Sunday, September 27, 2009

Peugeot 308 GT car Review by Ben Pulman

The Peugeot 308 GT THP 175 is only a warm hatch, according to Peugeot. The pre-launch press conference was all about managing our expectations, telling us that the GT was meant to be dynamic but also allow you to cover 1000 miles without getting a bad back.

But Peugeot needn’t had worried, because this 308 is really rather good, thanks mostly to a slick new six-speed gearbox and a 1.6-litre turbo engine shared with the Mini Cooper S.

What makes the Peugeot 308 GT THP 175 stand out from all the other 308s?
All the typical go-faster goodies are present and correct. That means uprated dampers, 35 percent stiffer springs, and suspension lowered by 10mm. Peugeot claims that this has dropped the GT’s centre off gravity by 10mm.

On the outside you get a RC Z concept-inspired front bumper, a rear spoiler that apparently produces downforce, a ‘diffuser’ and 18-inch wheels. In white, and in three-door form it looks very good indeed. In red and with five doors (like our pictures) it’s smart but not quite there, especially as the stylish red rear lights no longer stand out.

Inside you get an aluminium gearknob and pedals, plus a new steering wheel.

Does it all work?
Yes, but with a but. There are a few issues with the 308 GT, so let’s get them out of the way first. In co-developing the 1.6-litre engine with BMW, Peugeot’s engineers seem to have taken a leaf out of the Bavarian’s M Division and fallen in love with thick steering wheels. The wheel is also a little too wide. If only the company has stuck with the standard steering wheel for the 308, as that’s pretty good already.

The aluminium pedals are also too far apart and the accelerator too high for any sort of heel ‘n’ toe action. But the 308 GT has a turbocharged engine so keeping it at 6000rpm isn’t the key to making good progress.

Tell me about this engine then?

We know (and love) this turbocharged 1.6-litre from ourlong-term Mini Cooper S. In the 308 it has 175bhp, and 180lb ft from 1600-4500rpm. And it loves to rev. On the same launch CAR drove a 150bhp version of the 1.6 and it felt strained, reluctant to rev towards the red line, and it was boomy at the top end.

In 175 form it’s so much better, and so smooth that you end up hitting the rev limiter often. There’s no torque curve as such, just a plateau, and you forget there’s just 1598cc under the bonnet. It can be pelted along nicely, but occasionally the 1371kg kerbweight – 166kg more than a Cooper S – made overtaking on the short straights of our Sardinian test route a little tricky.

But the new six-speed gearbox is a joy to use. It’s slick but still has enough mechanical feel so you’re not fluffing changes. Congrats to Peugeot because it’s a pretty damn good drivetrain.

And through the corners and over the bumps?

The smooth roads of Sardinia ensured a smooth ride, despite the firm-ish suspension. The 308 will need a proper drive of Britain’s unique undulations before we can say for sure, but initial impressions are of a well tied-down hatch.

It’s equally good into the corners. There’s lots of grip from the 18-inch wheels - and very little of the torque steer that can afflict our long-term Mini. The ESP is unobtrusive and when it does cut in it does so gently. Turn it off and you can feel the car slide a little more through the bends but it never becomes unruly.

CAR also snuck a drive a 308 GT shod with 17-inch wheels. This car – which won’t be coming to the UK – had a slightly better ride and marginally sharper turn-in that UK-spec cars, but the differences are minuscule. For the warm hatch customer that will buy the car the larger wheels, that make the 308 look better, are more than acceptable.


The 308 GT isn’t a full-on hot hatch, and it was never designed to be. It’s a big car, over two metres wide with the wing mirrors out (as they should be) and that rather large glass roof is standard. The interior quality is very good, and it’s quiet. Kit levels include decent bi-xenon lights, dual zone air-con and many more bits and pieces.

Along a twisting road it might be left behind by a Mini Cooper S but the Peugeot is a bigger and heavier car, and more of a rival to our long-term VW Golf GT TSI. The Peugeot's gearbox is nicer to use and the engine more characterful. But while many might be prepared to spend £18.5k on a Golf, we’re not sure too many will spend that much on a Peugeot. 

The 308 GT is good enough that we won’t make any jokes about it being tepid - but ultimately we prefer hot, and not warm. Oh, and a basic Ford Focus ST is £18,250. Makes you think...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Maintenance for 308 THP and VTi

Here is the prices for servicing your 308 in Malaysia.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another letter from Dennis from Nasim

Good evening Mr Alan,
We are pleased to inform your good self that the goodwill reimbursement for your battery has been approved by the management. A cheque is being prepared and we will get in touch with you as soon as it is ready.
Thank you for your patience and kind cooperation.
Best Regards,
Dennis Michael
Head Of  Department
Client Interaction Center (CLiC)
PEUGEOT CARELINE : 1-800-88-6292
FAX : 03-5569 0599

Friday, September 11, 2009

Change... its hard... but not impossible...

Guys, Its very hard to change the mindset and attitude of someone, be it an organisation. However, people will only change if.. [b]"the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of change"[/b] This applies to any change in life for everyone. We have to feel the pain before we have no choice but to move and change. Since Nasim has felt some pain, there are some good changes starting to move. The theory works. BTW, I am a training specialist by profession. I know what I am doing...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An email from Dennis (Customer Care of Nasim)

Greetings from Nasim Mr Alan Wong,
Further to our meeting on the 4th September 2009, we wish to inform you that the After Sales Division is in the midst of obtaining approval for goodwill reimbursement on your battery.
We will update you as soon as we receive the approval. Thank you.
Best Regards,
Dennis Michael
Head Of  Department
Client Interaction Center (CLiC)
PEUGEOT CARELINE : 1-800-88-6292
FAX : 03-5569 0599
This is what I call good customer service. However, I do hope that Nasim will begin to be more proactive in handling all Peugeot owner's warranty issues. Dennis has taken the liberty to update myself on the status of the Battery issue which I had earlier.... Will keep you guys posted on the entire issue...

Monday, September 7, 2009

A PM from Intermilan to me- for YOUR entertainment purposes

I've always consider you as a friend, even if we had only meet once. But i think it about time that you have a kit kat. This issue is now seem to be very near to achieve or already reach irrevocable damage. It should be taken off the Net or tone down marginally. Let go of the emo.. Why not use the tribunal pengguna or legal option? And unfortunately, your revelation about the discussion in ZTH are just quite tasteless as the discussion itself. Two wrong didn't make it right Alan. I'm afraid it might set the tone for this to turn out to be a hardball game. Game on! David vs. Goliath. Posting your grievance in AW won't help anymore. I see it this way, by revealing the ZTH discussion, you win the battle, but that will quickly lead to you losing the war, possibly. Of course i don't know why you attack lowpro. You must got your reasons. Lastly, I do hope that the objective(s) of your struggle will be achieve. Nasim is clearly the wrong party here. But some of the way you employed to drag your point here didn't help either. From your experience, we know that they can be a s u c k e r. But i'm worried if they decided to be an even bigger s u c k e r after this episode.

{and my reply below}

Intermilan, Do I care what you think of the entire situation? You never even came and supported myself when I was fighting the battle alone. Who are you to come and PM me to tell me what I should do? I am still fighting the battle alone. What have I got to lose? What is the worse that can happen?? I have thought about the consequences, and I am all game to expect the worse. I have always thought of all of you as a friend... Derick, yourself and all the others, till I had to fight this battle alone, I found out who are my real friends... Why not, you take a kit kat and enjoy the show...!