Friday, 16 January 2015

Peugeot 308

The bland and banal mid-size family car

When was the last time there was any genuinely revolutionary cars in the small family car section?

I can count them on one hand.

The original VW Golf. 

The Golf GTi.

The original Ford Focus.

The Nissan Qashqai (maybe, in a boring, grey suited kind of way)

And... err... I think that's it. (You could argue that the original Prius fits there as well, but since that's more to do with the hybrid drivetrain, I'll leave it there)

Otherwise it has just been gradual evolution of a fairly basic concept. No real ground breaking tech appears in the hatchback range, no groundbreaking design. I suppose the same can be said of ANY class of car, there is rarely an inspired design that doesn't heavily borrow from another segment. 

Alas, the Peugeot 308 is no exception. 

Uninspiring design, the Peugeot takes blandness to a new level. It's almost as if somebody has asked for the least offensive and/or inspirational design to be drawn up, and the deswigners have done a superb job. Of putting "Average Hatchback" into production. 

There is not a single design detail that would tell you that this is a Peugeot. The only giveaway is the badge at the back, and that is a shame, the way Peugeot has been going recently. The RCZ is what the Audi TT SHOULD have progressed into, but sadly the inspired design there fails to translate across the range. What we have is a series of pensioner-friendly, inoffensive cars which offer little to enrage but equally little to excite. 

In the late 90s/early noughties, Peugeot offered some sporty-looking cars which actually were desirable (to some, anyway). However over the last 10 years or so, they have descended into a position where they completely fail to offer anything inspirational. 

But I guess this is something that you can do when you have multiple brands in the stable - Citroen offer better (or at least more interesting) design, but again, they are hardly going to set the world on fire with their bland cars in wolves' clothing. Or at least German shepherds' clothing. OK, West Highland Terriers' clothing.

And that is exactly why Peugeot have cornered the market in cars for people who crave a lack of excitement. People who are terrified by the wind, who call the police when they hear a squirrel in the garden. They want safety, they want a cushion, they don't feel comfortable travelling at more than 12 miles per hour. On the motorway. 

Peugeot have this market nailed. So, if this matches your description, then I would imagine that this is the perfect car for you. 

Otherwise, it's the most boring thing you could come across
Any idea this is a Peugeot? Or any brand?