30 new models from North American, Korean, European and Japanese manufacturers, on sale in Europe during 2013, were eligible for the 2014 ‘Car of the Year’ crown.
The jury, reflecting the interests and tastes of 58 journalists from 22 European countries, has just delivered its verdict on the strong line-up of seven finalist models pre-selected in December: the new PEUGEOT 308 carried it off on the podium.
The new 308 is the fourth PEUGEOT model to be distinguished by the ‘Car of the Year’ award; it comes after the 307 (2002), 405 (1988) and 504 (1969).
Produced in Sochaux, the brand’s historic home in Eastern France, the new 308 was launched in Europe during the last four months of 2013 and in the UK in January this year; production and sales in China, the biggest automobile market in the world, will start early in 2015.
The 2014 ‘Car of the Year’ title represents the most prestigious recognition for the 308, which embodies the brand’s values of excellence, in terms of its design, elegant and dynamic, efficient concept based on an advanced approach to weight reduction, driving experience with its innovative instruments and controls (the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit) playing a part and quality of the highest level.
Sales success has already been achieved, with more than 55,000 orders recorded since the launch of the model; the new 308 is also contributing towards the brand’s move up-market, confirmed by the mix of the orders, a higher proportion of which is for the upper trim levels in its range.
From the start of Spring, the new 308 range will be expanded by the introduction of a second body style: the 308 SW, a classy and spacious estate.
Nine engines are available at launch – four petrol, five Diesel with good economy – and will be supplemented at the 308 SW launch with the exceptional 3-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech e-THP 130bhp turbo petrol engine as well as three BlueHDi engines, including the new BlueHDi 1.6-litre 120bhp version with CO2 emissions of just 82g/km in the Hatchback, a record in the segment.
Receiving the award from Hakan Matson, the President of the jury, Maxime Picat, Director General of Automobiles Peugeot said: “With the new PEUGEOT 308, we were convinced that we had achieved a leap in concept, technology and quality and which would soon allow it a place on the podium for the category in Europe. The prestigious 2014 ‘Car of the Year’ award, which I receive today on behalf of everyone at PEUGEOT who has contributed towards the development and launch of the award winning new 308, is the best confirmation of this.”