It’s always an exciting phase when a European car of the year makes its local debut. No, it’s not a German made this time, but rather the all-new, second generation Peugeot 308 which took home the crown for France last year. It’s officially launched now, carrying a price tag of RM132,888 with GST and insurance.

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QUICK FACTS

Name Peugeot 308 1.6L THP
Engine 1,598cc; Turbo High Pressure, direct injection
Transmission 6-speed auto; torque converter
Max Power 150 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Max Torque 240 Nm @ 1,450 rpm
Price (OTR with insurance) RM132,888 with GST

 

Before we move into the usuals, it’s worth noting that the new 308 is very much lighter than the model it replaces. This impressive weight loss is the result of using the carmaker’s new Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2), extensive use of lightweight but stiffer steel, optimised design and aerodynamics, lighter technical components and a smaller fuel tank. The use of laser welding technology reduces another 12kg’s worth of metal. As such, the new 308 weighs a whopping 140kg lighter than before!

EXTERIOR

Externally, this 308 is every bit better than the outgoing model. It is 4,253mm long (23mm shorter), 1,804mm wide (11mm slimmer), 1,457mm tall (a ridiculous 41mm lower!) and both axles sit 2,620mm apart, which is 12mm more than before. These improvements should naturally translate to better on-road performance, especially in terms of handling with its improved centre of gravity.

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Standard to the 308 are its upsized 18-inch Sapphire alloy wheels wrapped with 225/40 series Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres. Illumination source is full LED with integrated LED daytime running lights, a first in its class. If we were to be frank, it looks uncannily similar to some Mercedes models (read: the W205 C-Class). Peugeot says the full LED technology consumes 50 percent less energy compared to halogen lights, and that the 308 has a total of 31 LEDs per headlamp.

INTERIOR

If you’re not a fan of how the exterior looks, there’s no way of denying the outstanding build quality of its cabin. We’ll cut to the chase here. You’ve got a slew of things to marvel at, one of which would be the seats. They’re clad in a mix of Alcantara and leather finished with white stitches. If that wasn’t enough, the front seats get electric lumbar support with massage function as well!

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Apart from winning the 2014 European car of the year award, the new 308 also won the Most Beautiful Interior Award at the 29th Annual Festival Automotive International. The cabin is entirely new, featuring the brand’s latest i-Cockpit design iteration. This means new instrument clusters, simplified dash with a built-in 9.7-inch high definition touchscreen head unit. As you might have noticed, there are no air conditioning dials because they have all been built into the touchscreen. Yeah, very French, we know.

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The screen answers pretty much to all your in-car needs, from GPS navigation to vehicle configurations, driving aid, multimedia, and reverse camera. In keeping the cabin clean, the parking brake is now electronic, next to which you’ll find the conveniently placed push-start button. Sun lovers should particularly be fond of the panoramic sunroof, a standard feature that was also available in the previous model’s top-end variant.

PERFORMANCE

The familiar 1.6-litre Turbo High Pressure (THP) engine continues its propulsion duties here, but has been tweaked to provide an optimal balance between fuel efficiency and power delivery. As such, the new motor makes 150 hp at 5,000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque from 1,450 rpm onwards, compared to the previous tune that made 156 hp at 5,800 rpm.

Peugeot 308 Engine

Fuel consumption is rated at a healthy 6.5 litres per 100km, whereas the older model covers as much ground at the expense of 7.6 litres of gasoline. A six-speed automatic gearbox with Quickshift Technology drives the front wheels. Sadly, the 308 does not come with paddle shifters, but that’s just the petrolhead in me being mopey.

Before you grumble about the loss of 6 horsepower, you ought to know that the detuned engine still feels as sprightly, sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.4 seconds before reaching a top speed of 211 km/h. The succeeding model had a sprint time of 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 212 km/h.

SAFETY

Let’s talk about passive safety first. Having earned a five-star crash safety rating award from EuroNCAP, the new 308’s body is now more rigid than ever, allowing for a very controlled and systematic deformation of its structure should a collision occur. Energy dissipation is methodised during the deformation process, and Peugeot claims that this approach increases repairability.

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More interestingly, the 308 comes with Dynamic Cruise Control as standard, a class’ first. Complementing this convenient feature are the Emergency Collision Alert and Emergency Collision Braking which work in tandem to deactivate the cruise control when it detects a reduction of speed in the vehicle ahead. Six airbags are standard here as well, including Hill Start Assist and Advanced Intelligent Traction Control.

WHAT ELSE?

Like all other Peugeot models, this 308 gets a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty programme including Peugeot’s 24-hour Assistance aid. New owners and their families can also benefit from using Peugeot’s Lounge at Subang Skypark Terminal while waiting for flights, which boasts first class facilities.

Peugeot 308

There are five colours to choose from – Nera Black, Rouge Red, Mocha Brown, Artense Grey and Pearl White. Again, the 308 is priced at RM132,888 including GST and insurance. We have already sampled the car on your behalf, so keep a lookout for our full review of the new 308 soon!

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IMAGE GALLERY

Peugeot 308 1.6L THP


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Matthew H. Tong
A straightforward, fun-loving guy who appreciates the superficiality of a car's appeal, but his admiration for anything on four wheels gives him no reason to neglect the makings of a car. He still believes that fun comes with three pedals and a stick.