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First drive: Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.

First drive: Peugeot 508
In a bid to move upmarket, the new Peugeot 508 comes in for an extensive update.

   



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Peugeot 508

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Going beyond the usual mid-life nip and tuck, the new Peugeot 508 benefits from improved styling on the outside and a nicer interior, while improvements under the bonnet make for a better drive - though it still falls short of the best cars in the class.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Peugeot 508 saloon 2.0 BlueHDi 150
Pricing: starts at 22,045; as tested was 26,395
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual (six-speed automatic is available)
Body style: four-door saloon
CO2 emissions: 109g/km (Band B, 20 per year)
Combined economy: 68.9mpg
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Power: 147hp at 4,000rpm
Torque: 370Nm at 2,000rpm

Exterior Design: 3 3 3 3 3

The most noticeable changes to the 508's styling come at the front, which now features a more vertical grille, incorporating the Peugeot name badge as per the rest of the range - and a flatter-looking bonnet. It's a more mature design and if you opt for the full LED headlights it manages to look quite smart.

Interior Ambience: 3 3 3 3 3

Peugeot hasn't adopted the minimalist approach to the cabin design of the 508 like that of the smaller 308, and it has kept a conventional instrument display, not that that's a bad thing. The seven-inch touchscreen is the most modern looking item here while fit and finish throughout seems to have been improved upon.

Passenger Space: 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

From the driver's seat the cabin is well laid out with all of the main controls within easy reach, and over a short drive the seats feel comfortable and offer average levels of support. In the rear both leg- and shoulder room are good with plenty of space for two adults, but things become a bit tighter when the middle seat is occupied.

Luggage Space: 4 4 4 4 4

The 508 still lags behind some of its rivals when it comes to boot space with 473 litres of luggage capacity - and the lack of a hatchback option further limits it. The SW (estate) version does offer 512 litres and up to 1,118 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Safety: 3 3 3 3 3

Peugeot fits ESP stability control as standard to the 508 but you'll need to go up to the top 'GT' trim level to get the new blind spot warning system as standard. Aside from that Peugeot's safety technology offering is now starting to look weak in comparison to others. Structurally little has changed on the car since its NCAP test back in 2001 where it scored a full five stars, with 90- and 87 per cent rating for adult and child protection respectively although it scored poorly on pedestrian safety.

Comfort: 4 4 4 4 4

There have been clear improvements made inside when it comes to sound insulation, but the diesel engine is still that bit louder than many rival cars at higher revs. On the majority of road surfaces though the 508 performs well and feels well damped, giving one of the better ride qualities in the segment.

Driving Dynamics: 3 3 3 3 3

Far from being portrayed as a driver's car, the 508 is most happy when cruising on motorways. That's not to say that it doesn't cope well with the twisty stuff though; the steering gives a reasonably good level of feedback to the driver for instance, but it is the chassis and suspension (which feel more set up for comfort) that hinder it at times.

Powertrain: 3 3 3 3 3

The latest version of Peugeot's 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150hp engine sees emission fall to 109g/km in manual guise and is also Euro 6 compliant. Many may find the lure of the more powerful 180hp version strong, but from a performance perspective there is little between the two in everyday driving. Letting the side down slightly though is the six-speed manual gearbox, which although well geared lacks a precise feel between shifts.

Potential Alternative

The 508 does offer good value and a better driving experience than some of its rivals, but falls behind when it comes to the practical side of things such as luggage capacity. In comparison, the slightly smaller Skoda Octavia feels every bit as big inside and also comes with a hatchback.

What to Order?

Of the three trim levels on offer in the updated Peugeot 508, the Allure specification should tick the box for the majority of buyers. Combining that with the 2.0-litre Blue HDi engine and manual gearbox will give you a car that will have most of the equipment you'll ever want plus an economical drive that won't be lacking in performance. The estate version does command a 1,200 or so price premium and is only worth really considering if you need the extra boot space.


Dave Humphreys - 24 Sep 2014



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2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.



2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 

2015 Peugeot 508. Image by Peugeot.
 






 

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