Peugeot makes bold claims about the dynamics of this 308 CC; the suspension is set up with the aim of providing a more sporting drive as well as a measure of comfort for four. A usefully stiffer body is a good start and its lower ride height compared with the mainstream 308 hatch goes some way to compensating for the high-mounted additional mass of its roof.
Initial impressions are not great. The car’s primary ride feels restless (on optional 18in wheels) and its damping unsophisticated around town, where the steering doesn’t feel especially incisive or well weighted, either.
But there’s a surprising transformation with speed. The ride smooths out to the point where it’s rarely noticed and, roof up, the 308 CC feels pretty taut. Although sharp bumps can provoke rattles from its roof structure (and sometimes the dashboard), the overall impression is of a fairly robust and refined car.
The steering also improves with speed; there’s more weight and a greater feeling of accuracy, although there’s never a great deal of feel.
Camber changes produce a little tramlining, but the 308 CC is pretty deft on B-roads, doesn’t roll much and musters decent body control; you find yourself impressed with its agility and enjoying its ability to flow through a series of bends. Roof down, it feels a little more supple, rounding off bumps more effectively and benefiting from a lower centre of roll with the roof folded away. Potholes do produce the odd quiver through the structure, and the adjustable steering column clatters, especially if it’s fully extended, but this coupé-cabriolet offers more integrity than many.
The result is pleasingly fluent handling, aided by excellent brakes that deliver real stopping power and excellent progression. It’s not a sports car, either with a diesel automatic drivetrain or a turbocharged petrol manual, but it’s more dynamic and entertaining than you’d expect.