Smooth 308 for long

days in the saddle

Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, front
Peugeot 308 SW, rear
Peugeot 308 SW, rear
Peugeot 308 SW, rear
Peugeot 308 SW, interior

A WORDabout trains. Avoid.

This wretched business took me to the deepest recesses of the high-cost end of the Cotswolds recently to drive the rather stunning Peugeot 508 fastback, the sort of rarified place where restaurant wine lists are vetted for price by the International Monetary Fund.

With the prospect of a day's driving of two different models the idea of going down by rail was momentarily attractive.

Until closer inspection of the logistics.

Four changes and five trains to travel less than 200 miles is simply not good sense. Even less so when the time this takes can be measured in Pluto's orbits of the sun.

Tell me something to recommend the old rattler? You reserve a seat and find it taken by a stranger with selective mobile phone deafness on a conference call about the barmaid at the squash club.

Every time you change trains there is a risk of the missing link. And that's just the clientele in the gents.

The last time I travelled any distance by train a large man got on at Wigan and sat on me. Quite literally.

On top of that he had the aroma of someone employed full time to empty lifts.

So I drove to the land of plenty. It's what I do.

Not in anything especially fancy. Not a silent-as-the-grave Tesla or high and holy Range Rover but a perfectly able, well finished, frugal Peugeot 308 SW GT Line. The sort of estate car a chap doing well with the Quilty Personal Tissue Company may be handed the keys to.

On this occasion we are looking at the HDi 130 diesel, adequately powered at 131bhp and reaching 62mph in 9.7 seconds.

That's the sort of progress you dream of on the M6 so of more importance, because no one wants to stop for a bit of services highway robbery, is that the SW is capable of over 70mpg and even Mr Cloggy here was getting 56mpg.

Thankfully, and unlike the train, when progress is slow at least the GT Line is all leather clad fragrance and technical protection although unusually for a modern car you actually turn a key to start it.

It is equipped with the range-wide i-Cockpit with head-up instruments but not the deep centre console style and minus toggle switches.

The whole interior is visually great with massaging sports seats in black with red stitching.

All 308 models come with a high basic specification, there is nothing omitted from the safety package.

Similarly convenience features run from basics like electric mirrors and a radio and connectivity package.

In addition the GT Line brings passive monitoring features to the party, connected 3D navigation, a reversing camera and city park assistance.

Apart from SOS connection and self-levelling headlights the rest of the package is aimed at style and comfort from the electric leather seats to various body tweaks and logos. Up to you really but the Allure may be a better bet at £24,600 against £25,500 in both cases with eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Carrying capacity is crucial and goes from 660-litres with the seats up to 1,551 with them down. That's a window level load, not to the roof line.

Out on the road it makes short work of the sort of mileage most users will face in a week, fatigue should not be an issue it certainly was not on the mixed pleasures of the M5-M6 non-stop bid for home.

It is smooth, refined and crisp with plenty of responsiveness. The SW handles well if you are running late for the Bunny-Soft marketing briefing and intrusive noise minimal.

This is a car which is all about sporting visual appeal hence the twin exhaust trims and 18-inch alloys and scrolling indicators to give a premium feel.

On the other hand you could catch the train four hours before you get up and arrive crumpled and smelling of hygiene-challenged fat men.


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