WE turn the spotlight on automotive's newest and brightest stars, as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. Ultimately, however, there is only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?
WHAT IS IT?
Peugeots pumped up SUV version of its 308 hatch, although without all-wheel drive so it cant really be called an off roader. Not to be confuse with the larger 4007 Outlander clone. Think Nissan Dualis and you will start to get the idea.
This one is priced from $39,490 which in our estimation is still a little too high to get noticed, given how much parts and servicing are likely to set you back.
WHAT ARE THE COMPETITORS?
Good question. Think European and about the only competitor is the VW Tiguan, but wed probably add in the Subaru Forester, maybe the Mitsubishi ASX and how about the Kia Sportage?
WHAT'S UNDER THE BONNET?
The options are 1.6-litre turbo petrol or 2.0-litre turbo diesel. Our test car was the 1.6-litre turbo petrol which is the same engine that can be found in various Citroens and the Mini Cooper. The 1.6 in this instance produces 115kW of power at 6000 revs and 240Nm of torque at 1400 revs and is paired wit a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
HOW DOES IT GO?
Suprisingly well. The 1.6-litre turbo packs a punch within limitations. Peugeot has definitely lifted its game with its latest offerings. Its always been noted for its ride and handling and we have to admit this one sits rather flat in corners, although its still out of its comfort zone on Sydneys Parramatta Road.
IS IT ECONOMICAL?
Not bad. Rated at 7.8 litres/100km, we were getting 8.4 after 545km and were getting close to fill up. The diesel is still probably the better bet, but not everyone wants a diesel.
IS IT `GREEN'?
Yes. Gets 4.5 stars from the Governments Green Vehicle Guide, scoring better than the equivalent diesel model (Prius gets 5 out of 5). Produces 182g/km of CO2.
IS IT SAFE?
Absolutely. Gets a full five-star safety rating, with six airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control systems. The heads up display is also worth mentioning because it is one of the largest and clearest we have come across. Provides a large clear view of your current speed without having to take your eyes off the road.
IS IT COMFORTABLE?
Yes. In keeping with other vehicles that offer an elevated driving position, it is easy to drive but the unfamiliar location of some controls takes a little getting used to. Rear legroom is not what wed call generous. Odd split tailgate conceals a boot divided into two levels.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Better than we anticipated. The 1.6-litre turbo is a little gem, with plenty of thrust provided you dont let the engine revs die. Works well with the six-speed auto and makes for easy, rapid cross country transport. Doesnt get all-wheel drive, but what Peugeot calls Grip Control instead which relies on the traction system to keep the wheels turning.
IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?
Plenty of kit. You get climate air, but you dont get leather for this price. It does however come with a panoramic sunroof and the aforementioned headsup display for this price, along with rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, Bluetooth and a USB connection, 18 in alloy wheels and a reinflation kit.
WOULD WE BUY ONE?
Ummm. Possibly, but I'd be checking out what the opposition has to offer first. The roof and heads up are big drawcards. Then again Im a big fan of the 308 hatch with a diesel engine - _one of the best things that Peugeot produces.