What is it?
You’ve got to admire the fundamental can-do spirit of volume car manufacturers.
Most of us, when contemplating stepping into a competitive arena that contained opponents of the quality and ability of the latest Ford Focus, VW Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Seat Leon, would step straight again.
But Peugeot knows very well that to get UK sales back to their happy level of a decade ago it has to make a success of its latest C-segment entry, the new-shape 308, because its segment accounts for roughly a third of sales in the UK and all across Europe.
Three models back, the Peugeot 306, this car’s 'grandfather', as it were, sold out of its skin in this market, not least because it looked a bit like the super-successful 205 supermini, and because it coped with the UK’s uniquely poor roads and surfaces better than the Fords and VWs of the time.
Peugeot knows this perfectly well, and has invested heavily in its latest model, given it completely new styling and a new modular platform, while upping the quality and cutting the weight.
The result is an impressive car in a class of impressive cars — but what we knew from the first would help the 308’s prospects in this country was a distinctive persona and an ability to cope with the UK’s uniquely challenging roads.
The moment has arrived: we’ve just driven our first UK-spec car, an e-HDi 115 Feline, complete with six-speed manual gearbox and packed with luxuries like the full-glass panoramic roof, Alcantara-covered sports seats and 18-inch alloy wheels.