Safety was one of the main reasons David Harris of Lismore picked this Peugeot 308 XTS.
Safety was one of the main reasons David Harris of Lismore picked this Peugeot 308 XTS. Jacklyn Wagner

Peugeot not on NRMA's list

YOU’RE on pretty safe ground describing David Harris as a Peugeot man.

The Lismore St George Bank branch manager is on his third Peugeot in a row. He says he likes the French car maker’s approach to safety, reliability and power.

His car, a 308 XTS, has some impressive safety features: A hardened ‘safety cell’ complete with a collapsible steering wheel column that retracts in an accident to protect the driver, up to seven airbags, an electronic stability system designed to prevent the car going into skids, and ABS brakes accompanied by emergency braking assistance to help when you have to stop quickly.

The car has a five-star safety rating, but has missed out on a mention in a new NRMA list of Australia’s safest cars, unlike its close cousin the 308CC convertible coupe, which has largely the same safety features except the safety cell is replaced by a roll cage that automatically deploys if the car rolls and the retractible steering column is missing.

It’s an omission that didn’t surprise Lismore Peugeot dealer Darrel Coles. If anything, he was surprised the coupe got a guernsey.

“The wagon’s won an Australian design award, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in an NRMA list,” he said.

That was not just on safety lists. Peugeots also tended to miss out on a mention in lists on fuel economy, even though he said some Peugeots compared well to the hybrid Toyota Prius.

A spokesman for the NRMA was not available for comment yesterday, but Mr Coles blamed the rarity of Peugeots for the carmaker’s ommission.

In a joint statement from the NRMA and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW Centre for Road Safety director Dr Soames Job said car manufacturers were building affordable vehicles with five-star safety ratings.

Mr Coles would no doubt agree, but he might like it better if the cars he sold got their dues on the NRMA’s lists.



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