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By Tim Barnes-Clay Motoring Journalist – tweeting @carwriteups
According to a study by INRIX, a provider of traffic information, UK drivers sit idle in traffic 46 hours per year on average. That is twice as long as commuters in the US.

The research shows that, while British roads are busiest on a Monday morning during rush hour, American citizens’ worst traffic of the week is on a Friday afternoon.

Fortunately, the United Kingdom is doing a much better job managing congestion in its major urban centres than its US counterparts. Granted; that might not be much consolation when you still spend almost two days stuck in queues every year at this side of the pond. peugeot-308-cabin

However, what might provide some relief while caught in the tailbacks is Peugeot’s stylish 308 SW BlueHDi 180 GT. The range-topper is comfy and spacious; standard kit is excellent, too. It includes sat nav, dual-zone air-con, DAB radio, a ‘Driver Assistance Pack’ with adaptive cruise control, plus there are GT styling touches all over.

The French-made estate compares with models such as the Skoda Octavia vRS estate and the Ford Focus estate ST. There is just one engine available, a smooth 2-litre 177bhp diesel, hitched up to a six-speed automatic gearbox, which changes up and down the cogs flawlessly.

It is also a down-to-earth motor, with 660 litres of load capacity in the boot, swelling to 1,775 litres with the rear seats folded. That is greater than mainstream family cars, such as the Volkswagen Golf estate and Focus estate.

On the move, the 308 SW GT is like a pig in clover sitting at motorway speeds hour after hour. It is just as efficient on twisty country roads, due to wholesome suspension and its ‘Driver Sport Pack’, which is standard. Included in this package is a meatier engine note, along with an instrument display to show pulling power, turbocharger boost and acceleration. The steering gets a little heavier too, while throttle and gear change responses becomes snappier.

The car’s 0-62mph run is achieved in 8.6 seconds, thanks to the engine’s 177bhp and 296lb-ft of torque. The car feels swift – not hot-hatch quick – but it has enough grunt to ensure you are able to join fast flowing motorway traffic from slip roads easily. What’s more, there is ample grip and the car corners well, with minimal body-roll. There is a good amount of feedback submitted through the steering wheel as well.

The Peugeot is also resourceful, especially when you consider it offers a combined fuel economy of over 68mpg and CO2 emissions of only 107g/km. This makes it an efficient car and, taking into account its comfort levels, it’s a pleasurable motor to drive – or simply sit in – when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic.

PROS ‘N’ CONS

Pulling power

Equipment

Refined interior

Fairly Pricey

FAST FACTS

Max speed: 135 mph
0-62 mph: 8.6 secs
Combined mpg: 68.9
Engine: 1997cc four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel
Max. power (bhp): 177
Max. torque (lb/ft): 295
CO2: 107 g/km
Price: £26,845

Registered office: The WMS Group Ltd,
Oxford House, Oxford Road, Thame, Oxon OX9 2AH
.
01844 293 810
sales@safeandsound.co.uk