So you know all about the Eos now don’t you? And you know we like a bit of a droptop or 4 don’t you? So here’s another one…
The 308cc. It’s a Peugeot. It’s comfortable. It’s reasonably quick. It has a steering wheel.
So, is it any good?
Well actually, it’s not too shabby. We got the “2 bags” into it no problem at all. We got 4 people into it. I won’t say no problem at all, but a short drive the the airport, so is no trouble at all. Try that in a Porsche Boxter. You can drive it on a cold night and she gently wafts tiny wasp breathes of warm air against your neck to keep you toasty. Try that in an Aston Martin Vantage. You can leave it nestled in a sensible spot while you sip your morning late, and it will still be there when you get back. It’s understated and thieves pass it by in favour of the brassy Commodore SSV once parked behind you. And, because you can fit 2 hard cased carry on bags in the boot, you can drive to the mountains for a romantic getaway and have the roof down. Try that in a Lotus Evora.
Outside looks slightly like the 5 door hatch upon which the CC is based but the CC has a button so the 2 piece roof will quickly vanish into the boot. Somehow the proportions look much better sans the back doors. The bum is a little porky, but all tintop convertibles are. You simply can’t have security and whisper quiet cruising speeds, and always have a cavernous boot, but quit moaning because there are only ever two of you at the most, and you never put anything in the damned boot so stop going on about it!
Perhaps instead you might focus on the BMW/PSA-Peugeot turbo petrol that quickly gets you off quickly at the lights. Or perhaps even the turbo diesel which has more than enough torque to not only whip the skin off a custard, but to do it at warp speed. The outside has a modern albeit slightly gaping front end with quite pretty if oversized headlights. The rear has a plethora of tiny LEDs forming a cats’ paw over each rear corner.
On the subject of the rear end, there is the built in spoiler and the chrome tail pipe and from the side there are big wheels a low slung tyres.
Inside shows a similar lack of attention deficit disorder. The French are known for wine, food and cars that ride well. Peugeot market the CC as a sporty coupe whose roof goes down, but I think they have missed a trick. It’s not what I’d call a sporty drive but it is very cozy inside. The cow on the seats feels soft and luxurious, and the plastics feel soft, which some also associate with quality. You can adjust just the right driving possie to reach the steering wheel stalks which control the major functions. The dash feels a little far away because it slopes so far away from the driver, but that’s not an issue unless you want to programme you sat nav which the test car didn’t have. So perhaps a grand tourer is a better description.
Seat showing the heater outlet in the headrest
There are the usual highlights of chrome and stainless steel but there is still a feeling of gentleman’s club rather club rather than night club and somehow this is reassuring and homely.
Should you tae off in a spirited manner, even in a autumn shower, the electronics sort out your foibles which is particularly good if you hit an oily patch. The point being that you should leave these things on all the time. Unless you’re a racing driver you just won’t notice the difference until it’s too late. and by then you’ll have hit some of the local architecture with the expected undesirable results. There are far too many motoring shows encouraging boys who have recently passed their driving tests to switch the gear off and act like Nigel Mansel. this is only going to make the tyre manufacturers leap with joy and the insurers fat with profit. That’s why it costs those boys so much to insure their cars, even if they drive old bombs. The 308 is safe though as not many 18 year olds can afford $50k for a car.
Because the steering is nicely weighted, the suspension comfortably firm and the ride very sure-footed, you feel like you’re driving a car which costs a lot more so that must make the people at Peugeot feel more than a little chuffed.
The engines are mated to 6 gears in either auto or manual transmissions but the auto is just the ticket for city driving. There is nothing more trying than having to dig your shoes into the plush pile every few metres. These days shifting gears yourself is completely unnecessary because the autos shift faster than most drivers do and are in the right gear most of the time. It has to be said that things are much more lively if you leave the auto in sports mode. It holds the cog longer and shifts faster and even the steering feels a little bit sharper, but of course I could have imagined that.
The colour combos are work well and the Pearl White is a favourite of mine.
Over all the 308 cc is a triumph. It has none of the family-ness of the hatch and because it’s a droptop, there will be far fewer of them on the road. The first things you notice is that when you’ve opened yourself to the outside world, people look at the car. Open air motoring is still uncommon enough that people still notice you even if they don’t say anything. Even an average convertible makes you feel special, so the 308cc makes you feel very special.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a recap on the luscious Lexus IS250c as we touch on a few of the salient points once more in the rundown to which car we think is best.