Just weeks before my eldest son was born, we bought a new car. At the time, we had a Porsche Cayenne S – a 4.8-litre car that would use fuel just by looking at it. We’d started to have issues with the Porsche at that time, and being a Porsche every issue was an expensive one to fix. With our first foray into parenthood pending, we realised we needed to be more sensible and opt for a ‘family’ car.
At the time, we considered a Nissan Qashqai, BMW X1 and Vauxhall Insignia. We decided against the Nissan due to boot space and BMW didn’t seem too interested in assisting us in the showroom. So, we opted for the Vauxhall. With our sensible head on, the ‘Lifetime Warranty’ offered by Vauxhall at the time was a big selling point, together with the fact it was financially the cheapest of them all.
In hindsight, we picked the worst possible option of the three.
Vauxhall have been nothing short of appalling to deal with. The ‘Lifetime’ warranty was worthless because it had to be renewed by the garage annually – something the garage would habitually ‘forget’ to do. They’d send us away with courtesy cars without explaining we had to insure them ourselves, and so on. While many of the issues can be attributed to the garage themselves, Vauxhall also showed no interest in stepping in when complaints were raised.
We’ve stuck with the car until now. Mechanically it’s been ‘ok’, but not great. Today though, it looks like a seven-year-old car with far more miles on the clock than it actually has.
New Car Shopping
We’ve been looking at new cars for months now. Initially, my wife was pretty set on a Ford Grand C-Max, sold on the sliding rear doors, which make it easier for the children to get in and out in tight spaces. Personally, I wasn’t too keen on it – it ‘felt’ like a van, and I’ve often considered Ford to be massively overpriced for what they are.
We did, however, need something reasonably ‘high’ for access, and with good boot space for the dogs to be comfortable. In the Insignia, they sit on the back seats, but quite frankly they’ve completely ruined them – and white Boxer dog hairs are impossible to remove!
I’d recently stumbled across the Peugeot range – a brand I hadn’t considered at all until recently. They’ve certainly transformed in the last few years. I’d previously considered them just below Ford and Vauxhall in terms of style and quality. These days, however, they are night and day ahead. The styling of virtually all models is modern, almost ‘aggressive’, and the interiors feel good. The standard tech is way ahead of anything else I’ve come across.
On Friday, we packed the children in the car and went to see both the Ford and Peugeot. My thoughts on the Ford remained unchanged – uninspiring. Fortunately, my wife agreed this time – having by this point seen the Peugeot range. The Ford salesman was also a typical ‘old school’ salesman, reminding us very much of our experience with Vauxhall.
Choosing the Peugeot 3008
I suspect prior to these visits, my wife had also began to sway towards Peugeot. From Ford, we went straight to Peugeot for another viewing. The decision was made. Friday evening was spent picking out a model and colour – she preferred the blue, I preferred either red or white. The red however was a premium colour, the only colour that was an additional cost. So, blue it was to be.
We returned on Saturday with the intention of taking a quick test drive to validate our decision, and ordering a 3008 1.2 Petrol ‘Allure’ in blue. I test drove a diesel in the same spec, albeit a used one (no demonstrators were available). Having not driven a diesel for many years, I was surprised at how different they are over days gone. The digital dash, which Peugeot call the i-cockpit, was very impressive.
The turnaround time for the combination we intended to order was 3 months. However, in the showroom, they had a brand new red one – the colour I preferred. It was however also a higher spec ‘GT Line’ model. This range adds a few cosmetic improvements, but also a wireless charging plate inside and configurable ambient lighting inside. The interior was also much darker. Combined with tinted windows, it’s a very calming space. My eldest has Autism, so this combined with the ambient lighting should really appeal to him and make for more relaxed journeys.
The showroom model was more expensive than we were planning – but my wife had already decided she was going to add the wireless charging option to the Allure model anyway. The key point, however, was turnaround time – the red, GT-Line model was there – right now. It needed registering, but we could potentially have it within a couple of days.
So, that was the decision made. All being well, tomorrow we collect our new car. I won’t shed any tears over the Insignia.