Peugeot 308 Turbo retested (6-speed)

Time flies. I could still recall that I was somehow smitten by an early version of this Pug 308 turbo some two years ago. Though it had only 4-speed auto, the road holding and handling were sweet, albeit ride was a little firm. The value-for-money buy (at RM112k) had even gone on to handsomely win the 2009 Car of the Year title from New Straits Times (NST) .

All manufacturers improvise on their cars as years go by. The 'new' 308 turbo is no exception. The sampler that you see in white here has gained a Japanese slush 'box good for six forward ratios. All for the better, lower emissions and more importantly, better fuel economy. Admittedly, it is very smooth on the go now and the car tested licked 190 km/h with ease and the twin-scrolled blower found in this 1.6 engine is quite the lag-free deal, in the vein of BMW turbocharging these days . After all, it is a J-V offspring from BMW-Peugeot union.

However, in its quest for a more fancy panoramic roof (read: heavy), this Pug seems to have a more jello-wobbly suspension setting now, perhaps to offset the added higher mass, suspended above. This warm hatch now rolls, pitch and get busily wobbly with almost every bit of your steering input. Grip levels from those pricey Conti rubbers are still admirably good. Even the rack itself is overtly sensitive, even with input just that wee-bit off-centre.

In short, somehow, the whole package just don't gel. Not anymore. Not when even the driver gets carsick easily. And what's with the noisy A/C blower at full blast and neither hot-nor-cold mostly, climate control? Maybe I am being a bit harsh here with the steeply rake huge front windscreen and glass panoramic roof being untinted yet, in a new car. But it gets uncomfortably hot easily in this 308 with the A/C being stuffy or overwhelmingly noisy most of the time.

Hey, where's the nice good 'ol white face meters? The new "mono-chromed" amber on black is just cheaper-looking and a bore to look at. A lame attempt to mimic BMW items if that was the true intention.

After a few days with it, I have to admit that the latest 308 turbo isn't as desirable as before, not in this latest guise anyway. But it cannot be denied that the sticker price of RM118k is indeed still very tempting against the similarly-classed (RM156k) VW Golf 1.4 TSI. Such is the reality. A cheaper and slightly smaller VW Polo perhaps...Anyone?

You may be compare this article with this:

Peugeot 308 Turbo tested (2009)

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