Peugeot must be one of the most discriminated against car brands on the South African market.
The reasoning behind this statement is that several people have negative perceptions about this car-maker.
People told me straight that they don’t like Peugeot as a brand.
I’m not sure if this is because they had a bad experience in a Peugeot or because they pronounce the name “Pew-got” and have no idea of the history of the brand.
I think it’s the latter. Let me explain.
I was one of those people who judged Peugeot as a brand unfairly because of stories I had heard about the high cost of spares and the time it takes to ship these parts to South Africa.
I would never even have thought of buying a “French” car.
This was a complete misconception, based solely on my vague knowledge of Peugeot, because from the moment I sat in the cockpit of the Peugeot 308 one thing became very clear.
Just as you should not judge a book by its cover, neither should you judge a car or car brand on somebody else’s views.
The interior and dashboard are neat and clutter free. Compared to other car brands, this must be the cleanest dashboard I have ever seen, with very few buttons and even less knobs.
This is thanks to a media system that controls most of the features, including the aircon system.
The media system seamlessly connected to my iPhone via Apple CarPlay using my USB cable; the setup was so easy I didn’t even have to do anything but plug my phone in, and in the blink of an eye the Apple operating system was mirrored on the media system.\
For tech geeks this system is amazing, because it gives you the ability to use SIRI through the media system and gives you access to supported apps such as maps and WhatsApp.
The exterior of the car is not the flashiest or most eye-catching design … but it is far from ugly.
The large chrome grille has a clear badge of the lion taking up a big part of it, making it hard to miss the fact that this is a Peugeot.
Other noticeable features included the updated LED headlights, a sportier front bumper as well as electric folding mirrors.
The styling for this car is so plain though, that it might not stand out against its competitors, such as the Golf 7, but maybe this is what they are aiming for.
The way I see it, Peugeot is running its own race at its own pace and they are not too concerned about outclassing the competitors.
They are in a class of their own and they are setting their own trends by trying to be original and unique.
I personally think that this is an approach that might work well for them because the more I drove around in the 308 the more I appreciated the engineering, technology and, most importantly, the drive.
This vehicle made me want to drive more often than not as was proven by the 610km I did in a mere five days …and that’s taking into account that I only live 4km from the office.
Their award-winning 1.2 turbo charged motor was also very surprising: not once did I feel like the power was insufficient.
At times I’d even forget this is only a 1.2 engine, because there was no turbo lag, just pure driving bliss.
This motor, paired with the sixspeed auto box, was fun to drive, and offers the option to activate sport mode, which makes the car noticeably more responsive.
Other standout features that were not very important to me a couple of months ago were safety and comfort.
Someone rear-ended my wife’s car recently, after she had mentioned that she did not feel our car was safe enough, but the Peugeot 308 has balanced safety and comfort perfectly.
You’d be surprised at how much value for money the Peugeot 308 delivers.
At the price of R369 900 for the 308 Allure auto, you get all the optional extras standard.
This means you get more luxury without paying more. Don’t be like me … take the time to get to know a car before you label it.