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You’ve seen the spyshots, heard of the confirmed launch date, caught a glimpse of the spec sheet and might have even placed a booking yourself ever since the order books were opened. Now, you can get up close and personal with the 2015 Peugeot 308 as units of the hatch have already made their into showrooms.

The 2014 European Car of the Year will arrive in Malaysia this April with a sole engine/transmission combination. Under the hood, a 1.6 litre, turbocharged THP 150 four-cylinder engine is mated to an AT6 six-speed automatic transmission with Quickshift Technology. A total of 152 PS at 5,000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque, produced between 1,450 rpm to 4,000 rpm, gets sent to the front wheels.

Do not be put off by the lower power figures, though. Peugeot has stated that this new mill features a number of upgrades which include a new turbocharger and piston designs along with an updated engine control unit (ECU) that’s been calibrated to work well with our fuel quality. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 9.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 211 km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 15.4 km/l.

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As for its aesthetics, the new C-segment competitor is, without a doubt, dressed to impress. In line with the marque’s latest design language, the 2015 Peugeot 308 arrives with the same front bumper as seen on the mid-range variant elsewhere instead of the blander base version. The head lamps are of the full LED variants with integrated daytime running lights.

Elsewhere, our version of the 2015 Peugeot 308 gets 18-inch ‘Saphir’ alloy wheels wrapped in 225/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres. The rear end sports a more premium outlook compared to the outgoing 308 with the LED tail lamps arranged in a ‘three-claw’ layout.

Those who prioritise kit count above anything else will have a field day as the new 308 is equipped with keyless entry and push-start capabilities, a reverse camera, electronic parking brake, panoramic roof, front seats with electric lumbar adjustment and massage function plus a 9.7-inch HD touchscreen system.

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The latter is, arguably, the highlight of the interior as it almost completely negates the use for buttons on the centre console. The system now controls close to everything on the car, ranging from climate control, vehicle configurations, the entertainment system and the onboard telephone.

Official cargo capacity is rated at 470 litres, which can then be increased via the 60:40 split-folding rear seats. Additional driver aids are featured in the form of Dynamic Cruise Control (first in its segment), Emergency Collision Alert and Emergency Collision Braking. Hill start assist, six airbags, a reinforced safety cage and traction control further add to the 308’s Euro NCAP five-star rating.

The 2015 Peugeot 308 is expected to cost in the region of RM140,000, judging from a leaked shot of the price listinclusive of GST, mind you. Five colour options are available, Pearl White, Artense Grey, Mocha Brown, Rouge Red and Nera Black. Watch this space.