Peugeot 308 GT first drive

Peugeot 308 A friend of mine recently showed me what he described as his new computer. Now, I admit that when it comes to technology, I’m at the bottom end of the scale in regards to what’s new, but when he produced his new computer that was the size of a credit card, I was absolutely astonished.

The computer I am talking about is the Raspberry Pi mini-computer. Over recent months, it has taken the internet by storm with pr-orders reaching as high as 350,000. The little computer only costs around $35, and is pre- armed with an arsenal of technology. The main core I am told is a 700 MHz ARM11 processor (whatever that is) along with a bevy of ports, primarily aimed at being a cheap education tool for schools and young people who want to start in the basic form of computer programming.
I did a quick Google search, and it seems that demand is so high, that the Raspberry Pi Foundation is doing it’s best to keep up with demand. The organization says that the computers are being produced at a rate of 4,000 per day, and according to my friend it’s gone down a treat with his children. So, maybe I will take the plunge and get one for my own children, that way, they will do something useful with their life over the schools six weeks holiday, instead of watching Jeremy Kyle on TV all day. It does seem like this is the future, so I think we need to embrace it.

Moving on, this month I have the new Peugeot 308 on test, and what a wonderful little Pug this is. Not only does it look great, but it’s packed with features that make many other cars seem dull in comparison. The 308 has been around since 2007, but the recent update in April 2011, has seen this car rocket to one of the best on the market.
Exterior: It looks fantastic with it’s sweeping lines - including the eye-catching lines on the vehicles sides and flanks. The 18-inch upgraded alloys on GT model are a nice touch, as they fit the wheel arches really well, and give it a very nice hunkered down appeal. Every time I look at it - it reminds me of another good looking Peugeot that I like very much - the 508SW.

Inside: The 308 is well laid out – and the cabin looks like it has been designed specifically with relaxation in mind. There's a huge amount of space inside, and there's bags of storage space for all sorts of items that we seem to carry around today. The dashboard is a little dull for me, and it seems to be missing a bit of the finishing touches that Peugeot is usually very good at, although the seating position is spot on. I also like the use of the Nappa leather for the inside; this puts the 308 at the very top of passenger compartment comfort.

On the road: Under the bonnet is a brilliant 1.6 Turbo petrol power plant offering 200bhp and 275Nm of torque @ 1700rpm, which, if I am honest, is more than enough for any driver. 0-60 time is around the 7.7sec mark, and it has a top speed of 147mph. On the open road, it drove like a top of the range sports hatch, if not a little better. The 1.6 litre engine is an absolute gem to use, with plenty of low down torque and minimal turbo lag. It’s also an incredibly willing engine, and if you take it to the max, it will keep you smiling as you nudge 150mph (on a race track of course!) The 308 also puts a big smile on your face, because it’s like driving away for a dirty weekend with Eva Green and the whole of the USA Ladies Beach Volleyball Team.

Peugeot 308 Space: Peugeot has always been good at getting the most space out of their cars, and the 308 is no exception, because Peugeot has proven itself to be a popular choice amongst the family community - both in its design and size - which is perfect for those weekends away - or just doing the morning school run.

To sum up: I like the 308 a lot, it’s a great performer, and I think it easily beats its competitors. I want one as much as I want to go and watch the beach volleyball team at the Olympics, but I believe they were the first tickets to sell out. So, if you are looking for a medium sized reliable hatchback, then give the 308 a shakedown. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

Peugeot 308 GT THP200

Price: From £21,745

Engine: 1.6 Turbo Petrol

Power: 200bhp @ 5,500rpm

Max Speed: 147mph

MPG combined: 40.9 mpg

Warranty: 3 years

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars   By Anthony Yates 

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