Peugeot 508 review
The Peugeot 508 is great to look at, good to drive and comfortable
The Peugeot 508 has never really been a huge seller in the UK. Nevertheless, the French manufacturer has given the Mondeo rival a rather eye-catching facelift to help it compete against the likes of the Skoda Octavia and VW Passat.
Along with the more upmarket look, helped by the redesigned headlights, grille and bumpers, Peugeot has also added two new efficient but punchy diesel engines. Both are BlueTEC HDI mtotors and promise almost best in class fuel economy. Like before, the diesel-electric HYbrid4 model will continue to be offered, emitting only 85g/km of CO2.
Peugeot has always targeted customers who prefer a safer and comfortable drive rather than the thrill-seekers. The ride is supple and rarely unsettled by bumps in the road. Top spec GT models also get a more sophisticated suspension setup, which improves the ride even further.
There is plenty of space inside, too. A huge boot and enough space in the rear for three adults means it’s perfectly suited to family life. The low running costs of the new diesel engines also makes the 508 an interesting proposition for company car buyers.
Our choice: 508 Allure 2.0 BlueTec HDi
The Peugeot 508 is a good looking car and does well to stand out from the crowd. It has a sweeping shape with a distinctive nose that incorporates its new grille and headlight combination. Peugeot appears to have tried to give the 508 the look of a four-door coupe like the Mercedes CLS, rather than a conventional saloon - and it works.
The cabin is made of high quality materials. Inside, it feels much more upmarket than the Ford Mondeo, for instance, rivaling cars like the Volkswagen Passat and Vauxhall Insignia. However, the dash, centre console and steering wheel are very cluttered. There are far too many buttons, which can make it difficult to navigate your way around the cabin.
If you want a sporty family car, you’ll be better off with a Ford Mondeo. That said, the Peugeot 508 still offers a good drive, comfortable ride and good sound insulation. The fastest engine in the line-up is the 201bhp 2.2-litre diesel GT, which does 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds.
You can no longer get the 508 with a petrol engine, but the HYbird4 model is still available which combines combines an electric motor with a diesel engine to offer four-wheel-drive and 200bhp. However, your best option is the new 180bhp 2.0-litre diesel which offers a surprising mix of performance and economy. It gets a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
Peugeot has made huge leaps in terms of reliability and safety over the years, and the Peugeot 508 has earned itself a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. All models come fitted with front, side and curtain airbags as standard, along with traction and stability control. As for reliability, due to the 508’s relative novelty we haven't heard of any problems yet. However, Peugeot models don’t tend to perform particularly well in the Auto Express Driver Power Survey.
Much bigger than its predecessor, the Peugeot 508 stands at 4.8m long – about the same as a Ford Mondeo. That means there's a decent amount of space, with bags of room in the front. It’s equally impressive in the back, where only the tallest passengers will struggle for head and leg space. There is a shortage of cubby holes for mobile phones and drinks though, and the 473-litre boot is slightly down on the Mondeo. The HYbrid4 has a slightly smaller luggage area because the batteries are hidden in the boot, but the trade-off is that it’s sure-footed in the wet thanks to four-wheel-drive.
Most Peugeot 508 models will be bought by business drivers, and they will either pick the road tax-exempt HYbrid4 - which emits just 85g/km and returns 78.5mpg – or the 150bhp 2.0-litre BlueTEC HDi which emits just 105g/km of CO2. Economy is also good with over 67mpg claimed.
Every 508 comes with air-con, electric windows, sat-nav, cruise control and alloy wheels. Allure-trimmed cars have electric leather seats and rear parking sensors. Top spec GT models boast a head-up display, xenon headlights and sports suspension for sharper handling. Running costs for all models should be reasonable for the class, although residual values are likely to be poor.