Saturday, May 30, 2009

Peugeot 308 Turbo

Window shopping on interesting cars are starting to my in-thing hobby these days. Among the agenda is to know why there’s so much hype about the Peugeot 308. Sales on 308 Turbo/VTi have been very good ever since the launch. And today was the day.

After seeing friend’s souped up Satria GTI getting some fuel spitting upgrade in Sunway, off I went to Peugeot’s Blue Cube in Glenmarie. Walking in the showroom and went straight to Peugeot 308 GT. Right away, there was a Sales Advisor came and doing his usual touch in giving brief info on the car. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no moment of lansiness or snobbishness but I couldn’t feel any kind of personal touch service like the one given by Goh Brothers or Auto Bavaria. It was all 1 question ask and 1 answer given kind of thing. Get my drift?

Back to the car, I can see build quality for all 308 models have been pretty much premium (better than Pocong and Bravo GT) and well specs-ed, well designed seats as any French cars. Think 308 as step brother to Citroen C4 only better looking. It was so roomy that if I were to buy the car, it needs some furniture to furnish the space!
Was quite keen to have a go at the GT, but was not available but the 308 Turbo is. Despite seeing err not so positive “Yes” from the SA, I did ‘McDonald’ face and proceed with test drive. The test route basically going through Jalan Pelukis U1/46 (doing U-wey on the industrial area) and back to the showroom.

After getting seat and mirrors adjusted to my liking, off I went. First impression, you’ve got to have sensitive foot on the throttle, very snappy. Delivery as expected is torquey but the power runs out of puff before 4k rpm while after that hp slowly takes over till 5.5k. Not powerful but just nice to get the big body move fast and delivery is linear. I have a hunch this suit the auto more than 6-speed manual in the GT.

Steering is very much well weighted for a family hatch and suspension is very much pliant, never jarring going through bumps. Going through a wide left hander at 120-130 is surprisingly good. While the brakes are sure-footed, it’s almost like on-off switch. Quite hard for you to find the right balance on how much pedal travel needed. At one time I’m aiming to get the car slow down before going to through mini ‘sleeping policeman’, a slight tap on it just stops the car almost immediately, way before it should have stopped.

Obviously, verdict on 308 GT have to wait but I can give my take on the 308 Turbo. I wouldn’t say it powerful nor hot hatch. No offense, my Pocong will sayur 308 Turbo and even 308 GT on straightaway and corners. It’s more like sensible choice for a family of 4, appreciating space, and wouldn’t get disappointed on sunday drives with very accessible power to push and handling to grinned over. And to further add, RM111k is very much a bargain for what you'll be getting :)

Pictures courtesy of Peugeot

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