Fleet News

Our fleet: Peugeot 308 1.6 e-HDI Feline - June 2014

Peugeot

Review

Is 308 a carriage of convenience?

Modern technology and gadgetry has transformed modern cars, especially if you dip generously into the options list.

Our long-term Peugeot 308 is the automotive equivalent of Inspector Gadget, stuffed full of ideas to maximise convenience and reduce workload on the driver.

Some of them are proving more user-friendly than others, such as the stop-start system I mentioned in my last test, which could save hundreds of pounds over the lifetime of the car.

The electric parking brake is so seamless it’s almost invisible and its clever feature to stop you rolling back on hills when you take your foot off the footbrake is a real benefit.

Also, the i-cockpit touchscreen, which combines most central console buttons into a single tablet style screen, has proved easy to use so far, although the decluttered dashboard does look a bit barren.

Keyless ignition is another feature I welcome, although there are flaws. For example, with an old fashioned key you could operate the windows and wipers without starting the engine. With keyless ignition I seem to have to start the engine each time.

The additional keyless entry is also niggly. Unlocking and opening the doors is normally faultless, you just grab the handle. Locking is a different matter, as occasionally the door handle touchpad seems to resist my efforts to make it work. I have found the key fob more reliable.

Similarly, the dynamic cruise control would benefit from some finessing. A radar in the front radiator grille keeps you positioned a set distance from the car in front, but I don’t like the way it fluctuates power and it struggles to cope in today’s stop-start conditions. Basic cruise control suits me fine, thank you.

Finally, there is a collision alert system, which can either warn you of impending doom or even hit the brakes to reduce the severity of an imminent smash.

To be honest, I am not sure how to test this one, so with every piece of wood in the office touched, I will assume that this, alongside the airbag, will be my guardian angel if the worst did happen.

John Maslen

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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