308 CC GT 2.0 HDi 140
we really do love
But for all-year-
you simply cant
beat driving a cabrio
with a retractable
steel roof. Top of
will be Peugeots
new 308 CC...
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 308 CC include the built-in neck warming system
previously only available on vastly more expensive Mercedes sports cars
some particularly good engines (notably the 150bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol
unit and the model reviewed here, the more torquey 140bhp 2.0-litre HDi 140)
and four full size seats.
None of the above would mean a great deal if the 308 CC didn't have the looks
essential to cut it as a coupe-cabriolet. Fortunately it does. Packaging a good-looking
four-seat coupe-cabriolet with a folding steel roof that stows away in the boot
is no easy task (actually it's a designer's nightmare) but Peugeot have got
it right with the 308 CC it looks striking in both coupe and cabriolet
The 308 CC's defining visual feature is the large, low-slung grille capped by
swept-back headlamp units. Top down, south of the rear headrests (that also
house the active pop-up roll-over protection bars) the rear deck is clean and
uncluttered all the way to the subtly integrated boot lip spoiler and the prominent
haunches with their spectacular LED rear lights featuring 'curtain of red light'
Smart and safe. The 308 CC has been awarded five stars in EuroNCAP's
'adult occupancy test' where it scored 36 out of a possible maximum 37 points.
Along with the roll-over bars in the rear head restraints and specially reinforced
front windscreen pillars, the 308 CC also features a world first 9-litre
head airbags for the front seat passengers that are housed within the seat and
deployed, literally, from the head restraint.
While safety is, of course, of primary interest to any driver buying a convertible
car, more important still is the driving environment and the driving dynamics.
Environment first. Pull open a door and you'll find a suitably sporty looking
cabin. Probably the first things you'll notice are the inbuilt Airwave neck
heating vents in each front seat's integral head restraint. While there are
matching Airwave mouldings on the rear seats, these are purely cosmetic and
neck heating is only available on the front seats.
Airwave can be switched on and off as desired, and the air adjusted for temperature,
flow and direction. And 'Airwave' is the perfect description as to how it feels
like cashmere but softer. Better still, it functions independently so
you can have, say, warm air blowing on your neck while the climate control is
pumping cool air into the cabin.
course, if 'toasted' is your thing, then you can fire up the heated seats, set
the climate control to the red zone and max the temperature of the air blowing
around your neck. Driving thus with the top down on a misty autumnal night or
on a wintry, snow-tinged day is an experience not to be missed.
aware of the 2.0 GTs
diesel engine except at
the pumps: a weeks
driving saw our road test
car return an average
in black leather, the shapely and well-bolstered seats are inviting and help
make the cabin a pleasing place to be. Good quality trim materials, soft-touch
plastics, a high-gloss black lacquer centre console plus chrome detailing all
add to the tasteful ambience. Look over your shoulder and you'll find the pair
of individual rear seats to be as equally smart and well-shaped as the fronts.
Access to the rear seats is straightforward as the front seats tilt and slide
and there's a powered return feature. Shorter adults can travel in the back
although six-footers will find legroom tight and their head very close to the
rear screen unless sitting behind a much shorter person. If you have teenagers
and smaller children, this is where they should sit when the roof is raised.
And probably will want to anyway because due to the steeply raked windscreen
extending some way back over the front cabin, those sitting in the back will
enjoy the full top-down cabrio experience the most. Rear passengers have their
own window switches, climate control vents, outer armrests and a centre armrest
If the driver is 'flying solo' or has only one passenger as will no doubt
be the usual 'load' for most 308 CC owners then fitting the windstop
(standard kit on the GT model) will, along with raising all four electric windows,
ensure tranquil and refined 'open to the sky' cruising. Top down, normal conversation
is not a problem at faster speeds, although you may prefer to listen to the
excellent JBL Hi-Fi.
Talking of kit, the top-line GT model is very well specified and comes with
a power folding metal roof, leather upholstery, 2-zone automatic climate control,
four one-shot up/down electric windows, power door mirrors, 18-inch alloys,
front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, windstop, leather-wrapped sports
steering wheel, cruise control with speed limiter, automatic wipers and lights,
auto-dimming rear-view mirror and tyre pressure monitoring as well as the Airwave
neck heating system and JBL HiFi already mentioned.
Along with six 'Smart' airbags, an Electronic Stability Program (including ABS,
Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist, traction control
and stability control) comes as standard. And in the event of sharp deceleration
the hazard warning lights come on automatically.
The driving position is very good thanks to extensive height and reach adjustment
of the leather-clad, flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel and the every-which-way
electric adjustment for both front seats. With the roof in place the cabin is
light and airy. A two-memory setting feature for the driver's seat means the
308 CC doubles easily as a his 'n' hers car. Longer than usual seat bases provide
decent under-thigh/knee support important for long distance driving comfort.
And there are more than enough storage cubbies and pockets, as well as a chilled
glovebox, to take all the oddments you have and then some. Both front electric
windows have a one-shot up/down facility, while the rear pair only have one-shot
down. Power fold mirrors are fitted and can be operated at any time and also
fold back automatically when the car is locked using the remote.
and rear parking sensors, with both audible and visual warnings, are standard
and you'll definitely need them when you're reversing. Remote audio controls
are fitted to the steering column on a stubby stalk (as too are those for the
cruise control and speed limiter) and are fine once you get used to adjusting
them purely by touch. Automatic drive-away central locking is yet another welcome
practicality make the
308 CC an easy car
to say Yes
Peugeot's optional (£750) Connect Navigation with Bluetooth was fitted to our
test car and very handy it proved to be, incorporating as it does SatNav, MP3
compatibility, voice control, a 6-CD autochanger and a pop-up screen that also
adjusts for angle to minimise reflections a well-considered quality in
a convertible! Another convenience feature is the separate global window switch
that lowers all four windows with one push (raising them requires you to hold
the switch manually until they're closed).
Yet more neat touches include automatic remote-control locking of the glovebox
and storage compartment under the central armrest along with deadlocking of
doors for secure topless parking, and intelligent air conditioning that adapts
itself to 'open' or 'closed' motoring.
With the roof up there's barely a whisper of wind or engine noise inside the
efficiently soundproofed cabin and you could easily believe yourself to be in
a 'proper' coupe with a fixed roof. The fully automatic powered metal top takes
20 seconds to open or close; with it in place luggage space more than doubles
from 266 to a practical 465 litres.
The boot lid opens high and there's easy access over the knee-height load sill.
Below the false floor is a large lift-out tray tailored to store the windstop
a nice touch is the proper stay hook to hold up the floor panel while
accessing the lower boot. A flexi-net pocket to one side of the boot keeps smaller
oddments in place and there's a stretchy luggage net for larger items. There's
also an easy-to-use protective roller blind that prevents the roof crushing
your luggage as it stacks in the boot. The boot itself is finished with a high
quality carpet and chrome tie-down rings.
The last thing you want in a smart-looking car is for its bite to not match
its bark. No worries with the 308 CC GT 2.0 HDi 140. When we tested the 150bhp,
1.6-litre petrol-drinking 308 CC earlier this year it earned top marks for its
powerplant. The 2.0-litre 140bhp diesel unit tested here is equally well-suited
to the not exactly light 308 CC (it weighs in at 1,674Kg). While it loses a
few horsepower to the 150bhp petrol engine, the oil-burner serves up substantially
more torque: 260lb ft as opposed to the 1.6's 180lb ft.
All of which helps make the unexpectedly quiet and smooth diesel unit a gutsy
performer, one with more than enough mid-range power and torque for fuss-free
overtaking ably helped by the precise six-speed manual 'box. For the
record, the top speed is a perfectly adequate 129mph with acceleration from
standstill to 62mph taking 11.1 seconds.
You're never really aware of the 2.0 GT's diesel engine except at the pumps:
a week's hard driving saw our road test car return an average of 43.6mpg compared
to the test average for the petrol-powered 1.6 GT of 33.5mpg. And, in the interests
of real-life figures, we didn't go out of our way to be economical. Official
consumption figures for the 2.0 GT are 47.8mpg combined, 36.2 urban and 58.8mpg
The 308 CC is a relaxing tourer; quiet and refined at speed. Drive it with some
attitude on more interesting roads, however, and you'll find that as well as
comfort the CC has enough capability to deliver a decent helping of entertainment.
An impressively rigid body more than compensates for the lack of a permanently
fixed roof and during our week behind the wheel there was never any flexing
or scuttle shake.
Ride quality is very credible and not at all too firm for what is first and
foremost a 'cruiser'. And thanks to well-judged damping and good body control,
the 308 CC is without doubt up there with the best of its kind. Some may feel
that the steering is on the light side but nevertheless it's fine for the demands
typical owners will make of it, whether they are cruising to soak up the rays
or making haste along twisty, winding lanes. If it's the latter, they'll be
reassured to discover that the easy-to-place 308 CC always feels reassuringly
stable and predictable.
The new Peugeot 308 CC appeals equally to both sexes and really is that 'car
for all seasons'. Factor in four seats, a powered folding metal roof, the cosseting
Airwave neck warming system, enjoyable driveability and all-seasons practicality
and you'll find it's an easy car to say 'Yes' to. MotorBar
Peugeot 308 CC GT 2.0 HDi 140 FAP | £24,295
Maximum speed: 129mph | 0-62mph: 11.1 seconds | Overall test MPG: 43.6mpg
Power: 140bhp | Torque: 260lb ft | CO2 155g/km | Insurance group 14