Car reviews - Peugeot - 308 - XTE HDi 5-dr hatch
Peugeot rebounds into premium small-car market with convincing 308 XTE diesel
2 May 2008
PEUGEOT is finally back into premium small-car contention with the 308, even though some may dismiss the hatch as looking too similar to the 307 that preceded it. But all it takes is a few moments inside the completely redesigned interior, or a spell behind the wheel, to realise that the French engineers have gone to great lengths to address the quality, driveability and space efficiency issues that the old car suffered from. In top-line XTE diesel guise, the 308 even makes a convincing alternative to an Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz B180 CDI.
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307 XSE 2.0 HDiReleased: October 2005
Ended: January 2008
Family Tree: 308
THE 307 facelift from late 2005 addressed some of the quality and performance issues of the patchy 307 range, but did nothing to fix the tight rear legroom and woeful space efficiency for a car so large and monobox in design. The aggressive new front-end styling also brought in a fully equipped 307 XSE model. Under the bonnet is a variation of the acclaimed 1997cc common-rail turbo-diesel found in the 308, producing 100kW and 320Nm of power and torque respectively. Initially only a six-speed manual was offered, but by August 2006 the long-awaited six-speed automatic gearbox was introduced, giving the Volkswagen Golf TDI range some stiff opposition. Still, with its leaden steering and handling characteristics, the 307 was never a driver’s car, despite the highly competitive diesel drivetrain on offer.
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