In-depth reviews

Peugeot 508 review - Interior, design and technology

With its svelte fastback styling, the Peugeot 508 stands out from the crowd and has an equally stylish interior

If a car was purely judged on its exterior design, then the Peugeot 508 would certainly be amongst the class leaders with its eye-catching looks and considerable showroom appeal. It’s certainly far more stylish than its predecessor, moving away from the traditional three-box look for a more curvaceous and cohesive appearance.

Its bold new nose echoes the current sporty Peugeot look, and while the headlights aren’t the most distinctive, the blade-type LED daytime running lights certainly catch the eye. The 508 is equally stylish from the rear, with mildly extended rear wheel arches and a black panel running across the tail which incorporates the LED rear light clusters. It’ll certainly stand out in an office car park populated by more traditional designs.

Inside the sporting theme is continued, with a real coupe feel about the interior. It accentuates the difference between this car and an SUV, where you sometimes have the impression you’re sitting on it, rather than in it. The curving and swooping dash continues the stylish appearance in combination with the small steering wheel and Peugeot’s i-Cockpit electronic display.

And the quality look is backed up by material quality and a fit and finish that has a nigh-on premium feel to it It’s almost good enough to tempt buyers away from BMW’s 3 Series and Audi’s A4 perhaps.

There’s certainly enough in the way of standard equipment to keep most buyers happy too, and even the entry-level Active Premium trim level doesn’t feel poorly specified. You’ll need to upgrade to the Allure Premium model to get the larger (10-inch versus 8-inch) of the two centrally-mounted touchscreen systems offered, and it’s worth it for the greater functionality it brings.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

More than any other area, it’s the 508’s infotainment system that shows where Peugeot must improve if it wants to bridge the gap to premium brands such as BMW. We’ve seen improved set-ups in the latest Peugeot 308 hatchback, but the system fitted here is a little slow, frustrating to use and occasionally glitchy. 

While the screen measures a reasonable 10 inches, a large portion to either side of the panel is occupied by climate controls that are always displayed. These rob space from functions such as the mapping screen, or apps including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

The piano-style keys along the bottom are pleasing to use and look great, but the touchscreen sub-menus are a little contrived, and if you get lost, the ‘back’ button is tiny. The digital dials look great, though. Not only do they offer plenty of different views, but they also show images from the night-vision camera.

All models come with Bluetooth and a DAB radio, while Allure Premium trim adds a voice recognition function and USB inputs in place of a 12v output. GT premium models include a 360-degree colour camera system and an upgraded Focal stereo.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Active Premium 5dr EAT8
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £27,225

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 Hybrid Allure Edition 5dr e-EAT8
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £32,500

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6 Hybrid4 Sport Engineered 5dr e-EAT8
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £53,225

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