CarAdvice can reveal that the brand’s importer and distributor, Sime Darby, is planning a rethink of the Peugeot 308 Touring range, and there are likely some changes coming for the regular 308 hatchback line-up, too.
The wagon model list currently consists of four models – the Allure 1.6-litre turbo petrol automatic (from $34,689 plus on-road costs), the Allure 2.0-litre diesel automatic (from $36,543), the Allure Premium 1.6-litre petrol auto (from $38,393) and the Allure Premium 2.0-litre diesel auto (from $40,622).
As such, the wagon range misses out an entry-level Access and Active model grades that are seen in the hatchback range. Those variants are offered with 1.2-litre petrol three-cylinder turbocharged engines with manual or automatic gearboxes.
CarAdvice understands the brand is looking to add an Active model grade to the Touring range (James Ward sampled one such model on a recent trip to Europe), which would help push the price lower – something our readers have commented on numerous times (and those reader comments are part of the reason the company is looking to add a cheaper model).
Such a model would unlikely be a stripped-out variant. Expected is a touchscreen media system with reverse-view camera, rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels, and that should be a fair competitor to its chief rival, the Volkswagen Golf Wagon.
That car has the more budget-focused 92TSI variant priced at $27,990 plus costs with steel wheels, or a 92TSI Comfortline model that kicks off at $29,490 plus costs and adds 16-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, chrome roof-rails and front and rear parking sensors. As CarAdvice has reported, VW is also adding a reverse-view camera and new media systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its 2016 model variants.
Sime Darby public relations and communications manager Tyson Bowen told CarAdvice that a Peugeot 308 Active wagon with a price-point below $30,000 “is what we’re trying to look for”.
“We're certainly open to where we go next with the 308 line-up,” Bowen said. “We see an opportunity. We're looking at where it's strong and where it's weak.
“It's certainly a part of the market where there’s bit more activity than there was,” he said.
However, it’s not just buyers at the lower end of the wagon range that Peugeot is planning to target. The brand is looking at launching a GT Touring model, which is sold in markets such as the UK.
That variant has the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine with 133kW/400Nm as the Allure and Allure Premium models, but with an array of driver-focused changes to make the car appeal more to enthusiasts.
In the hatchback range, the GT changes include firmer suspension with a lower ride height, a sportier steering setup, sharper throttle mapping and snappier gear changes from the automatic transmission. Other differences include unique interior trim with red highlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, and an “amplified and sportier engine note”.
Bowen said the brand is “pushing hard” for such a model, suggesting that diesel wagons are where the majority of the demand has been.
It is also possible that the Allure Premium specification will be pulled from the range, but with an option for buyers to tick the Premium box (which currently adds items such as active cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, tinted rear windows, panoramic sunroof and 18-inch wheels). That strategy could be rolled out across the hatch and wagon ranges.
In terms of a sales breakdown, the Touring currently accounts for 30 per cent of all 308 sales, and the hatch holds 70 per cent share.
Stay tuned for more on the expected changes to the Peugeot 308 model range in the coming weeks.