25 May 2013
The 308 Coupe Cabriolet has pulled off a trick few other makers of four-seat convertibles can manage by making the 308 CC feel very rigid and flex-free. There’s a definite up-turn in the quality of cabin materials and all of the pieces appear to be connected to each other in a fashion that suggests they will last for a long time. One of the safest convertibles in the world thanks to curtain airbags.The entry price into Peugeot 308 CC ownership starts at a reasonable £19,995.
The 308 Coupe Cabriolet makes use of the 1.6-litre petrol and turbodiesel engines from the hatch model, as well as the five-door’s 2.0-litre turbodiesel with 140bhp. The 1.6-litre petrol comes in 120-, 143- and 150bhp forms, with the 143bhp version shackled to a sluggish four-speed automatic gearbox that seriously blunts acceleration. The 120bhp 1.6 petrol and 1.6 diesel with 110bhp try hard, but it’s the 150bhp turbocharged petrol that wins out with 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds, a six-speed manual gearbox and enough sparkle through the gears to be in with a shout of feeling sporty-ish.
Peugeot has pulled off a trick few other makers of four-seat convertibles can manage by making the 308 CC feel very rigid and flex-free. There’s a slight shimmy detectable on very badly scarred roads, but otherwise the CC’s lowered and stiffened suspension compared to the hatch’s does a good job of providing comfort with control. Dull steering feel numbs the driving experience on twisty roads and the 308 CC’s handling is best described as capable rather than inspiring. With the roof up, the 308 CC’s cabin is snug and free from much wind, road or engine noise.
Peugeot has gone to great lengths to make the 308 CC more sturdily built and more reliable than the 307 CC it replaces. There’s a definite up-turn in the quality of cabin materials and all of the pieces appear to be connected to each other in a fashion that suggests they will last for a long time. The engines, gearboxes and other mechanical parts are all shared with the rest of the 308 range. However, let’s not break out the bunting just yet as Peugeot has a way to go before it can be considered in the same breath as Honda or Toyota.
The 308 CC is one of the safest convertibles in the world thanks to curtain airbags. They come in addition to the twin front and side airbags and the curtain ’bags inflate from the front seat headrests. Peugeot says this is safer as the airbags are closer to the occupants in the event of a side impact. All models come with ESP stability control and an immobiliser, so it seems a little strange that the cheapest petrol and diesel models in the line-up do without the alarm that is standard in every other 308 CC.
There are four seats in the 308 CC and it is one of the few folding metal roof convertibles which can, at a pinch, seat a quartet of adults. This is manageable so long as the driver and front seat passenger are not too long in the leg and those in the rear have a below average inside leg measurement. More realistically, the rear seats are ideal for kids, though they will be buffeted by wind above urban speed limits, or the space can be used for extra (unsecured) storage. A good sized boot is available when the roof is raised, but its 465-litres shrinks to a more miserly 266-litres when the roof is folded down. For the driver, there’s a comfortable driving position with lots of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel. The only downsides are the roof’s rear pillars create large blind spots when the roof is up and the windscreen pillars are steeply angled, which creates further problems with visibility when pulling out of junctions.
The entry price into Peugeot 308 CC ownership starts at a reasonable £19,995, but to gain the 150bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine that we reckon is the pick of the crop ups the basic price to £21,795. All 308 CCs have air conditioning, electric windows, an electrically operated roof, CD stereo and alloy wheels. The entry level 1.6 petrol and 1.6 diesel models do without cruise control and rear parking sensors, which is handy as reversing the 308 CC can be a tricky business due to the large rump across the boot created to cover the folded roof.
Submitted: 27/08/2009 11:46:31
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