As much as auto companies make an effort in realizing a global marketplace, motorists are still being denied the opportunity to explore four wheeled treasures in our own country. Honda is allowing the Japanese market to hoard the Type-R, a TDI diesel version of the Audi SQ5 is maintained as a European delicacy and even Canadians are being deprived of the opportunity to buy the Chevrolet SS sedan (Canada receives the Orlando but that is hardly an equal substitute). While not a supercar, I would like to bring attention to an interesting new subcompact Peugeot has been making an impact in Europe.
Elegant and modern in line with other European based compact cars, the new Peugeot 308 hatchback is officially listed for sale this New Year during what has been a rocky time for the French automaker. Entering an alliance with General Motors to develop a small car platform publicized last year, 2013 ended with the deal all but scrapped. General Motors sold its shares in Peugeot that previously consisted of a seven percent stake.
Since the vehicle is not sold in the United States, it seems reasonable to illustrate the new Peugeot 308 against a comparable vehicle familiar to the western side of the Atlantic Ocean. With the arrival of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel in the North American marketplace, let us place the Peugeot 308 in a position to potentially score some revenge for the French brand against its disassociated partner.
General Motors’ first diesel powered passenger car to be sold in the United States since their first poorly executed attempt was ultimately cancelled in 1985, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel simply features a tried and true engine from the European Chevrolet line-up.
A 2.0 liter turbocharged diesel engine generates 151 horsepower and 264 pounds feet of torque. Stretching a gallon of fuel for up to 46 miles, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel’s emissions produces roughly 90 percent lower levels of greenhouse gas Nitrogen Oxide than earlier diesel engines.
One of the eight engine options presented on the Peugeot 308 is a high technology 1.6 liter BlueHDi powerplant. The new 1.6 liter BlueHDi engine under the hood of the 2014 Peugeot 308 boasts great diesel fuel mileage and advanced greenhouse emissions management. Measured on an efficiency scale employed heavily European but rarely in the United States, CO2 emissions produced by the Peugeot 308 are evaluated at 82 grams per kilometer.
By comparison, the Smart ForTwo with a 1-liter gasoline engine produces around 130 grams per kilometer in the North American market. Equipped previously in the 508, output from the 1.6 liter BlueHDi is estimated at 120 horsepower.
Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
Based on the vehicle that has over two million examples sold across the world, the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is largely unchanged from the gasoline model. A number of exterior aerodynamic enhancing features found on the Eco model including the active grille shutter system have been applied to the Cruze Diesel for extra efficiency. A Z-link rear suspension is included on the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel for improved handling while electric power steering allows for sharp turning at any speed.
For the moment available as a five-door hatchback, the all-new Peugeot 308 projects a regal small car appearance. Priced closely to the Audi A1, the Peugeot 308 is standard equipped with LED daytime running lights. A full LED headlamp system is available on the Allure and Feline trim levels of the new Peugeot 308.
The top-rated Peugeot 308 Feline provides a standard panoramic glass roof. In promoting the practicality of the compact car, Peugeot touts a great focus on weight-savings of 140 kilograms compared to the previous model of the vehicle.
Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
Recognizing the important to sell the North American market on diesel cars, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel provides a well-appointed cabin as standard equipment. Some of the equipment buyers will look forward to finding inside the Cruze Diesel includes leather seating with front heating, Chevrolet MyLink with Bluetooth and a seven-inch touchscreen radio. A five-passenger interior protected by ten airbags, the cargo space for the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is rated at 13.3 cubic feet.
The interior of the Peugeot 308 features an exceptionally high amount of upscale touches. A Peugeot i-Cockpit concept presented on the 308 compact car is configured for intuitiveness. On the lower-level Peugeot 308 Access model, a DAB digital radio system with Bluetooth and USB connections is standard.
On the BlueHDi powered model of the Peugeot 308, a 9.7-inch colour touchscreen with satellite navigation leads the driver. Thanks to its hatchback layout, up to 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space is presented inside the Peugeot 308.
For North American buyers, the thought of well-equipped compact diesels is still foreign content. Reviews of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel have not been raving in the United States. Cost and the operations of the turbocharged diesel powerplant are not immediately winning over critics.
In Europe, the debut of the new Peugeot 308 hatchback at showrooms is presented in a much-more contentious marketplace. Within this loaded European sector, the Peugeot 308 with a BlueHDi diesel engine has performed a difficult task of standing out in a crowded area.
Information and photo source: General Motors, PSA Peugeot Citroën