Currently reading: Used car buying guide: Peugeot 308 CC
A metal folding roof gives the 308 CC year-round usability, and if you want to hear the Peugeot lion roar, there’s a 197bhp version. Tempted?

The Peugeot 308 CC – hardly a car to whet the appetite of a diehard Autocar reader, except that buried among the cooking versions is the remarkable GT THP200, powered by the 197bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine from the RCZ coupé. Now you’re interested. 

True, most of its power is expended simply getting the 1500kg CC off the line, but once the car is rolling, it feels at home, propelling the coupé-cabriolet past slower traffic with ease and spinning effortlessly at a motorway cruise. 

Best of luck finding one, though. Had it not been reviewed by Autocar at its launch in 2011, we’d have doubted its very existence. Our reviewer acknowledged its dynamic shortcomings but praised its composure and equipment. (It has an all-leather interior.) He also gave it points for its cosy and rattle-free cabin – one that remained surprisingly calm when the roof was folded away – and tipped his hat in the direction of its new Peugeot 508-inspired nose with daytime running lights, a feature of the 2011 308 facelift. Criticisms? Its high price, mainly (£25,845). Assuming you can find one, it’ll be a lot cheaper than that today, of course. 

In fact, ignoring the 1.6 THP200, 308 CC prices start from as little as £1500 for the first 2009-reg 120bhp 1.6 VTis and 150bhp 1.6 THPs. Many have just shy of 100,000 miles and, if you fancy the convenience and security of a two-piece metal folding roof with occasional 2+2 practicality, they’re good value. 

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Beware the 150bhp 1.6 THP, though, since it can be troublesome. The later 156bhp 1.6 THP of 2010 is better behaved. We harp on about cars needing a full service history and we make no apologies for saying the same about the 308 CC. In fact, the 1.6 petrol engines, in particular, demand regular oil changes to avoid clogging up. So insist on a full book of stamps, with the workshop invoices to back them up. 

The technicians we spoke to agreed the diesel engines are the way to go. There are 1.6- and 2.0-litre oilburners to choose from. The 161bhp 2.0 HDi that arrived with the 2011 facelift is our pick for its solid 251lb ft of torque. It’s more than enough to send the lardy CC on its way, although since it doesn’t arrive until 2000rpm, you might feel a slight delay before the fun starts. The automatic gearbox makes a better fist of things than the manual, by the way. It hustles through its changes smoothly and enhances the CC’s overall sense of easy-going refinement. 

The roof should fold into the boot in 20sec and deploy at vehicle speeds of up to 7.5mph. Check the windows drop slightly first and make sure it can be operated remotely from the key fob as well as from the cabin. Satisfy yourself that the rear screen and load divider are not damaged, too. If you’re lucky, it’ll have the optional wind deflector. With spring around the corner, a cheap 308 CC could be just the thing.

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An expert’s view 

Mike Reed, X-Bex: “The 308 CC is much prettier than the 307 CC and, in my opinion, will one day be a classic. The styling has overtones of the RCZ and, of course, the link went so far as the CC GT having that car’s 1.6 THP200 engine. This version is exceptionally rare and my tip for the future. We see around one 308 CC through the garage each week, more in the warmer months. I’d love to say they have problems but, apart from earlier cars with the 1.6 BMW Prince-Peugeot petrol engine, which can develop loose timing chains and carbon fouling causing misfiring and rough idling, they’re sound.” 

Buyer beware… 

■ Petrol engines: On the 1.6 VTi, oil solenoids get coked up, water can enter the engine ECU and thermostats can stick open. Oil consumption can be high. Peugeot says one litre per 800 miles is acceptable. The 1.6 THP can suffer timing chain and high-pressure fuel pump issues and carbon build-up on the inlet ports. 

■ Diesel engines: The 1.6 HDi needs regular oil changes to prevent oil clogging, causing turbo failure. A faulty ECU on the 2.0 HDi can cause power loss. (It needs updating.) Suspect the DPF if the engine runs on after switch-off. 

■ Transmission: Generally robust, but on the 2.0 HDi and 156bhp 1.6, the gearbox can pop into neutral as you change from third to second – a sign that the gearshift control needs adjusting. On the 197bhp 1.6, check for sticky changes caused by water in the gearbox. 

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■ Brakes: The CC is a heavy car so check discs and pads for wear. If the ABS warning light comes on, suspect damaged wiring in the wheel speed sensor. 

■ Electrical: Check for water ingress at the front from the windscreen and the boot, caused by poor sealing, that can wreak havoc with control units. If you hear a ‘bong’, the battery’s going south.

■ Body: Check the sills for rust and look for damage around the jacking points. 

■ Interior: Ensure the heater works because the matrix can become blocked. 

Also worth knowing 

Problems with the folding roof can be down to lack of use, so give it a workout once a week. However, pump problems (expensive) are becoming more common as the model ages. 

How much to spend 

£1500-£2999: Early (2009-10) 1.6 VTi Sports with around 90,000 miles. 

£3000-£4499: Same age/mileage 2.0 HDi 140s, plus lower-mileage 1.6 VTis and THPs. 

£4500-£5499: Lower-mileage 2010/11-reg diesels and 2011/12-reg 1.6 petrols. 

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£5500-£6999: Low-mileage (around 40,000) 2012-14 1.6 petrols. £7000-£8999 Low-mileage 2012-13 diesels and the last 1.6 petrols. 

£9000-£9500: Late (2014) and low diesels start here.

One we found 

Peugeot 308 CC 2.0 HDi GT Auto, 2011/11, 50K miles, £6000: Yet another 308 CC with one owner and full service history, but this time the relaxing and torquey diesel with an automatic gearbox in lavishly appointed GT trim.

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