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Peugeot goes upmarket with new 308

Pug nose: The exterior design of the 308 brings it into line with Peugeot’s current corporate look.

New 308 to give Peugeot the ammunition to take on Volkswagen Golf

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Peugeot logo14 May 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

PEUGEOT’S all-new 308 hatch will shake its gawky suit for more modern design language as part of the French car-maker’s bid to take the brand further upmarket.

From front on, the all-new 308 features six crease lines in the bonnet and Peugeot’s ‘floating’ chrome-rimmed grille, while new full LED head-lights will be standard on some, but not all variants.

Peugeot says that its iconic lion badge has inspired the tail-light cluster, with the display resembling three claw marks as the lights creep around to the rear shoulder in a C shape similar to the smaller 208.

A completely redesigned interior that Peugeot calls the “i-cockpit” features a big 9.7-inch touch-screen interface that also helps to cut the number of buttons on the dash, bestowing the centre stack with a much cleaner look.

Also downsized is the steering wheel, which is replaced with a smaller-diameter tiller - a strategy also used for the 208 compact hatch.

The second-generation 308 will go on sale in Europe later this year, pointing to an Australian release some time in early 2014.

Built in France using a platform that will also underpin the next-generation Citroen C4 Picasso, the new 308 is 140kg lighter and, at 4.25 metres long, shorter than the model it replaces.

Peugeot said weight reductions also helped to cut carbon dioxide emissions, with one unspecified 308 variant producing just 85g/km – making it better for the environment than a Toyota Prius.

Buyers can expect a choice of more fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines mated to either manual or automatic gearboxes.

The 308 is the latest Pug to graduate to the French car-maker’s new corporate look, which, while less dramatic than the original 308, follows the design of the 508 mid-size range, 208 hatch, and 2008 sub-compact SUV due in Australia later this year.

Peugeot will aim the 308 at Volkswagen’s all-conquering Golf, as well as other premium small cars such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW’s 1 Series.

The new-look 308 arrives just as Peugeot’s seven-seat 5008 wagon, based on sister company Citroen’s C4 Grand Picasso people-mover, launches in Australia with a choice of a petrol or diesel powertrains, and in base-model Active specification only.

It is priced from $36,990 plus on-roads for the 1.6-litre petrol version, and from $40,490 for the 2.0-litre diesel model. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The second row of seats and the two full-size seats in the third row of the 5008 can fold into the rear floor to increase boot space. Peugeot said the curtain airbags on the lion-badged people-mover cover the third-row seats.

Standard equipment on the 5008 includes a rear camera with parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, seven-inch retractable sat-nav screen, rear multimedia system with two seven-inch screens and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The petrol engine produces 115kW of power and 240Nm of torque with fuel economy of 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, while the diesel pumps out 120kW/340Nm for an average of 6.3L/100km, both with an automatic transmission only.

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