Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Arriving in Australia in July 2009 the Peugeot 308 CC replaces the 307 CC. The new car is bolder styled, features the brands supersized beak nose and the cabin is far more refined than the outgoing model and gains a hard top folding roof. The top dog ‘S’ trim features great looking 18 inch alloys.
Not so good A price to pay for the high tech folding hard top roof and a roomy boot is an oversized behind (not the 308 CC's best angle in our eyes) and the large black plastic rear diffuser is a touch excessive for what is a relaxed cruiser; the hardtop roof also misses out on glass roof paneling like in the Volkswagen Eos and Renault Megane convertible. The long, swept back windscreen is great at keeping the wind out, but some people might long for more of that wind in your hair feeling when cruising along.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The refined, classy cabin with significantly improved fit AND finish (over the previous 307CC) is a big step forward for Peugeot. The instrument panel looks elegant with its white background; the front seats are relatively comfortable and up front head and legroom is impressive. All 308 CC’s get dual zone air-conditioning and the ‘S’ grades come standard with leather seats which are electrically adjustable (with memory), heated and have a trick feature called ‘Airwave’ (which blows warm air around the neck of the driver and passenger). The boot is a whopping 465 litres with the roof up and a decent 265 litres roof down.
Not so good Cabin storage space is limited in size – both glovebox and centre console bin; only one cupholder up front; the small driver’s footrest is noticeably so with the manual transmission; with the roof up rear visibility is poor, as is rear three quarter vision (noticeable when changing lanes and parking); whilst the Peugeot 308 CC is a size bigger than the 207 CC, rear seat legroom is still limited.
Performance

Performance

Good Both engines are impressive – a 2.0L Turbo Diesel (with 100kW of power and 320Nm of torque) or a 1.6L Turbo Petrol (with 103/110kW of power and 240Nm of torque). This is the first Peugeot convertible to be offered with a diesel engine and it suits the 308 well with impressive levels of low down torque. The engine is relatively quiet for a diesel and the six speed automatic gearbox (the only choice with this engine) is a good match. However, we think the better pick is the less expensive 1.6L turbocharged petrol option. It’s impressively linear for a turbo (with limited turbo lag), is potent enough, lively and suits the 308’s characteristics.
Not so good The turbo diesel doesn’t rev as high as a number of competitors (above 4,000rpms it has already shown its best). The 1.6L petrol misses out on the diesel’s six speed auto - making do with a less impressive four speed box or a six speed manual (the gear changes with the latter often feel imprecise and vague).
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The 308 CC’s handling is entirely acceptable for the vehicle’s purpose, it’s well balanced, and whilst not as comfortable as the classic Peugeots of old (we fondly recall the 306 convertible) it does come with much larger 17 or 18 inch wheels. The cabin stays impressively refined with the roof down at highway speeds (of course with the windows up and the ‘Windblocker’ working behind you).
Not so good The ‘S’ grade with its larger 18 inch wheels has a more jiggly ride at low speeds and can thump excessively over larger bumps; with the roof up, creaks can be heard in the roof over rougher surfaces (however this is a trait common to more than one hard top convertible). Body flex is evident when driven hard over a twisty road and tyre noise is a little louder than we’d hoped.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good No doubt that all grades offer impressive fuel economy (comparable to the competing Volkswagen Eos and Audi A3 convertible (but no match for the super frugal 1-Series 118d convertible). The Peugeot 308 CC ticks the safety box with standard Anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control and six airbags. All grades come with rear parking sensors, the ‘S’ also gains front parking assist. We like how the glovebox and centre console bin lock automatically with the central locking (so you can secure small items in the cabin and feel safe walking away from the car with the roof down). A full size spare wheel will be appreciated if you get a flat tyre on holidays and you’re three hours from home and standard rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and cruise control are good to see.
Not so good The hardtop folding roof takes roughly 20 seconds to open or close fully, which sounds fine, however it can’t be opened or closed on the move and 20 seconds stationary at a green light whilst waiting for the roof to close in a sudden downpour = unhappy fellow motorists.