Test Drive Report: Peugeot 308 Ecomatique

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Did you know that the Peugeot 308 HDi 110 bhp turbo diesel secured its place in the Guinness Book of Records recently?  In fact husband and wife John and Helen Taylor set two world records in their standard 308 hatchback on a 25 day, 14,580 km journey around the coast of Australia.  During their record run they achieved an amazing 1,919 km on just 60 litres of diesel, which averaged out at 3.13 litres/100 kms or almost 92 mpg.  Co-incidentally, Peugeot held the record up until then as a Peugeot 307 hatchback set 3.49L/100 kms in 2004.
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Irish motorists can sample the efficiencies of the latest Peugeot diesel engine technology with the new 308 Ecomatique which not only offers lower fuel consumption but lower emissions too.  The new 308 SE 1.6 HDi 110 bhp Ecomatique 5-door model which retails from €24,256 (ex-works) qualifies for the lowest Band A annual road tax of €104.

With consumers under more pressure than ever to manage all aspects of the family budget, the new 308 Ecomatique 1.6 HDi 110 bhp boasts consumption savings of a further 12% compared to the already low B Rate-emission manual diesel model and retails at a lower price, thanks to its low CO2 emissions and subsequent VRT Band A rate of 14%.

What’s so significant about this version of the 308 in contributing to its fuel economy is the new 6 speed electronically controlled automated transmission.  As with fully automatic shifts there is no clutch pedal. It will still appeal to drivers who like to change gear manually, but also avail of the stress-free driving provided by the electronically controlled shift.  For the manual mode, the driver just flicks the gearlever to the side and then moves the lever forward and back to progress up and down the gears in sequential fashion.  While the gear change would not be as slick as what’s on offer from lets say the Volkswagen Group’s highly acclaimed DSG autobox, the Ecomatique does its job in its own time.  It will not take the driver long to get into its workings and benefit from the comforts that it offers.

Mentioning comforts, this version comes with Air-Con, front fogs, ABS with Brake Assist and driver/passenger/side/curtain bags.  From the 1,000 kilometre run combined fuel consumption hovered around 5.0L/100 kms which equates to around 57 mpg.

David McConnell, Managing Director of Gowan Distributors said at the launch of this new model that its timing is perfect for the changing Irish Motor Industry, “The arrival of the 308 Ecomatique is an important addition to the Peugeot stable, offering consumers in Ireland a real possibility of enjoying an automatic driving experience without the stigma of high CO2 emissions and subsequent high motoring taxes under the new regime.”