Used Peugeot 508 (Mk2, 2019-date) review
A full used buyer’s guide on the Peugeot 508 focusing on the 508 Mk2 that’s been on sale since 2019
Peugeot’s investment in the design and engineering of the 508 has made it very desirable, but the move upmarket in terms of pricing has put it up against some very accomplished rivals. As a result, the 508 isn’t as plentiful as you might hope, with many buyers eager to spend their money on a brand that’s perceived as more premium. In our twin tests the BMW 330e Touring and Skoda Superb iV beat the 508, and when we ran a 508 SW PSE we found the practicality lacking, the gearbox a bit slow and the generous kerbweight affected agility. But while established rivals give the Peugeot a hard time, the 508’s quality, technology and smart design are all very appealing, which is why this is still a car worth considering very carefully.
You may recall a time when Peugeot sold some of the best-looking cars available at any price, largely thanks to its relationship with Italian design house Pininfarina. Then things went off the boil, and this, combined with quality-control problems, led to the brand’s image taking a nosedive.
But Peugeot has worked very hard in recent years to right those wrongs by investing in sharp designs and high-tech powertrains along with advanced electronics, not only to make up for lost ground, but to try to take on more expensive rivals. The result has been a string of cars that are extremely appealing, and the 508 is a good example of that. Anything but conservative, the 508 shows why a large family car can still be a great alternative to an SUV.
The 508 Mk2 arrived in January 2019, apart from a few First Editions that were delivered just before Christmas 2018. At first there was only a five-door hatchback, offered with a choice of diesel engines: a 129bhp 1.5 BlueHDi, and a 2.0 BlueHDi engine available with 161bhp or 174bhp.
Car group tests
- Peugeot 408 vs Cupra Formentor: 2023 twin test review
- Peugeot 508 SW PSE vs BMW 330e Touring: 2022 twin test review
- Genesis G70 Shooting Brake vs Peugeot 508 SW: 2022 twin test review
- Peugeot 508 Hybrid vs Skoda Superb iV
A 1.6 PureTech petrol with either 178bhp or 221bhp was offered, while a 130bhp 1.2 PureTech was added in autumn 2020. In June 2019 the 508 SW (estate) arrived, with the same engines and gearboxes as the hatch.
Four months later, the plug-in 508 Hybrid followed. This combined a 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors (one front, one rear) to give 296bhp. In April 2021 came the 355bhp 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered (PSE), which shares essentially the same powertrain as the Hybrid.
Which one should I buy?
No engine feels weak, while the automatic transmissions are smooth, if sometimes a little slow. You’ll pay a significant premium for a 508 Hybrid, but you could save lots of money very quickly depending on your charging circumstances and annual mileage.
All 508s are well equipped, with the entry-level Active featuring power-folding door mirrors, an eight-inch display, privacy glass, keyless go, an eight-speaker hi-fi, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, navigation, auto lights and wipers, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Allure adds a 10-inch display, a rear parking camera, front parking sensors plus ambient cabin lighting. The GT Line gets LED headlights and 18-inch wheels, while the GT also features adaptive cruise control, leather trim, 19-inch wheels and heated, massaging, electric front seats.
Alternatives to the Peugeot 508
With buyers having generally moved into SUVs, the 508 is in a shrinking segment. And yet there are still some appealing large family cars on offer, such as the Skoda Octavia and bigger Superb, along with the Mazda 6 and the recently axed Ford Mondeo. The former is especially desirable with its smart design, upmarket cabin and excellent driving experience.
The Volvo V60 and S60 also look sharp and are good to drive, but it’s the German trio of Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class that are the biggest draw, with their inviting cabins, efficient engines and enjoyable driving experiences. All three will be more costly as a used buy than the Peugeot, but it’s a premium worth paying.
What to look for
Only 200 508 First Editions were offered, with leather and Alcantara trim, 19-inch alloy wheels, around view and massage driver’s seat.
The 508 Hybrid comes with an 11.8kWh battery to give a claimed electric-only range of up to 39 miles. Some owners achieve less than 28 miles.
Some 508s creak when the driver’s door is opened, but it’s not a lubrication issue. Faulty spot welds in the A-post mean significant repairs.
If you buy a 508 that doesn’t come with a full owner’s manual, you can download one from Peugeot’s website.
Watch out for a creaky driver’s door, because we’re aware of a number of 508s with faulty spot welds, and the issue has been addressed by a dealer Service Bulletin. Most other faults we’ve heard reported relate to minor electrical issues.
If you haven’t sat in a Peugeot for a while, you’ll be amazed at the improvements in quality and design in recent years. The 508 is one of the best examples of this, with its hi-tech dashboard and premium materials, but the infotainment system can be slow and the small steering wheel and high-set instruments might irritate.
The hatchback is tight for rear head and legroom, while boot space is merely acceptable at 488 litres or 1,537 litres with the seats folded; the SW estate is much better, with the boot able to stow 530 litres or 1,780 litres.
The 508 isn’t very common. We found only 200 for sale, two-thirds of which were hatchbacks. Diesels account for half the hatchbacks and estates available, while manuals gearboxes are scarce. We found just half a dozen Peugeot Sport Engineered hatchbacks for sale and the same number of estates.
All 508s need to be serviced every 12 months or 20,000 miles, with services running Interim/Main/Major. The Interim service is priced at £199, or £189 if you use pattern parts, then the Main service is £249 (or £219 with pattern parts), while the Major service is £419 (or £369). This last price is for the 1.6-litre PureTech petrol models – 1.2-litre cars are pegged at £399 (or £339).
For diesels, the Major service price is £369 (or £309, while it’s £429 (or £379) for Peugeot Sport Engineered models. Included in these costs is a brake fluid change every two years, which on its own is priced at £65. There’s a coolant check after four years or 80,000 miles, then it’s every year or 20,000 miles.
Only the 1.5 HDi diesel has a cambelt, which needs to be changed every 10 years or 112,000 miles, at £569, or £449 using pattern parts.
Peugeot has recalled the 508 Mk2 on three occasions so far. The first was in February 2020, and it affected 78 cars (including some 3008s) built between October 2019 and January 2020. A number of these cars left the factory with sub-standard rear suspension bolts, which could break while the car was being driven.
The next recall came in November 2020 and was aimed at 959 Peugeots (including the 2008, 308, 5008 and 508) made between April and July 2019. This time the problem centred on faulty diesel particulate filters, some of which had to be replaced.
The most recent recall was issued in August 2021, because 3,376 examples of the 508 built up to June 2021 might have been fitted with a roof rack that could detach from the car as it was driven.
Driver Power owner satisfaction
The Peugeot 508 is a relatively unusual car, so it has never appeared in any of our Driver Power surveys. While Peugeot as a brand used to score quite poorly in our results, largely because of disappointing reliability, things have taken a turn for the better, with the company now generally in the top half of the table. In this year’s survey, the 3008 came 13th, the 2008 was in 17th place, and the 208 notched up a 37th.
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