Car shopping in Belgrade Ep. 2
And it's a Peugeot
I was having a proper beer at a pub serving traditional Serbian food called... 'La Taqueria', when Serbian Girl called again.
"Yo," she said. "I didn't like the 3-Series we saw the other day but I found another car I like. Wanna go look at it?"
"What is it?"
"It's a Peugeot 508."
I think the 508 is actually a decent car but I didn't want to admit that to her so I simply said: "Gah". #JohnColeman
She took that as a yes and after a 45-minute (Uber) drive to the middle of nowhere, we finally arrived at an open air parking lot... where our car wasn't. It turned out that this dealer has two different lots and we were in the wrong one. No Peugeots here. The owner of the place offered to drive us to the other lot where the 508 was supposed to be but once we got there we ran into another problem. We came here looking for a Peugeot 508 and there were two of them, both on French number plates, which means they'd just been imported, but the actual model we saw in the ad wasn't there. We were looking for a 2.0-litre hybrid with four-wheel drive and all we found was a 1.6-litre petrol with a manual and a 1.6-litre e-hdi with an automatic, neither had four-wheel drive.
Serbian Girl was adamant she wanted an automatic and so we ignored the 1.6 manual and focused on the e-hdi, which was equipped with a flappy pedal gearbox.
The 508 e-hdi is in decent condition. They haven't bothered to wash it so it was dirty (I hate it when car salespeople don't wash the cars they're trying to sell) but the exterior was in good nick, with no visible damage, scratches or dents, and so was the interior, blissfully upholstered in fabric, not leather, and fitted with a sat-nav, bluetooth connectivity and parking sensors.
"I love these things [the flappy pedals]," Serbian Girl said. "But I'm worried about messages appearing on the screen, you know."
"Ah well, that's guaranteed to happen. It's a French car. I don't want to resort to stereotypes here but French cars are notorious for their electrical faults so there's nothing to worry about. Because it *will* go wrong".
Serbian Girl wasn't impressed.
"Don't worry," I said again. "It's no big deal. I know a guy who drove his Renault Mégane for about 150,000 km with a message on the dashboard saying 'engine failure'"
Serbian Girl was still unimpressed.
Thing is, apart from the fact that it wasn't the right car and apart from the fact that it was dirty, we both liked what we saw. After the car shopping trip we went to Dogma Brewery and while I was drinking beer and the only teetotal Serb in the world was having cappuccino (gah), we talked about the 508 and came to the conclusion that it was actually a better option than the BMW we've seen a few weeks ago.
The 508 has done 162,000 km (100k miles) in 7 years, which sounds a lot more realistic than the 11-year-old BMW with 100k km (60k miles) under its belt. It is in good condition, powered by a solid and reliable diesel and is actually 3,000 euros less expensive than the BMW.
"And I can fit all my golf clubs and kit in the boot," Serbian Girl said.