Peugeot 4008 Feline 2013 Review

January 11th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot was a bit late to the serious SUV market so has got up-to-speed by a co-production and platform sharing deal with Mitsubishi.

Its first offering was the 4007. We tested this around a year ago and it was very evidently based on the Mitsubishi Outlander. As you’ll see from our Continue reading “Peugeot 4008 Feline 2013 Review” »

Peugeot 208 Allure 2012 Review

December 18th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot’s nomenclature lets you know exactly how far up the model range you’ve bought. The 208 is down at the budget end but in terms of bang for buck, it delivers very well.

In Europe, the 208 will be the bread and butter for Peugeot, so it’s important that it provides an engaging driver experience with some well-formed Euro styling.

Gone is the Continue reading “Peugeot 208 Allure 2012 Review” »

The Peugeot 208 GTi Concept – Return of an Iconic Legend

February 28th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Peugeot will present two expressions of the Marque’s upmarket trend in the supermini segment. These concept cars interpret the generation leap already defined by the 208 but in different contexts. The XY Concept is intended for city dwellers who love distinction and refinement, whereas the GTi Concept re-generates an iconic legend.

The LED headlamp design gives these concept cars the impression of having an iris. The rectangular headlamp units, when used on main beam, appear to have a ‘feline pupil’ … a technological and precise expression that is fully identifiable with the lion Marque.

This precision continues with the integrated style components adorning the bodywork. Wheel arches have wing extensions, and bodywork with sills enhance the stance.

GTi Concept: The re-generation of a legendary icon

Instantly characterised by being the performance icon of the 208, the 208 GTi concept features chequered-flag motifs that embellish the metal mesh of the grille, and the lower bar proudly affirms its origin by displaying the French ‘Le Tricolour’ flag or the Union Jack when in the UK.

Other distinctive exterior features include: double chromed exhaust tailpipes, aero lower bodywork spoilers and lower sill skirt extensions that all capture the signature badging. Placed within the grille is the brushed aluminium GTi Concept logo that can also be found on the rear quarter panels, as a salute to its illustrious predecessor – the legendary 205 GTi.

On the inside, the passenger compartment is a true GTi environment, with a characteristic sports leather stitched steering wheel, the treatment of which is replicated on the sides of the gear lever, double stitching in the seats and enhanced with LED backlighting to the surrounds of the high-tech instruments. The sports seats are trimmed with Nappa leather on the outer section, and cloth in the centre with an embossed tartan motif, and a leather head restraint.

The red perforated leather steering wheel continues the check motif, and has a pronounced lower flat section, which carries the GTi Concept logo set in an aluminium ring. To complete the sports interior, the fascia capping is dressed in Alcantara with grey stitching, the roof lining is entirely black and the pedals are aluminium. The centre console architecture and ventilation vents all feature a graduated red to black effect, and the chequered-flag theme is also present on the aluminium door crossbars.

The GTi Concept takes its propulsion from the powerfully-compact RCZ THP 200 engine. Combined with a six-speed manual gearbox, the 1.6-litre THP engine puts its driver at the controls of a machine that captivates the potential for a great driving experience. Like all 208s, a small steering wheel greets the driver and with the GTi Concept, this accentuates the dynamic capability of this car with the enhanced power available. With the raised instrument panel in line of sight, the information is clearly visible from the dials that have a brushed aluminium background and very precise graduations.

The GTi Concept also benefits from the improvements that characterize the 208, taking full advantage of its compactness and lightness, delivering road-holding that is both excellent and precise. To enhance the dynamic experience, it has a 36mm wider track, at the front and at the rear, and a rear roof spoiler to generate down force at speed. For optimum braking performance, the GTi Concept is equipped with four discs; 302mm diameter at the front and 249mm at the rear, set off by red-painted brake calipers.

XY Concept: Urban chic

Powered by a 1.6-litre e-HDi engine, developing 86kW and equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox the XY Concept transports its occupants in a refined environment, with a Crimson colour treatment applied to exterior bodywork and the decorated interior.

Special ‘Pulsion’ paintwork means the XY Concept appears to constantly change, depending on the distance and the position from which it is viewed. This ability to transform is the result of an exclusive method, based on the very precise application of sixteen coats of paint and lacquer.

The passenger compartment is trimmed with crimson stitched leather on the dashboard, armrests, steering wheel rings, gear lever gaiter and sides, and with stripes on seat inserts and floor mats, while the panoramic glass roof is edge-trimmed in black leather.

Pearly grey leather pleated seats feature five metal rings, which pinch and tighten the material. This precision in the working of the material continues with an exclusive steering wheel in leather, with crimson micro-stripes with a chrome insert in the lower section. Bathed in the natural light provided by the panoramic glass roof, with white ambiance lighting, the finishing touches to the interior add a ‘gunmetal’ aesthetic treatment to the door crossbars, steering wheel decorations and vent trims.

The XY Concept rides on exclusive dual-effect 18” allow wheels complementing its ‘Pulsion’ colour and special detailing with coloured chrome decorating the panoramic glass roof trim. The lower window edge and the quarter panel are finished off with a special grille treatment with three horizontal chrome bars.

The new 208 will be launching in New Zealand in September 2012 and we are in discussions now with the factory about securing the stunning New 208 GTi for production and expect to see a vehicle for sale in NZ in early 2013. We understand the first 208 GTI concept vehicle will be unveiled to the public at the Geneva Motorshow next month.

Expectations are that this New 208 GTi will more than deliver on meeting the high benchmarks set by its predecessors the 205, 206 and 207 GTi and will again become the benchmark for stylish performance hot hatches. In fact, the news has us wondering if Peugeot will rekindle its interest in the WRC rounds.

Peugeot 308 SW 2012 Review

February 1st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Sometimes it’s not practical or desirable to have an SUV because of parking, fuel economy and certain ‘social pressures’ meted out by people that pedal everywhere and grow courgettes. And you might be too fashion conscious to have an MPV/people mover. So what do you do with your 4 or 5 progeny when you want to take them to zoo?

This particular scenario is where 7-seat station wagons come into their own: if your life circumstances or beliefs prevent you from preventing life, there’s a fashionable, fuel-efficient, practical, environmentally friendly option waiting for you to take the keys, and it comes in the shape a Peugeot 308 SW.

But let’s get something clear: by ‘fashionable’ we don’t necessarily mean ‘pretty’. The Peugeot is not the best looker, even though in stretched form it’s certainly sleeker than its hatchback brothers, but it’s tidy from most angles and does carry a European badge and that means a lot in certain circles. It’s also a fact that the Peugeot of today looks a lot better than the Peugeot of three years ago – the design is moving in the right direction.

Fuel efficient it definitely is. Cruise quietly along the motorway at 100kph in the 2-litre turbodiesel and the 163 horses sip only 5 litres per hour. And with 340 torque monsters churning away, there’s some pep if you need to get moving. This is a nice improvement over the previous 308 SW we tested back in 2008.

Practical is its middle name. Seven seats ensure that you don’t have to leave anyone behind, and all the rear seats can be completely removed if you want a station wagon to transport DIY supplies on the weekend. The full cargo capability is 2149 litres. It’s also got lots of airbags and every type of emergency braking, stability, and traction control system you need to keep it on the black stuff and out of the trees. Continue reading “Peugeot 308 SW 2012 Review” »

Peugeot 4007 Allure SE 2012 Review

January 27th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Funnily enough, when I walked up to Peugeot to pick this 4007 up, I casually glanced in its direction and thought, why has someone parked an Outlander there? You see, I’d only seen the 4007 in front three-quarter and rear-three quarter view, and both of those slightly obscure its Outlander origins.

If you’ve read any of the Mitsubishi Outlander reviews we’ve written then you’ll know that it’s a solid SUV contender, and the 7-seat option adds practicality. However, what Peugeot does to make the 4007 is take it and make it better. It’s like a ‘finishing school’ .

Gone (praise the deities) is the slightly annoying CVT gearbox (the main thing I don’t like about the Outlander). In its place is a conventional 6-speed, dual-clutch automatic with a sport mode and a leather-bound gear shifter. The sport mode, as you would expect, changes down earlier and up later, but in typical French fashion it’s fairly ambivalent, and this actually works well. Some manufacturers overdo it on the sports mode; Peugeot has given it just enough extra verve to make it useful.

Second, possibly because of the revised weight distribution it definitely feels slightly less wallowy, but doesn’t compromise on comfort. The suspension setup on the two vehicles is the same – a Macpherson strut up front and multi link with stabilizer at the rear.

Third, there’s an aftermarket satellite navigation system by Pantera which forms part of the rear view mirror. In theory (and when it’s working), this is a really good system. It’s easy to see – you’re used to glancing at your rear view mirror – and it’s touch screen, with a fairly intuitive interface. It didn’t work all the time though; the signal dropped out occasionally and I couldn’t find the reason why as it was a clear, sunny day. The system also includes phone integration and will play music.
Fourth, Peugeot has some customleather seats made here in NZ, and they’re wide and comfortable. Continue reading “Peugeot 4007 Allure SE 2012 Review” »

Peugeot 508 2.2 HDi GT 2011 Review

November 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Peugeot 508 is an excellent touring car. Let’s give praise where praise is fully due: I would happily drive from Auckland to Wellington in this car, and I’m the impatient type who usually flies.

New Zealand gets three different models of the 508: a two-litre turbodiesel sedan, a two-litre turbodiesel stationwagon, and the version you’re reading about now, which is the 2.2-litre GT turbodiesel sedan. They start at $54,990 and end up at $65,990. So is this 508 worth it?

If you’re after a largish touring sedan with good fuel economy, plenty of accoutrements, smooth handling and the power to get past when you need it, the 508 stacks up. It even won a trophy in Germany in 2010 putting it above 18 other cars in its class.

But in my opinion, that does not make it perfect because, in typical Gallic style, the French have taken an awesome car and made it ‘quirky’. It starts with the choice of kit. The driver’s seat massages you. It’s nice (apart from the unusual noise it makes which isn’t really drowned out by the radio). This is useful on long journeys, but what’s even more useful is sat nav, and that’s noticeably absent. There’s not even a place to put it, which means you need one of those aftermarket ones which starts making the interior of your car look like a window display at Dick Smith.

Secondly, I quite like a head-up display which projects the speed onto the windscreen, and the 508′s HUD works well. Except what I really want is a place to put my water bottle, and some storage in the front (the glovebox and central binnacle each have room for one croissant only, and there are only two tiny compartments to put a phone or other junk).

Thirdly, the instrument layout is absolutely perfect, but why do we still have the early 2000s LCD in the dash? It’s not quite clear what’s going to appear on that screen as opposed to the really good screen that’s part of the instrument cluster, and what’s really needed is a reversing camera, or at least some kind of visual representation of reversing because you can’t see much out of the rear window.

Finally, the design. Look at the front – it’s beautiful; a hint of Maserati. It’s understated, sleek. Look at the side – expertly crafted with a prominent shoulder line running the line of the window right to the tailgate. But the back looks unfinished, bulbous, slightly large and out of proportion.. Fortunately, though, this means that you get a good sized boot.

We’ve covered off my gripes, and they might seem minor to you, but the Peugeot 508 has some very stiff competition, even in the bells and whistles department, with cars like the Ford Mondeo Titanium (which is much cheaper). But what it does better than the Mondeo is cruising. The 508 is excellent to drive. It progresses smoothly (and relatively quietly for a diesel); forward motion is provided by a 150kW 2.2-litre turbodiesel that produces 450Nm of torque. This feeds through a six-speed gearbox which almost always is in the right gear for the conditions, unlike some automatics, but is slightly sluggish off the line. However, there’s a sports mode if you need more instant movement, and for it to chop down earlier and change up later.

Handling is very good – not sports car-like, but very good nonetheless. This is helped by 18-inch wheels.

There are plenty of buttons to control all aspects of the audio equipment, the speed limiter/cruise control, trip computer, various options for hands-free phones, and automated high beam.

Safety features abound on the latest Peugeots and it has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating for adult and child safety, and it scored 97% for safety assistance. There are six airbags, whiplash-protecting headrests, and directional b-xenon headlamps.

The passengers are spoiled in the 508. Rear passengers have blinds for the side windows and the rear window. They also have their own air conditioning and directional reading lights. The front passenger can set a completely different air conditioning setting to the driver.

Why would you buy the Peugeot 508? If you want a sleek, comfortable car that’s a notch up the ladder from a Mondeo and arguably smoother than a Volkswagen Passat, this is going to tick the boxes, especially if you have kids to transport. It’s going to impress your colleagues.

You’d also buy it if you like driving long distances and you want a frugal touring car. The tank is good for at least 750km on a long journey. We averaged around 6.3l/100km on a mixture of round town and longer journeys. We saw figures in the low 4l/100km range on the motorway, which is excellent for a car this size.

Who will buy it?

You’d buy it if:

  • you like French quirkiness, or feel sorry for them that they lost the rugby
  • driving gives you a bad back
  • you do a lot of kilometers driving one or two children around, but hate SUVs
  • you’re a bit older and want something that handles well without rattling your fillings
  • you can get a company car and you want something different that’s a talking point, but looks the part on a mid-exec level.

Pros

Lots of interesting features

Very smooth ride

Plenty of power, but it’s still economical

Cons

Wrong choice of kit spoils what could have been a really amazing car

Rearward visibility is not fantastic

Price: from $54,990.

Words and photos: Darren Cottingham

Peugeot reveals new 208 supermini

November 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With high fuel prices and congested main centres the small hatch B-segment market has become a key war zone for car makers. It’s an area Peugeot has long been strong in and it’s latest weapon in the fight is the new 208 which has just been revealed and will replace the current 207 series.

This latest Pug will go up against the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and VW Polo. While the overall dimensions have shrunken Peugeot claims that the interior volume has increased.

In terms of styling the 208 adopts Peugeot’s latest design language, the main highlights include a “floating” grille, raked back headlights and “boomerang” style tail lamps. The 208′s profile is also more sculptured, and overall, the new model looks sufficiently more advanced than the 207 it replaces.

The 208 will be built in two body styles when it launches next year, a three- and five-door. The three-door model is distinguished by pronounced side curve that extends all the way back to the rear lights, a slightly more sloped roofline, thicker C-pillar and a smaller glasshouse. The three-door 208 will tip the scales at just 975kg, a full 170kg lighter than its predecessor. Continue reading “Peugeot reveals new 208 supermini” »

Pay Attention, It’s Time For A French Lesson

October 22nd, 2011 by Tim Grimley

The more – and almost certainly even the less – observant amongst you will have noticed that over the last few weeks there have been more than a few tenuous links made between rugby and motoring in this column. And as the biggest match in New Zealand rugby since 1987 is being played out in Auckland’s own theatre of dreams this weekend, it would be all too easy to find one more pretty loose tie-in between the unlikely bedfellows that are egg chasing and motoring.

And so, therefore, I will.

But rather than dwelling too heavily on the sport itself, my focus is rather more on one of the participants in Sunday night’s encounter – the French. As a previous inhabitant of the Northern shores of La Manche, I learned a long time ago that the only thing that could be expected from the French with any degree of certainty is the unexpected.

Ooh la la! Beauty........

Nowhere is this more certain than in the motoring world, where no-one could ever be sure if their next release was going to be a work of beauty, genius, madness or just plain badness. Sometimes, as was the case with the massively opinion polarising 2CV, they managed to do all four at once. Just for the sheer hell of it I suspect.
This is the nation that can give the Citroen DS with one hand – a vehicle of such unquestionable beauty that it makes you wonder why all cars cannot be styled in such a way – and then take it all back again with a monstrosity like the Renault Fuego with the other. But just to keep a sense of mystery, excitement and intrigue in the relationship, every so often they throw you a Peugeot 205 GTi. Followed rather quickly by a Renault Safrane.

Yet for all their little highs and lows, if you ever needed the ultimate proof that our garlic obsessed cousins are capable of crushing the world when it is least expected, look no further than the Bugatti Veyron. Yes, it sounds Italian and yes, a lot of the bits come from parent company VW, but hailing as it does from Molsheim in the Alsace, the Bugatti is every bit as French as impassive shrugging and baguettes. With its roots back in 2005, when the Gallic automotive output was typified by the blandest Peugeots in living memory, the Veyron was a stark reminder that when the Frenchies put their minds to it, they can not only take on the world, but simply blow it away with their effortless style. Continue reading “Pay Attention, It’s Time For A French Lesson” »

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