PEUGEOT might have reinvented the four-seater coupe-convertible craze with the 206 CC in 2000, but the Volkswagen Eos stole the initiative in 2007, leaving all the other small-car-based folding hardtops – including the established 307 CC – in its wake.
Now the centurion French car-maker hits back with the greatly improved (and much prettier) 308 CC, bringing it back into serious contention against the Germans while introducing a couple of unique and appealing additions to the breed.
So, should the Eos buyer be checking with their local Peugeot dealer before signing the dotted line?
Model release date: July 2009
DESPITE Peugeot’s pioneering efforts with the 206 Coupe Convertible, the 307 version was not a good CC ambassador.
Saddled with odd proportions, a heavy roof and two barely adequate 2.0-litre twin-cam petrol engines (100kW/190Nm in the base Dynamic or 130kW/202Nm in the Sport), the Peugeot felt leaden to drive, proved quite thirsty, and didn’t offer either the performance or the sharp handling responses the marque was renowned for during the 1980s and 1990s.
Variable-valve timing was added to both powerplants from October 2005 (upping the Dynamic’s outputs to 103kW and 200Nm), but the Sport remained a five-speed manual only proposition, while the Dynamic at least offered a four-speed automatic option.
By the time the VW Eos arrived during 2007 the French car looked, felt and drove like the hopelessly outdated compromise it was.
Its 308 CC replacement is a much better all-round effort.