Its not long since my first ever drive of a 308, before I was driving what is effectively a very different car. This is the CC model meaning coupé cabriolet. The CC is without a doubt the best of the 3 series range from Peugeot. The designers have given the car an all round revamp, improving styling, comfort, interior and technology.
It’s without doubt a comfortable car and has an almost amazing sense of space inside which is a pleasant surprise from its although smartly dressed, compact looking exterior. Sitting behind the wheel of the CC, the dash board seems to go on for miles, everything has been designed to proportion and its actually quite a pleasant place to be.
Being early summer, even in Wales with its ever changing weather patterns you cannot drive a coupé cabriolet without getting the roof down. Something I discovered as somewhat of a school boy error once it started to rain – Luckily I was on a fairly fast road so the solution was simple, speed up. The roof mechanism from start to finish takes about 40 seconds so once I’d found somewhere to stop and the little voice in my head had declared “Okay, now this is just getting silly” in no time the roof was back up, I was dry and I had a little more time to focus on the interior of the car again.
The interior does has a mildly luxurious feel, you can tell the designers have really thought about it. Its clear that the CC has been made to be more than just a car that gets you from A to B it certainly gets you there but it does so in style. Small but effective additions like smart white stitching in the dark red leather is a welcoming touch. Even the carpets have a luxurious feel, soft and thick to the touch. The leather seats are very smart, very comfortable and have enough in the way of bolsters to give you the confidence to push through the corners without feeling like you’re going to fall out. Even the clocks and dials have been given a revamp with smart, dark and intricate font over white dials. It adds yet another touch of class to the package.
With the sun back out the roof was quickly back down which allowed me to experience a few more surprising luxuries. The seats are not only heated but are equipt with a warming “air-scarf” that sends a waft of warm air around the back of your neck. The CC is a car that is designed to be seen in and not only that but it fits in just about everywhere you go. Car doesn’t stand out and demand attention but at the same time it doesn’t disappear into its surroundings either, It just fits in and for that reason I think its fair to say that it gets respect for what it is.
now i have no doubt that one of the first questions a buyer will ask about the 308cc is rear legroom, well yet again this is where I was surprised. The CC is not a big car looking at it from the outside you would actually expect rear passengers to have a relatively hard time, but no. Even with 6″1′ of me behind the wheel I wouldn’t feel too conscious about carrying a mate in the back.
What I like most about this car is that its not trying to be anything it’s not. Peugeot are clearly very proud of their coupé cabriolet heritage and this really shines through in the design and production of the car. The 308cc holds a great street presence and it really is a smart motor all round. I drove a total of just over 140 miles in the CC between Welsh towns, through the valleys, villages and over open countryside. At no point did the car feel out of place.
To drive, the 1.6 HDi diesel engine feels nicely balanced in proportion to the car not too weak but ant the same time no pointless torque bands irrelevant for the cars use – it just works. You can bite the bullet and get a slightly more punchy 2 litre engine but to be honest, I don’t thing theirs much point. The 1.6 was more than ample for a bit of fun without having the need to keep glancing at the fuel gauge. The ride comfort again feels balanced. It’s certainly a firmer ride from the smaller city or family versions of the 308 but its by no means unwelcome. You want to have fun driving this car and as a result of its design, you do. Having not really been up close and personal with a Peugeot till now it’s fair to say that my consideration of it being a rather bland brand has certainly been lifted. If this style and design quality is the start of something to come then I certainly am going to want to know more.
Words and photos: johnmarcar.com