Sunday, July 02, 2017

Long Term Report: 2010 Peugeot 308 VTI - Seven Years and 143,000km Later..


Yesterday was the first time in over six and a half years I was handed the keys to the same 2010 Peugeot 308 VTI 1.6 automatic. This car belonged to a family member of mine and the owner and her family have been using it as their family car since 2010. It cost her somewhere in the region of RM100,000 and it has now over 143,000km on its clock. This is a one owner car and it has been maintained at the authorised service centre in Petaling Jaya. 

Before I get on with how it drives after all these years I will give a run down on the specification of the 308 VTI 1.6. 

The 308 herein is powered by a normally aspirated 1.6 liter engine. 120hp and 160nm to play with via a 4 speed torque convertor. It is quite a heavy C segment hatchback and acceleration is sedate at the very best. Space inside is massive for the car and equipment levels are pretty high considering its RM100K asking price at the time.

The thing about this car is that it actually drives shockingly well after all these years! I must say that the engine and gearbox are still working well. The owner had just changed the oil regularly and it does run smoothly. No. It is not a Lion that Roars. It is sedate, like a old pensioned off cat that has had its claws trimmed. Asking it to do a sprint is like asking Adibah Noor to sprint like an Olympic sprinter. What this Peugeot is still good at doing is offer a solid drive in terms of feel. Like Adibah Noor singing, the 308 is actually a very comfortable C segment family car. Do not ask it to do Sepang or Genting Highlands and its fine.

The engine and transmission has be reliable. Not missing a beat. The gearshift was reported to be jerky at first but I think it was mainly down to the transmission learning the driver's driving style. This seems to be the issue with this generation of 308s when it was first launched here in Malaysia. The steering seems nicely weighted and the car, seems to feel nice and European in terms of drive. 

In other words, it feels supremely solid and its passengers would feel well coccooned. This is why every time this relative of mine drives the Perodua Myvi that we have at home, she would mention that the car is light, floaty and empty when compared to the 308. Obvious of course but it also was the heavy handedness of the car that made me think that it was a dull drive. But I also recommended it to the owner at the time because she wanted something comfortable and premium feeling for a price. This was actually the best at the time. I also liked the fact that it wasn't the turbocharged 308.

There are issues of course, but not as many as the 308 Turbo. That car had an engine that actually needed Euro 4-5 petrol rather than the Euro 2 that was mostly available in Malaysia at the time of its launch. The 308 turbo is quite a high tech engine with direct injection technology and was plagued with turbo issues caused by our high sulphur petrol. The turbo kept clogging up requiring lots of maintenance work. You can actually run the 308/408 turbo but you actually need to get the turbocharger serviced or cleaned every 50,000km or so to prevent costly turbo clogging issues. Of course, since this is the non-turbo 308, this problem is non-existent. This is also the reason why I recommend the non-turbocharged Volkwagen Polo and Vento sold here. 1.6 liter, normally aspirated engine with a 6 speed torque converter automatic. Robust as hell. You actually need this over performance most of the time here in the Klang Valley.

The other notable issues are the fact that Peugeot likes to sell parts in modules. One time the rear brake light was non functioning, and it needed a replacement of the circuit board for the light cluster affected. It somehow wasn't just a one bulb change and costed some money. Another issue is the air-conditioning seems to give way after every three years or so. Its either the condenser or the cooling coil that gives way or some pipe. Not all at once, but the owner did have to face air-conditioning issues after about 4 years of ownership and once more recently. It is a couple of thousand ringgit job. There has been one or two large bills over the years but the car still soldiers on.

There is also one thing wrong with the cabin. The central armrest is all loose. You brake and it slides forward. You accelerate and it slides backward. You have to put your hand on it to keep it still. Aside from that, all the trim is intact. Nothing like what I used to say about French cars that seem to have its trim fall apart like a croissant. 

But that being said, the car drives with aplomb. It drives with a solidity that I have not felt in seven year old C segment Japanese, Malaysian or Korean cars. Somehow, the price you pay for running a European car may be higher, but the car is darn comfortable to be in. Again, not an ounce of performance, but you get a sense of premium-ness when driving this 308. The owner did have the intention of changing this car to a new Honda City 1.5 for the all Japanese reliability but decided otherwise for the time being since all problems of the car has been rectified. This was after trying out the City, Vios and even the Vento. It is the feel of the car that is stopping the owner from changing cars and the fact that it is fully paid up too. 

So I suppose being slow does pay off in the long run. 

A pic from 2010....


  1. Hi, I would like to ask your opinion on how often does one have to service their aircond system? Cheers.

    1. Hi,

      I usually follow what the manufacturer prescribes. This would mean you need to open up the user's manual for your car. Personally, I'd make sure the airconditioning filter is cleaned or changed when required which is about every 50-60,000km. The rest you should follow what the manual says. Some older cars may need some cleaning of the cooling coil under the dashboard every few years. Just make sure the condensor - usually the one that sits beside the radiator is kept clean.



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