I love driving!
It was my key to freedom when I was 17 and I made sure I worked hard all summer to pass my test by the time I went back to college as I used to have to cycle 12 miles a day to get there and back. It amazes me to look back and see that I have been driving for 24 years.
My choice of cars has changed too. I learned to drive in my Mum’s Morris Minor but my first car was a VW Beetle. I loved it so much I used to polish the chrome bumpers every weekend and I still remember the number plate.
Fast forward a few years and we are the proud owners of two cars. A Peugeot 308 which hubby drives and a Citroen C4 Picasso which we use for our family car. Both cars have their own merits and I have to admit that mine gets used most often as it has 7 seats so we can all go out as a family.
I was recently invited to review the new Peugeot 308 SW GT Line which is a stylish estate car that is daring and intuitive – perfect for those who know that streamlined doesn’t have to mean low-tech.
The car is ideal for families, groups of friends, couples and because of the space is also fantastic for days out and get aways. It also offers some great quirky features and we got to test it out for a whole week.
My Citroen C4 is only 4 years old but felt heavy and clunky in comparison to the Peugeot 308. There wasn’t a great deal of difference in length as I parked them side by side, although the Peugeot had a much lower head height.
I will admit to being a bit of a girl when it comes to cars and adored the vibrant blue colour, but the real selling point was on the interior of the car.
In the centre of the dashboard is a touchscreen computer with an in-built satnav, radio controls, air conditioning and the technical details of the car – MPG etc. It was super-simple to use and little things made it a genius piece of equipment – the satnav not only turned the radio down automatically when it was time to speak but also project the next turn on the speedometer directly in front of the steering wheel so I didn’t have to look at the screen. It also told you when to change gear too!
My favourite part of having this screen in the car was it also featured a camera on the rear of the car so you could see behind you when reversing. You still need to check that there is no-one behind you, but having guides to help you reverse made it so much easier, especially when I was in the very tight car park where we go swimming. The car also has parking sensors at the front and tells you exactly when to stop and how much gap you have at the sides of the car too.
The boot was huge at 810 litres and comfortably held all our equipment for a day at the beach and the forest. We managed to fit in a buggy, beach tent, sun shade, wind breaks, picnic, buckets and spades, a football, chairs and changing bag and all with room to spare – i wish we still had it as it would be perfect for Camp Bestival.
The only downside to the car was the backseat. It fit two car seats comfortably, using ISOFIX or just seatbelts, but there was no way I could squeeze in a third. Although Isaac could have just squeezed himself in between the car seats, we couldn’t even fit a booster and an adult would not be able to get in and sit comfortably. Without the car seats, you can comfortably sit three average size adults though.
The car kept surprising us as the week went on. We drove to Exeter for Big Fish Little Fish and I happened to glance up and was convinced I saw the sun – I did! The car had a tinted glass roof and a fabric blind that you can wind back on the press of a button. It was a revelation and the kids loved looking outside the top of the car instead of their windows.
We really enjoyed having the car to stay and found it very economical on fuel too. The 308 is the winner of the 2015 ‘International engine of the year‘ award in the 1.0-litre to 1.4-litre category, PureTech 3-cylinder petrol technology delivers a drive and performance normally associated with bigger engines but with significantly improved fuel consumption. We did just under 450 miles in it and it had just over a quarter of a tank of petrol left when we gave it back. The car itself performed brilliantly on Dorset’s hilly roads and was an absolute pleasure to drive. Getting used to having a 6th gear took some time though.
The 308 and 308 SW is an award-winning car and the GT Line goes further and offers confident, sporting lines, a sleek silhouette and extensive use of LED technology to create a unique lighting signature at front and rear, with full LED headlamps positioned alongside distinctive direction indicators and fog lamps.
The car also features 18” alloy wheels and high-gloss black diffusor and twin exhaust pipes at the rear and once inside, the sporting themes continue in a top-quality passenger compartment. Aluminium pedals and stainless steel door sills compliment high quality upholstery, defined with dramatic red stitching and finished off with chic floor mats.
Although the Peugeot 308 was not big enough to be our main family car, we all thoroughly enjoyed our time with it and I would happily recommend it to anyone who needs a 5 seater car.