By Theodore Opara
IF the Nigeria Auto Journalists Award was instituted in the country in the 1970s and 80s, the Peugeot 404, 504 and 505 models would have won it more often than any other car models. This was the best era of Peugeot in Nigeria prior to the coming of Peugeot 406.
During this period, the Peugeot models bestrode the Nigerian automobile arena like a colossus with little challenge from European, American and Japanese car makers.
At this time, senior civil servants, businessmen and even transporters found the Peugeot series as dependable allies. But this changed from the late eighties and nineties when the Japanese took over the Nigerian auto market with more fuel efficient, reliable, and cost saving models.
But the tide seems to have changed for Peugeot as its models are beginning to find their bearings once again.
Century of experience
The Peugeot 508, and 301 are fast becoming the toasts of new car buyers, especially the Peugeot 301 which won the Nigeria Automobile Journalists Award in 2016. As the reigning Car of The Year in Nigeria, the 301 had turned tongues wagging with its great features, which saw the Japanese and Korean trailing behind it during the journalists awards beating the likes of Corolla and Nissan Almera.
Peugeot brought its wealth of experience to bear in designing the 301 as it boasted! “With over a century of experience to its name, Peugeot is renowned for its expertise in making road cars. Notably, the 504, the 505 and the 406 and 508, these Peugeot saloons have all marked their time by combining automotive creativity and passion with reliability and technical performance.
“When it comes to designing the 301 Peugoet’s experience, expertise and commitment to innovation therefore took the centre stage. Its unmistakable Peugeot styling exudes French elegance, while its impressive road handling and superior fittings make driving a pleasurable and comfortable experience.
Assembled in Nigeria, the 301 is available in Nigeria in two petrol engine variants, including, a 1.2 litre VTi 72 brakehorse power engine with manual 5 speed gearbox which combines a next generation 3 cylinder engine with total control of the vehicle’s weight. This engine is very fuel efficient as it achieves a perfect balance between pleasant driving and fuel efficiency.
The other engine, a 1.6 VTI 115 brakehorsepower with automatic four speed gear box is the descendant of engines that have earned a name for themselves across the entire Peugeot range, it offers unmatched fuel efficiency in its class.
The 301 might look compact from the outside but it boasts generous room inside. It combines strong styling modern fittings with the roominess of a family car. It asserts its identity through its strong front design, refined contours and well grounded silhouette with further hints at its impressive spacious interiors and excellent road handling. Chrome touches add extra note of refinement to the 301.
The 301 comes with a range of equipment designed to make your ride memorable. From its comfortable interior to its driver assistance technology and plush dashboard, the 301 is a perfect blend of style and driving comfort.
Though one of the most competitively priced cars in Nigeria the 301 offers array of features like a car in the upper segment. The car’s instrument cluster comes complete with monochrome matrix which displays information about the on-board computer, your journey and any reports. Rear parking assistance, cruise control and speed limiter, air-conditioning system, CD with RDS MP3 system with auxiliary jack, modular rear seat etc are standard in 301.
All round, the 301 is a complete family car and Peugeot gave consideration to every aspect of family needs of the owner, even road condition. 301 benefited from Peugeot expertise in using the right suspension on its models which made the 504 and 505 the toasts of many in those days.
Completely at ease with on winding roads and motorways, the 301 is also great for city driving. Its precise and responsive electric power steering makes it practically easy to park or get around urban areas.
With 301, you are assured of all-road safety. The active and passive safety system gives you the confidence to take control of your car. Electronic stability program group together, five features: ABS brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (ABFD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), plus Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) which help the driver get the vehicle back on course within the limits of physics.
Other safety features include air bags, seat belts and Isofix attachments, automatic hazard lights etc.