

In the 407 HDi we tested last year, we found that it was a good car but with an interior where elements fought against one another. This is not the case in the 308. The interior flows nicely and the white-faced dials integrate with the whole understated experience, rather than feeling a bit ‘try-hard’ like they do in the 407, where they clash with the über-modern stereo.

French cars are often quirky, but this Peugeot is much less so than others. Of course, it’s still French — the cigarette lighter is easier to reach than the gear knob — but it does things in a very orderly Japanese way.

An example of the quirkiness is the indicator. While most cars have a click-clack when the indicator is activated, the Peugeot has a two-tone electronic blip — very Atari. Someone must have spent hours determining the pitch.

While it may be French, the inside has a positively marsupial feel about it. As well as the included cargo net in the boot which makes a nice pouch, there’s a very clever hidden compartment in the parcel shelf that hinges either from the front or the back, and a very unexpected sunglasses compartment where the grab handle usually is.

Seats are stylish and comfortable with metallic grey inserts and unlike some Peugeots it’s easy to get a comfortable driving position straight away. In an age of multifunction steering wheels the Peugeot’s looks naked in comparison. Controls for the audio and cruise control are on stubby European-style wands on the steering column.

An athermic acoustically laminated front windscreen helps keep out the hot sun as well as deaden the diesel drone (which is sufficiently refined, but suffered from a bit of turbo whine or resonance in our test car at certain speeds). The engine has a FAP (particle filter) so exhaust particle emissions are significantly reduced.

Safety features haven’t been skimped upon. Seven airbags and all the acronyms under the sun for driver aids contribute to a five-star Euro NCAP

The 308 is well-proportioned and athletic from the rear, but move around to the front and something’s not quite right. It’s like an overly fragranced French beauty — you catch a glimpse from a distance, the briefest whiff, and you’re drawn to her, but get up really close and your eyes water. It’s the space below the droopy nose just doesn’t quite work close up. But everything else about the car is extremely good — handling, features and fuel economy. This is the best Peugeot we’ve driven.

Click through to the next page for the full specification of the Peugeot 308 HDi

Price: from $42,990

What we like

  • It’s the best Peugeot we’ve driven
  • Glass roof
  • Frugal on the open road

What we don’t like

  • Nose styling doesn’t work close up
  • At about 95kph there’s a harmonic vibration in the engine/turbo (could just have been our test car)

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

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