The Peugeot brand as a whole must be one of the most discriminated against car brand on the South African market. My reasoning behind this statement is that several people had negative connotations about this car maker. They straight out told me that they don’t like Peugeot as a brand, I’m not sure if this is because they earnestly had a bad experience in a Peugeot or because they pronounce the name Pew-got and they have no idea about the history of the car, I personally think it’s the later.
Let me explain.
I too was one of those people who unfairly judged Peugeot as a brand because of tales that I heard about the high cost of spares and the time it takes for these parts to get shipped to South Africa. I personally would have never even thought of buying a “French” car, no matter the manufacturer.
This was a complete misconception based solely on my vague knowledge of Peugeot, because from the moment I sat in the cockpit of the Peugeot 308 one thing became very clear. Do not judge a book by it’s cover, nor should you judge it on somebody else’s review.
The interior and dashboard is so neat and clutter free. Compared to other car brands this must be the cleanest dashboard I have ever seen, there are very few buttons and even less knobs. This was thanks to a media system that controls most of the features including the aircon system. This media system which seamlessly connected to my iPhone via Apple CarPlay using my USB cable, the setup was so easy I didn’t even have to do anything but plug my phone in, and in the blink of an eye your Apple operating system is mirrored onto the media system. For tech geeks this system is amazing because it gives you the ability to use SIRI through the media system and gives you access to supported apps such as maps and WhatsApp.
The exterior of the car is not the flashiest or most eye-catching design but it is far from ugly. The large chrome grille has a clear badge of the lion taking up a big part of it, making it hard to miss the fact that this is a Peugeot. Other noticeable features included the updated LED headlights, a sportier front bumper as well as electric folding mirrors. The styling for this car is so plain though, that it might find it difficult to stand out against its competitor’s such as the Golf 7, but this might be the plan they were aiming for.
The way I see it, Peugeot is running its own race at its own pace and they are not too concerned about outclassing the competitors. They are in a class of their own and they are setting their own trends by trying to be original and unique. I personally think that this is an approach that might work well for them because the more I drove around in the 308 the more I appreciated the engineering, technology and most importantly the drive. This vehicle made me want to drive more often than not and this was proved by the 610km I did in a mere 5 days, considering I only live 4km from the office.
Their award winning 1.2 turbo charged motor was also very surprising, not once did I feel like the power was insufficient, at times you would even forget that this is only a 1.2 engine, no turbo lag, just pure driving bliss. This motor paired with the 6-speed auto box was fun to drive, and it gave you the option to activate a sport mode where the car visibly becomes more responsive.
Other stand out features that were not very important to me a couple of months ago are safety verse comfort. My wife was involved in an accident where someone rear ended her car, and after this happened she highlighted that she no longer felt that our car was safe enough, but whilst driving the Peugeot 308 I found that this car had managed to balance safety and comfort all in one package.
You would be surprised at how much value for money you get when you purchase a 308, at the price of R369 900 for the 308 Allure auto, you get all the optional extras standard. This means you get more luxury without the need to add extras. Don’t be like me, take the time to get to know a car before you label it.