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Future models - Peugeot - 308

AIMS: Australian debut for 308 Series II

Not just a pretty face: Peugeot says the updated 308 gets more equipment, interior quality and comfort.

Sleek 308 facelift to bring more quality, equipment to Peugeot small-car stable

Peugeot logo1 Jul 2011

IN ADDITION to its all-new 508 mid-size sedan and wagon range, Peugeot gave the ‘Series II’ 308 small car range its Australian debut at the Melbourne motor show today ahead of its August 1 on-sale date.

Peugeot Australia director Ken Thomas announced a $1500 reduction to the 308's entry price to $22,990 at the show.

Pricing for the rest of the line-up is yet to be revealed but Peugeot spokesperson Kirin Tipping told GoAuto it is unlikely to change much from the outgoing model, which starts at $24,490 for the base hatch and tops out at $58,990 for the top-spec coupe-convertible.

Featuring updated styling and the French brand’s fuel-saving ‘e-HDI’ idle-stop and regenerative braking technology, a 25kg weight loss and ultra-low rolling resistance tyres, the hatch, wagon and coupe-convertible range also gains more technology to help keep it competitive.

The neater front-end with its ‘floating’ front grille, redesigned headlights and boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights contribute to a sportier, more masculine appearance.

Inside, the dashboard slopes steeply towards the bonnet to aid forward visibility. Peugeot says it has improved the quality of interior materials and used soft-touch finishes to raise the level of comfort and perceived quality. Optional leather on the dashboard and Mercedes-style neck warmers add to the upmarket feel.

The interior will also be upgraded with standard dual-zone climate-control featuring an active charcoal filter to reduce the smell of traffic fumes entering the cabin, plus an upgraded audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, plus optional satellite-navigation.

23 center image On the 308 Peugeot will be offering a guaranteed servicing package priced at $330 per year – which can be added to the initial payment like any other option – for the duration of the car’s three-year warranty period or 60,000 kilometres.

Claimed to be one of the most spacious cars in its segment, the new 308 also features 42 litres worth of glovebox, door bins and other internal storage areas.

The hatch offers 430 litres of boot space – 80 litres more than its Volkswagen Golf rival – while the wagon offers a load capacity ranging from 674 to 2149 litres – a massive 409 litres more than the Ford Mondeo from the next segment up.

Once again, the 308 coupe-convertible – which can raise or lower its folding metal roof in 20 seconds – can store 465 litres with the roof up or 266 litres with the roof down.

The five-star Euro NCAP rated 308 features six airbags in the hatch and Touring (four on the coupe-convertible – which is also fitted with roll-over hoops), anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, emergency brake assist with automatic hazard light activation and electronic stability control.

Peugeot claims that the 308’s structure employs high-strength steel and “multilayer” reinforcements to increase the vehicle’s safety while contributing to the 25kg weight reduction.

Two new wheel designs will be available in 16-inch and 17-inch diameters, alongside two new paint colours - Bourrasque Blue and Philaea Blue.

Engine configurations are also likely to remain similar to the Euro 5-compliant outgoing model, with a range of 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines expected to stay on offer.

Peugeot's ‘eHDI’' eco-technologies such as idle-stop, active air intakes and regenerative braking feature on the facelifted car in Europe where it has been recently released, so expect to see at least some of the same here.

The French brand’s small car contender has historically sold well for the company, with 2827 finding homes in 2010 and 3346 in 2009. Despite a sharp 50 per cent decline in sales to the end of May this year, the 308 remains Peugeot’s top seller with 726 hatches, wagons and coupe-convertibles sold.

Peugeot also unveiled an MY2011 update to its 207 light car range at the Melbourne show, comprising a mild styling and equipment updates. The model is expected to be superseded next year by an all-new ‘208’ with frontal styling echoing that of the sleek 2010 SR1 Geneva concept.

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