- Impressively striking looks
- High-tech interior
- Good to drive
- Competition is strong
- Small steering wheel may not appeal to some
- Not as practical as some competitors
What's the Peugeot 508 like?
The latest Peugeot 508 is right up with the premium brands in the upper medium class, with its combination of comfort and driving excellence.
But most models also come new with very good standard equipment making them fantastic value for money. With a low, poised stance and great lines from every angle, the 508 is a super looking car that would grace any driveway.
And as well as the 5-door hatch/saloon, there is also a capacious estate that may well entice some buyers away from the ubiquitous SUV.
Apart from a few lower order models, all come with a standard 8-speed automatic gearbox that really matches the engines perfectly, making the changes far quicker than most of us can with a manual and making life on today’s roads far easier.
Those engines are smooth and quiet, helping towards very low noise levels, and all the models are beautifully refined. The majority of engines in used models are likely to be Peugeot’s excellent BlueHDi diesels, with such low emissions that they can access low emission zones, and excellent economy.
These start with a 1.5-litre that has 129bhp and covers the 0 to 60mph sprint in around 9.7 seconds while returning a brilliant 78mpg. This engine is available with both 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic gearboxes.
Next comes a higher powered version of the same engine with 160bhp giving a 9.4 second sprint from 0 to 60mph with the auto box, and 74mpg economy. Finally, there is a 2.0-litre auto with 180bhp that gets from 0 to 60mph in around 8.0 seconds and can return around 60mpg.
Petrol examples include designated PureTech versions, which include the well-known 1.2-litre turbo with no less than 129bhp. It can get from 0 to 60mph in around 9.7 seconds and can return around 58mpg.
Then there are two versions of Peugeot’s marvellous 1.6-litre turbo with either 178bhp or 220bhp, which deal with the 0 to 60mph spring in 8.5 and 7.1 seconds respectively. Yet they can still return around 50mpg each.
The economy master in this story is the GT Line 1.6-litre petrol/electric plug-in-hybrid, which can do approx 30 miles on electric power alone, and is good for at least 166mpg. Incidentally, it can still go from 0 to 60mph in around 8.0 seconds, so it’s no slouch.
All of these variations give good acceleration and response in the mid-range, and most of the autos have paddles behind the steering wheel to make the changes yourself.
There is one more model at the top of the range, called the Peugeot Sport Engineered. This version gets no less than 350bhp from petrol and electric motors combined, and can go from 0 to 60mph in just 5.0 seconds – that's supercar stuff.
The automatic 508 variants get a number of selectable drive modes - Manual, Sport, Normal, Comfort, and Eco, and they're all pretty self-explanatory. For example, Sport improves engine response, raises gearchange points, firms up the dampers, and sharpens up the steering all in one go.
These excellent engines are backed by marvellous handling, with deliciously direct and positive steering, and the roadholding is strong and very, very safe.
All 508 models track through corners just as they should, with perfect balance and no sign of a breakaway even when pushed unmercifully. The steering is a delight, feeding information about the road to the driver’s hands, and in fact, the whole car feels marvellously complete.
Despite large wheels and ultra-low profile tyres, the ride is still very, very good even over rough country roads at 60mph.
The inside is stylish and driver–focused, but still has the small steering wheel that Peugeot introduced in the 208, with the digital binnacle showing above it. This looks odd to anyone used to a more traditional setup, but it works well and the small wheel helps make the twisty bits more fun.
The binnacle uses Peugeot’s excellent i-Cockpit, the heated part-leather seats are beautifully shaped and very comfortable, and there’s plenty of space for four or five.
Standard kit in the mid-range Allure includes autonomous emergency braking, climate control, parking sensors, Bluetooth, DAB radio, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
It also has keyless entry and starting, stop/start, blindspot detection, driver alert system, LED headlights, wireless phone charging, sat nav, and traction control.
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If you're in the market for a striking saloon that stands out from the sheer choice available, then the Peugeot 508 is well worth a look. With plenty of practicality and state-of-the-art tech, the Peugeot 508 makes a great used buy.