Peugeot 508 BlueHDi SW first drive

Peugeot 508





We are all aware of the long standing Euro 5 engine technologies introduced through legislation to reduce CO2 emissions

and those figures determine the amount of road and business-user tax we pay.

From September this year new Euro 6 emission standards come into force for all new models and for all revised vehicles a year later. The biggest reduction in the new Euro 6 legislation is not so focussed on the CO2 figures but at long last NOx emissions are under scrutiny. NOx in simple terms refers to nitrous oxide and particulates, the things that clog up our lungs and dirty our buildings and roads.

Currently NOx is mostly produced in big numbers by diesel powered vehicles. For passenger cars the required reduction in NOx for Euro 6 legislation is 80mg/km instead of the current 180mg/km and moves diesel units closer to the 60mg/km of petrol engines.

To meet Euro 6 standards, under their banner of BlueHDi, Peugeot has introduced Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology (SCR) for some of their diesel engines. Shortly there are to be BlueHDi versions of their 1.6 HDi engine for their new 308 Hatchback and SW estate range. The first Peugeot BlueHDI engine however is the 2.0-litre HDi turbodiesel 150bhp unit which joined the 508 executive saloon and SW estate line-up at the start of this year and also joins the 308 range shortly. As yet BlueHDi are a small number of standalone models which offer a little more bhp power, fewer emissions but cost more to buy due to the added technology and components within the cars.

For instance in terms of pricing comparisons I have just sampled the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150bhp engine with its six-speed manual gearbox in the executive 508 SW estate priced at £27,145 with Allure specification. The conventional Euro 5, 2.0-litre HDi 140bhp Allure version costs £26,045 and the more powerful 2.0-litre HDi 163bhp Allure Euro 5 version is also cheaper at £26,525.

Peugeot 508 Apart from costing more and with more power, the 2.0-litre BlueHDi engine in the 508 SW has lower CO2 emissions, 110g/km against 125g/km for the 140bhp unit and 130g/km for the 163bhp engine. In terms of VED road tax the cleaner BlueHDi unit has a £0 First Year rate then £20 for Year Two onwards. The non BlueHDi 140bhp and 163bhp units are also £0 First Year but then £110 for Year Two onwards. For company car drivers, the main market for the 508 Saloon and SW models, the Benefit in Kind Tax for BlueHDi versions is 18% and the non BlueHDi 140bhp unit incurs 21% and the 163bhp 22%.

So what does the BlueHDi system consist off? SCR is a continuous exhaust treatment of NOx but it is combined with the current emission equipment of Oxidisation Catalyst and FAP particulate filter. The NOx emissions are converted into two bi-products – water and nitrogen. The NOx reacts with the ammonia in the SCR catalyser and the ammonia is obtained by injecting a urea (soluble colourless crystalline) based liquid called AdBlue into the SCR system. AdBlue is already known in the commercial vehicle market for large vans, taxis, lorries and coaches.

The Adblue product is poured into a small on-board storage tank where an electric pump carries it via heated piping under the vehicle to the Adblue injector located at the inlet to the SCR catalyser contained in the exhaust system. The engine management ECU controls the Adblue injector and the NOx sensor. A full tank of AdBlue – 3.8-litres – will last around 12,500 miles. With 1,500 miles to go a warning light advises the driver it needs topping up. If the driver ignores the warning light, eventually when the tank is empty, the engine will not start. The AdBlue replenishment normally takes place at the 12,500 service intervals or drivers can replenish the tank themselves. The 3.8-litres of Adblue can be bought from many automotive outlets and dealerships costing around £20.

The 508 range of executive spec saloons and five door SW estates was introduced in April 2011 and later this year they will receive similar updates to other models in the Peugeot range, the new family grille, revised LED daytime running lights and so on, really just minor changes and a refresh. Around 4,300 units of the 508 are sold annually in the UK.

Currently the 508 saloon prices start from £19,545 and run up to £32,100 for the Hybrid4 diesel/electric 4WD variant, The SW estates start at £20,595 and top-out at £34,145 for the Hybrid4 RXH 4WD version.

Depending on the engine chosen, 1.6 petrol to 2.2 turbodiesel and diesel/electric Hybrid, there is the choice of Access, Active, Allure and GT levels of spec. Most sales in this D-segment, not the most popular sector of today’s new car market, go to company car drivers initially but then prove popular with used car buyers attracted by the space they offer and the high levels of specification.

The 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 SW estate with Allure trim I tried costs £27,145, not out of place in this category given the high specification you get for your money. The added appeal is now the new low CO2 and NOx, Euro 6, 150bhp turbodiesel engine coupled with the existing comprehensive specification and the interior space it offers.

Peugeot 508 Peugeot 508 Peugeot 508 The SW estate is 4,792mm in length but its coupe side profile makes it look longer. The height of 1,456mm gives it a lean look but limits the headroom for six-footers getting in and out of the doors. There is a large boot at 512-litres with the three rear seats in use but that increases to a substantial 1,598-litres with them all folded. The Allure specification includes front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, automatic electronic parking brake, Xenon directional headlights, electrically adjusted and heated front seats, half leather trim and 18-inch alloys which really do give a firm and unsettling ride on poorer road surfaces. Other items of spec carried over from lesser spec models are the Peugeot Connect Navigation system with Bluetooth, a panoramic glass roof for the SW estate, automatic lights and wipers, Peugeot Connect SOS and Assistance, electric windows/door mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, alarm and on-board computer. The test car also had the useful options of a £310 colour head-up display and a motorised tailgate and load area net at £480.

The 508 SW is a roomy, generally comfortable and well equipped family and load carrier. The new BlueHDi engine benefits from the increase in power from 140 to 150bhp and despite its added exhaust emission cleaning filters didn’t feel strangled of power. Top speed is 130mph, zero to 62mph takes 10.1 seconds and the official Combined Cycle fuel economy is 67.3mpg. My test drive, which was mainly done covering high-speed motorway trips with some local stop/start traffic, was a commendable 48.6mpg. Although it is nowhere near the official figure for an estate of this size and the high speed touring pace it gave me I was impressed with that figure. The increased torque over the standard non BlueHDi engine, now 370Nm (273lb ft), is developed from 2,000rpm. Ideally it would make the engine more responsive accelerating from low speeds if it was produced say at 1,750rpm or lower as many engines offer these days. However the six-speed gearbox has well chosen ratios to match the power delivery although the gearchanges could be smoother and less notchy.

Visually the Peugeot 508 SW will benefit from the brand’s future styling updates later this year but for now the new BlueHDi technology engine has certainly breathed cleaner and refreshing new life into its performance. It’s just a shame we have to pay quite a bit more to buy it although the running costs are lower and the NOx emissions are significantly reduced.

MILESTONES. Peugeot 508 SW Allure BlueHDi 150. Price: £27,145. Engine/transmission: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, BlueHDi, Euro 6 turbodiesel with NOx reduction system, 150bhp, 370Nm (273lb ft) of torque from 2,000rpm, 6-speed manual. Performance:130mph, 0-62mph 10.1 seconds, 67.3mpg Combined Cycle (48.6mpg on test), NOx 80mg/km, CO2 110g/km, VED road tax £0 First Year rate then £20 Year Two onwards, BIK company car tax 18%. Insurance group: 28E. Dimensions/capacities: L 4,792mm, W 2,068mm, H 1,456mm, boot/load space 512 to 1,598-litres, braked towing weight 1,775kg. Warranty: 3-years/unlimited mileage. For: Euro 6 compliant new engine with low NOx and CO2 emissions, low running costs and taxes, strong engine performance, roomy estate, high equipment levels. Against: A significant £1,100 purchase price premium over a 2.0-litre non-BlueHDi 140bhp engine, the new 2.0-litre BlueHDi engine is only available with the Allure near top level of specification, firm ride due to large wheels, low headroom through the doorframes for tall passengers, notchy gearchange.   Miles better news agency

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