Test drive: Peugeot 308 CC GT THP 200 reviewed
The TotallyMotor Verdict
Having recently dug ourselves out of a deep ‘n’ chilly blanket of UK-halting snow, you might think that this probably isn’t the perfect time to be testing the Peugeot 308 CC; the "Coupe Cabriolet".
But it is the perfect time because the CC’s snug-fitting hard-top makes it an affordable convertible that you can actually own and enjoy all year round; dropping that top at the push of a button any moment the sun gets its hat on, however fleeting. The lack of roof fabric must also be a theft and vandalism deterrent, too.
This CC also gets some extra toasty-tech in the shape heated seats and an “Airwave” neck heating system that fans warm air onto one’s nape via vents in the front seat headrests.
So, it’s all-year-useable and, with 200bhp of turbocharged power, it should be pretty quick, too. The basic on-the-road price for the Peugeot 308 CC, in top-spec GT trim, is £25,995, although this TotallyMotor test car also sports some navigation and comfort optional extras.
Test drive: Peugeot 308 CC GT THP 200
The Peugeot 308 was revised in April 2011 with an all-round tidy up – and a trimming of the beak-like front-end – and upgrades to more modern lighting systems (including LED driving lights), and this Pearl White (£650 option) 308 CC GT gets all that good stuff.
It’s a clean and chiselled design that works well for me; roof up or down, and I personally find it particularly pleasant when viewed from behind, ahem. And, with 200bhp on tap, that could indeed be the view for many other road-users!
As is generally the case with top-trim-spec models; the more you spend, the better they look, and this 308 GT gets 18-inch Nimbus alloys with five chunky, flat spokes to add extra style. However, if you’re all about drop-top fun without jaw-drop prices, the Peugeot 308 CC range starts at £21,445 for the Access 1.6 VTi.
Into the interior:
This 308 CC gets even better optional leather (£840) and, unusually for a test car, I can see nearly 10,000 miles on the clock. But the rich brown perforated leather is wearing well and the electrically adjustable front seats (£370 for the electric seat adjustment pack) are looking as handsome as the day they left the factory.
Good-looking, comfortable and multi-adjusting indeed – including a slide and tilt steering wheel – but at 6’ 4” I can’t quite find my perfect driving position. Although it’s not as far off to be uncomfortable. Peugeot bill the 308 CC as a “genuine 4-seater” although it’s only really the kiddies that need apply for a back seat joyride.
The rest of the inner space is well-appointed and well-built, which is generally the case for the current crop of Peugeot cars, and with the Airwave blowing and heated seat toasting I did survive some cold weather top-dropping without tinting blue.
The THP 200, 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre petrol engine – with a yummy turbo – is the cream of the power crop in the 308 range with 200bhp, although the 156bhp version of the same motor is potent little chap, and there are two diesel choices, too.
Power-stats-wise, the 200bhp motor is quoted to hit 62mph in 8.8secs and is good for a 147mph top speed. CO2 is rated at 162g/km for this faster CC and the quoted combined economy figure is 40.3mpg. During my week-long test I clocked around the 35mpg mark; less if you regularly stretch those turbo legs, and although we enjoy six gears, at 70mph in top the tacho needle sits at a not particularly fuel-friendly 3000rpm.
After 10,000 miles, the 6-speed manual gearbox in this test car felt to have softened a little; loosing some new-car-notchiness for the better, and working through the ‘box near the top of the rev range will see this 308 CC making decent drag-racing progress away from the traffic lights. The THP 200-powered 308 is quicker than its fun-face suggests.
There is a price to pay for your drop-top fun and even with the high-level-engineered metal roof the CC can never be as stiff as a hard-topped sibling. So, expect a little shimmy and shake over bad road surfaces and a ride that’s pretty soft.
However, it’s a fun car rather than a track car, and I think Peugeot’s intended CC buyer demographic is unlikely to be apex-hunting at the weekends. And, again, as has been happily usual with the Peugeots I’ve tested recently; the brakes are powerful, progressive and full of feel.
Ten second sum up:
The Peugeot 308 CC GT, with its recently revised styling, really fits the bill for drivers looking for an all-year convertible. One that looks good, feels safe and practical under its metal roof, and with the 200bhp under the hood, offers excitement off the line, at least on the straights.
Prices and availability:
The Peugeot 308 CC range starts at £21,445 for the Access 1.6 VTi, rising to £25,995 for the THP 200 GT. Prices as tested, £29,430, for the 200 THP GT model with optional extras including sat-nav, pearlescent paint, electric seats and upgraded leather. Available now.
By Daniel Anslow
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