Peugeot 508 RXH BlueHDi

180

IN the dim but not so distant past, Peugeot's efforts with larger cars were pretty much hit and miss affairs.

That changed dramatically with the 508. The company is renowned for its smaller, family cars, but the 508 put it up there with the executive big hitters.

The brand has had a good few years, with new models, cutting edge technology and a leap forward in interior quality. And the latest version is even better.

With the slightly misleadingly named RXH (not the Lexus RHX) estate tested here, that quality is immediately apparent.

Despite the name sounding like it is a hybrid, (there is one), this diesel version sports a two-litre 180ps engine mated to a standard six-speed automatic gearbox.

Competing with other executive models in the business market, it offers low emissions to keep benefit in kind taxations at a relatively low level, while also offering excellent fuel economy.

The exterior is also slightly misleading, giving the impression of an all wheel drive vehicle with its slightly rugged look and raised ride height.

The rugged features cladding to wheel arches and sills, aluminium front and rear bumper scuff plates, plus satin chrome roof rails and a full length panoramic sun roof and tinted glass. It does look sleek and chic like many estates these days matching the saloon for styling, but with the extra practicality.

Key features include LED headlamps, the Peugeot lion claw effect LED daytime running lights and LED fog lights, half-leather trim and electrically adjustable seats.

This is on top of all the other bells and whistles, which includes front and rear parking aids, including parking camera and motorised tailgate, blind spot detector, tyre pressure warning and auto parking brake.

All the items you would expect and a few more on top in a car costing around £33,000.

The interior is a comfortable place to be with fully adjustable part leather finished seats, bright trim and quality soft touch material. Controls are generally logical and well placed and the centre piece is a seven-inch touch-screen controls major functions. It's not the most intuitive I have used, but once you are used to it you can control connectivity, navigation, infotainment and climate control

Another nice touch is the leather multi function steering wheel and the colour head-up display, all of which is standard on the RXH.

Head and legroom is fine in the front, but slightly compromised in the rear by the sloping roofline. However, stowage space is excellent with 550 litres with all the seats in position, increasing to more than 1,800 litres with the seats folded, while access is easy with the motorised boot lid activated.

On the road, the refined diesel pulls well, even if acceleration is anything but blistering. But this is a large cruiser perfectly suited to motorway driving. Having said that, it performs adequately on town and country roads, with minimum of body roll. The well-insulated interior and engine space means engine noise is muted as is wind and tyre noise, except on the roughest surfaces.

Filling up won't come around that often with claimed economy of just over 60mpg, I figure I was not that far away from.

Like all Peugeot there is a mass of safety equipment, including all round airbags, assisted braking, stability and traction control and ultrasonic alarm.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 508 RXH BlueHDi 180

Price: £33,560

Mechanical: 180ps, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group: 32

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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