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Peugeot 508 2024 review

If you’re after a big family saloon, the Peugeot 508 could be the perfect car for you.

Model driven: Peugeot 508 GT Plug-In Hybrid 225

Review by: Tim Barnes-Clay

Is the Peugeot 508 a good car?

The Peugeot 508 has been given a new look, and it no longer looks like any other typical car – it’s stunning both inside and out. Like several Peugeots, it’s also available as an ‘SW’ (Sport Wagon) version – an estate which adds even more practicality.

And, what’s more, it’s now much more economical after Peugeot introduced another variant, the Plug-In Hybrid 225 – and that’s what we’re looking at today. Overall, the Peugeot 508 is a desirable car with an awful lot going for it – and it's reduced the gap between itself and the premium brands admirably.

Performance and drive comfort

If you want a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the 225 is the only powertrain now available, although there’s a 1.2-litre 130PS petrol engine if you’re happy to go without hybrid power. Like the petrol unit, the PHEV is available in two trim levels: Allure and GT – and we’re testing the top-of-the-range version. Regardless of which model of 508 you choose, they’re all front-wheel drive with eight-speed automatic gearboxes. Acceleration in the PHEV is brisk, taking 7.9 seconds to get from 0-62mph. The powertrain is fine in most situations, and the engine feels reasonably refined. It is much the same for the automatic transmission, which changes through the gears smoothly but can take its time to select a gear when you stab the accelerator pedal.

Around corners, the 508’s handling is reasonably impressive, with responsive steering, limiting body roll around twisty bends. A firmly set-up suspension means the Pug is aimed at those who enjoy driving over those prioritising comfort levels.

There is optional adaptive suspension on the GT trim, though, which means you can switch to different driving modes to adjust the comfort levels.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Inside, the Peugeot 508’s interior looks very lavish, with a raised centre console that leaves you feeling cocooned in the cockpit. The word 'cockpit' is apt, too, not just because Peugeot calls the layout 'i-Cockpit' but because the angled hood above the digital instrument display and the unusually flat-bottomed and flat-topped steering wheel give it a cockpit-like feel.

The 12.3-inch display is designed to be viewed over the top of the wheel, which means the wheel is positioned somewhat uncharacteristically lower down, which won’t suit all tastes. There is also a large infotainment touchscreen, which is slightly angled towards the driver, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat nav, and DAB radio as standard. The infotainment system is excellent to look at and easy to navigate.

Overall, it's an impressive design which looks well-built, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces.

Space and practicality

Finding a comfortable driving position is reasonably straightforward, but if you're of a larger frame, you might find the cockpit-like design a little cramped.

Legroom in the back will be restricted if the driver is tall – and that's without the panoramic sunroof fitted, which is an optional extra. The roof creates thick rear pillars, compromising driver visibility out of the back. However, front and rear parking sensors are factory-fitted, along with a 360-degree camera on the GT car or a 180-degree camera at entry level.

Although the 508 is rivalling saloons and Peugeot markets it as a ‘fastback coupe’, it’s a hatchback, with the entire rear window forming part of the tailgate to make loading things into the boot easier. The boot itself has a capacity of 487 litres, expanding to 1,537 litres with the rear seats down, which fold in a 60/40 split.

Impressively, the PHEV doesn't lose any boot space compared with the petrol model. And although you lose the space for a spare wheel, you gain some storage underneath the floor where the charging cables can be kept.

What does the Peugeot 508 compare to?

Size-wise, the Peugeot 508 will remind you of two German favourites: the Audi A4 and BMW 3 series. However, in terms of realistic competitors, it's more likely to be the Skoda Superb or Volkswagen Passat. Other rivals, such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia have been discontinued due to a drop in sales.

Range, efficiency and MPG

The PHEV's economic figures are impressive, reaching 274.8mpg while emitting just 25g/km of CO2. The petrol manages up to 50mpg, by comparison, which isn’t bad for a petrol mill, although it emits 131/km of CO2.

Company car users will be mad to go for anything other than the PHEV, whose low emissions mean it attracts far more favourable rates for Benefit-in-Kind tax. The PHEV has an all-electric range of up to 34 miles and charges from 0-100% in about three-and-a-half hours from a home 7.4kW wall box. However, upgrades are available to increase the charging speed a little.

Safety and security

The Peugeot 508 was crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2018, earning a five-star safety rating, which included a notable 96% score for adults, 86% for children and 79% for safety assists. The latter includes automatic emergency braking, front collision warning, intelligent speed adaptation, extended traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assist, driver attention alert, and blind spot detection. The GT model also gets Drive Assist Pack Plus, which features adaptive cruise control with a stop/go function, plus lane positioning assist.

Fast facts – Peugeot 508 Plug-In Hybrid 225, GT trim as tested:

  • Maximum speed: 149mph
  • 0-62 mph: 7.9 secs
  • Fuel economy: 274.8mpg
  • Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol with electric motor
  • Maximum power (PS): 225
  • CO2: 25g/km
  • Price: £46,440

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