Peugeot 508 - Used

Car Review

Peugeot 508, front
Peugeot 508, profile
Peugeot 508, rear
Peugeot 508, interior
Peugeot 508, boot

WHEN I first drove the latest Peugeot 508 I said that it was 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 five door hatch, 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 eight 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 I've driven have been beautifully refined.

The majority of engines in secondhand 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 that has 129bhp and covers the zero to 60 sprint in 9.7 seconds while rated at a brilliant 78mpg. This engine is available with both six speed manual and eight speed automatic gearboxes

Next comes a higher powered version of the same engine with 160bhp giving a 9.4 second sprint with the auto box and 74mpg.

Finally there is a 2.0-litre auto with 180bhp that gets to 60 in 8 seconds and is rated at 60 miles per gallon

Petrol followers are not forgotten of course, with the Government's present antipathy towards what it erroneously believes are ‘dirty' modern diesels.

All are designated PureTech and first comes the well-known 1.2 turbo with no less than 129bhp. It can get to 60 in 9.7 seconds and is rated at 58mpg.

Then there are two versions of Peugeot's marvellous 1.6 turbo with either 178 or 220bhp and covering the sprint in 8.5 and 7.1 seconds. Yet they are still rated at 52 and 49 miles per gallon.

Howsoever, the economy master in this story is the GT Line 1.6 petrol/electric plug-in-hybrid, which can do 30 odd miles on electric power alone, and is good for at least 166 miles per gallon. Incidentally, it can still reach 60 in 8 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. However, the gearbox does it so well, no-one will ever bother using them.

There is one more model at the top of the range called the Peugeot Sport Engineered.

Whatever about the poor moniker, this version gets no less than 350bhp from petrol and electric motors combined, and reached 60 in just five seconds and that's supercar stuff.

The automatic 508s get a number of selectable drive modes - Manual, Sport, Normal, Comfort and Eco and they are 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 508s 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 50 to 60 miles an hour.

The inside is stylish and driver-focussed, 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 driver selectable 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.

Pay £14,900 for an '18 18-reg 1.5 BlueHDi 130 Allure auto, or £24,150 for a '20 20-reg 1.6 PureTech PHEV 225 GT auto.

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