Peugeot 508 review
With the current vogue for SUVs, Peugeot should be applauded for sticking with the stylish and sporty 508 Fastback. It’s not the roomiest car in its class by any means, but with its attractive looks and entertaining handling it should satisfy drivers who want a bit of fun from their family saloon.
There’s a good range of engines (including a plug-in hybrid unit) that offer decent performance with reasonable fuel economy and relatively low emissions ratings, too, which should make the 508 attractive to company car drivers. Combine this with a well thought out interior that not only looks good, but is also laden with plenty of hi-tech equipment, and the 508 makes for an interesting alternative as a capable, family car.
While the last car was nothing to write home about, the Peugeot 508 Fastback (as well as the handsome 508 SW estate version) offers a new-found sense of style that makes it one of the more appealing models for sale in the family car sector. Demand is falling for this type of car in favour of SUVs, but the rakish Peugeot still has the Volkswagen Arteon, Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb to contend with, so the 508 certainly has its work cut out.
In its favour though is dramatic and sporting styling that really separates the 508 from its staid predecessor, and the Fastback model might almost be attractive enough to tempt buyers out of more premium rivals such as the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4.
It’s not just a pretty face though, as the 508 has an attractive interior that gives off a sporting vibe, and even in entry-level specification has a wide range of equipment. The fit and finish is excellent and the quality of the interior materials is spot on, too. Perhaps the main Achilles’ heel for the 508 is that, despite its generous proportions, it’s not the roomiest machine in its class. That’s especially true in the rear, where that sloping roof tends to eat into headroom. Similarly, a 487-litre boot capacity is just average for the class, too.
However, where the 508 does score highly is in its driving experience, as it’s both entertaining and comfortable. Based on the same basic architecture as the 3008 SUV, you might expect the 508 to offer the same excellent ride quality as its sibling, but it’s actually rather firmer. That’s not to say it doesn’t ride well: there’s some low-speed fidgeting, but at motorway speeds, it’s really very comfortable and an excellent place to while away the miles.
The benefit of the tauter chassis can be clearly felt on more demanding roads, as the 508 corners with unexpected precision. The well-weighted steering and a small steering wheel enhance the sporting feel of the car. It has excellent body control, and while the 508’s driving experience isn’t quite as finely honed as a BMW 3 Series’, it’s more than capable of holding its own against rivals such as the Vauxhall Insignia.
The engine range range has been trimmed down to include a 128bhp 1.2-litre Puretech petrol unit, or a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel with the same power output, while a 222bhp plug-in hybrid model is also available. All use an eight-speed auto transmission.
Buyers have the choice of four trim-levels; entry Active Premium can’t be specified with the PHEV setup, while the Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium can be paired with either the petrol, diesel or hybrid powertrains. There’s also the standalone 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered performance model, which uses plug-in hybrid tech to deliver its 350bhp and comes with all-wheel-drive as standard.
A facelift in 2022 brought in a few cosmetic changes to the exterior, including black door mirrors across the range and a black-coloured grille for the GT model, while the Allure specification was dropped from the lineup.
The 508 remains well equipped, however, with Active Premium cars featuring 16-inch alloys, power folding mirrors, auto headlights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors and Peugeot’s 12.3-inch i-Cockpit digital driver’s display.
For an alternative review of the Peugeot 508, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk…
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