I passed my driving test almost 6 years ago; I was late at passing, after having been turned down for a provisional license in my teens. The day of passing we went out and brought a car, the little red panda you had seen on the blog. Yes I am still driving my very first car, it has done me well getting me from A-B. However there are times I wish I had more a up to date car and no more so when I got to drive a Peugeot 308 GTi for a week.
I remember the first time I got into my car after having passed my test, I cried – I found the change from the car I learnt in to a 1.2 hard, I actually thought I might not ever get used to driving another. However I soon got used to it, so it was with trepidation that I agreed to try another car.
I'm going to admit now I am no car connoisseur, I have the list of the fine details of the car and as I don't understand most of them and you can so easily look them up on the Peugeot website if they interest you, I shall miss them out and keep to the facts that I understand.
To start with let me give you a bit of back ground on the Peugeot 308 GTi, this particular one is magnetic blue in colour, it features 18″ carbon alloys, is a 6 speed manual transition and can go from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds with a top speed of 150 miles per hour and also features a duel exhaust to give it that sports vibe.
The inside of the car features fabric seats with leather trims, duel air conditioning, adjustable head rests and arm rests, while the centre console features a 9.7″ touchscreen panel, which can be used as a sat nav, set many of the features in the car such as the air con and radio, as well as show one of my favourite features the reversing cameras.
Fantastically the Peugeot 308 GTi also features automatic headlamps and windscreen wipers so you don't need to worry about switching them on at the right time, while as well as the reversing camera there are also sensors around the side and back of the car as well. Oh and you don't need to put the key in the ignition, the 308 GTi uses Peugeot's Open and Go system which means as long as they keys are in the car you just need to push a button to start.
I should probably admit that when I told my parents I had been offered this to drive, my Dad quickly asked if he could be allowed to drive it as well and as such we spent the week sharing the car.
The car turned up bright and early on a Friday morning, with my Dad actually having just popped over so, we very quickly had a good look at the car and took it for a spin around the village. I instantly felt at ease behind the wheel, with the only issue being I found the brakes quite sharp, however with such a speedy car that is better than the alternative and it wasn't long before I was used to them.
I personally found the controls quite intuitive; however I would have liked the wheel to have had a little more movement as I didn't feel completely comfortable with it quite so low down (however I am sure this is to add to the sports feel). We did also find that if you left the car in the sun, the gear stick would become very hot, so if I was to buy the car myself I would choose a different material to the silver cover this particular one came with.
The car features a sports pack, this alters a few things about the car for instance, the main dash changes to red from white and offers you more insights about the way you are driving, adds a bit of extra growl to the engine and changes the mapping of the accelerator.
We didn't have anything special planned for the week we had the car (after just moving we were all pretty worn out) so we used it as we would our normal car. To test the space we had to pop over to the local shopping centre, as I had brought a lamp that didn't work, of course I had put it completely together to then found out if didn't work and as such it was an interesting way to test the space. Thankfully the back seats are easy to fold down and work separately, so we were able to put the left hand seat down, while keeping right in situ meaning three of us could still fit in the car.
We also spent a lot of time around the local area, going to Barton Marina and into Lichfield, So for me this a test of how it would stand up to everyday use and I have to say it passed with flying colours.
Personally I found this a really fun, yet safe feeling car to drive, you could get the umph you needed, when you needed it and yet you could easily cruse around at 20-30 miles per hour as well.
It definitely gave me a lot to think about long term as well, as I would love to see my next car have some of the features of this one such as the parking sensors and camera, cruise control and of course air con (yup my car has no air con at all).
When it came to my Dad's feeling it was very precise and incredibly responsive. The steering, brakes and accelerator did exactly what I wanted, when I wanted it to. Added to the amazing suspension it really was like driving on rails. Great fun to drive, but like a kitten when popping to the shops for a loaf of bread.
What do you think of the sound of the Peugeot 308 GTi, is the type of car you would like to drive?