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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Peugeot 308 Turbo Full Test Drive!!! A Very Exciting Car Indeed

The Malaysian road now are filled with very exciting model brought in by various carmakers to entice the buyers and spoilt the choice with endless variants and features. One of these cars is the Peugeot 308 where the official distributors here Nasim Sdn. Bhd. has added another variant which is the Peugeot 308 Turbo. Last weekend I had a chance to test drive the car courtesy of Nasim Sdn. Bhd.

While of you are a keen reader of Auto Insider Malaysia, surely you have read about the test drive review that I had with the Peugeot 308 VTi. If you have not read it yet, you can read it at this link. To me having the 308 Turbo for the weekend is like deja vu for me. During the previous reviews, I have given a very good review about the 308 VTi and this car the 308 Turbo surpasses all that I have ever experience before.

First of all, in terms of creature comfort, like the 308VTi, the car comes with dual zone automatic air conditioning separate from the front passenger and the driver and the rear passenger has not been spared by Peugeot as the designer of Peugeot has included a rear aircond vent for the rear passenger. This is a very novel feature by Peugeot especially during these hot days. The design and layout of the instrument panel is the same as in the Peugeot 308VTi with its soft touch material being employed and the chrome inserts on the aircond vent, the gear shift lever and also the meter dials. 

This has created a sense of luxury added to the car. Speaking of luxury, the 308 Turbo features a tinted panoramic sunroof with anti-pinch safety feature and electronically controlled curtain. This panoramic sunroof added an ambience of spaciousness to the car interior and the tinted glass is really good at filtering the UV rays and blocking the hot sun from spoiling the coolness of the interior.

To spice it up the joy of driving, the 308 Turbo features a RD4 dashboard integrated audio system with MP3, CD player, Tuner and also USB and Bluetooth connectivity. This audio system is connected to a six speaker system which consists of 2 tweeters, 2 front speakers and 2 rear speakers and this setup really push the sound with a great clarity. I truly love the sound coming out from this audio system and drivers can further tune the ambience of the sound through various pre-define sound stage that has been tune by the audio engineers of Peugeot.

In terms of safety, 308 Turbo features a six airbags (2 front airbags, 2 side airbags and 2 curtain airbags) and also a list of acronyms such as ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), EBA (Emergency Brake Assist), ESP (Electronics Stability Program) which can be turned off, ASR (Traction Control) and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control). To further add the sense of safety, Peugeot has added an Anti-whiplash front head restraint system and also 2 ISOFIX location points at two outer rear seats for the child safety. When driving and you are about to do an emergency braking, an auto illumination of rear hazard light will be blinked to alert the incoming cars of your manoeuvres.  

In terms of the engine, this is the key highlight of this car, the 308 Turbo is equip with a 1.6 liter engine THP (Turbo High Pressure) 4 inline cylinder, DOHC 16 valves with VVT that pushes 156hp and 240Nm of torque at 1,400rpm. This engine is codename Prince was developed by BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen and this amazing engine is paired with a new six speed auto adaptive gearbox with Tiptronic and Sport mode features which I can consider better than the previous 4 speeder that I test drove on the 308VTi.

So how does this 308 Turbo feels when on the move. First of all, the pulling power of this turbo engine is very intoxicating. The gushed of torque coming from 1,400rpm onwards can really makes you smile devilishly. But before the torque can pull away this car, you may feel the turbo lag during the initial acceleration which is quite normal for a turbo engine, but once the spool of air has started swirl into the combustion chamber, you will enjoy this engine fully and to tell you the truth, to drive this car at the normal permissible speed limit is challenge.

The car feels so stable at high speed and the electro hydraulic variable power assisted steering is very direct on corners and provide much feedback when you needed the most. Great engine must come with a great pairs of brakes and Peugeot has supplied us with a very assuring braking system to stop this car and it has done a very good job in braking when you needed most after the burst of accelerating speed. To add on to the sporting feeling of driving this car, Peugeot engineers has setup the suspension on the firmer side. When I say firm, it does not mean a very jarring driving feeling which makes you feel uneasy, but I can really differentiate that the 308VTi suspension is tune more on the comfort side but on the 308 Turbo suspensions is tune on the firmer side for a better grip during accelerated drive.

What is still lacking even tough is better than the previous model is the gearbox. With the improved six speeders, Peugeot engineers still could not tune the gearbox to its finest. Well maybe most of layman driver does not notice this, but to me, the gearbox still lacks of refinement especially on the low speed driving such as during the town driving.

Sometime the gear still hunting for the right gear and this could sometime be an annoying affair for me. I do hope the Peugeot engineers can look further on retuning the calibration of the gearbox especially during the low speed driving. But once the engine is up to the speed, with six gears in hand, a drive at 110km/h will tick the rpm needle of only 2500rpm and this will surely improve the fuel economy. With 60 liters of fuel tank capacity, I manage to drive around 850km on a full tank with quite a lot of spirited drive on the highways and also some town driving and to me this is quite an amazing feat for this car.

To sum it up, I can say that this Peugeot 308 Turbo is consider quite an amazing car and this car do feel a lot more appealing than the 308VTi especially during the driving stint. For you guys or girls out there that has been eyeing for this car, I can say this car is truly a fun car to drive and with five colour pallet to choose from and a 5 years unlimited mileage warranty, I can assure you for RM 118,888.00 OTR the Peugeot 308 Turbo is really a car that is worth considering. Finally for this car I rate it as

Auto Insider Malaysia (AIM) Rating: 4/5 Star

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