New Peugeot 508 range first drive

Peugeot 508





The Peugeot 508 first arrived in the UK in 2011 followed by the Hybrid4 RXH versions in 2012.

After debuting at the recent Paris Motor Show a new and refreshed line-up with subtle styling changes, upgraded equipment and additional Euro 6 engines have now arrived in the UK.

The grand-tourer range of D-segment four door Saloons and five door SW/RXH estates has prices starting at £22,045 and range up to £32,600 for the Saloons, SW estates start at £23,245 and go up to £32,045 and the RXH cross-country styled estates are £30,295 for the two wheel drive 180bhp and £34,645 for the Hybrid4 200bhp 4×4.

Specification levels are Active, Allure and GT for Saloon and SW body styles. There is also, Hybrid 4 for the Saloon plus additional SW estates with RXH Hybrid4 all wheel drive and 180bhp BlueHDi front wheel drive versions.

The 1.6-litre petrol engines are being deleted from the 2015 Euro 6 range. The new line-up is all diesel with 1.6 e-HDi 115bhp, 2.0-litre HDi 140bhp, 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150bhp, 2.0-litre HDi 163bhp, Hybrid4 200bhp, 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180bhp and 2.2-litre HDi 200bhp with a range of manual and automatic gearbox options. CO2 emissions range from 91 to 144g/km.

The D-segment in the UK overall has a diminishing number of annual sales as customers, mainly company car user-choosers, are downsizing to more full efficient models with less tax liabilities. The sector falls into two categories. Firstly mainstream models with the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia, Peugeot 508, DS5 (formerly known as the Citroen DS5), VW Passat, Honda Accord and Toyota Avensis. Secondly there is the premium brand sector where sales remain strong for models such as the Audi A4/A6, BMW 3/5 Series and Mercedes C and E-Class models.

In 2011 the Peugeot 508 range sold just over 5,000 units in the UK. This increased in 2012 to nearly 6,500 units but dropped to 4,280 last year. For the first half of this year sales were only 1,114 units as Peugeot moved their brand image further up-market and concentrated on profitable sales rather than chasing volume registrations through discounting.

The 508 is built in France and China with 341,226 produced last year. In China the 508 has become the largest market for the range taking 36% of global sales.

I have just had a week long driving spell in the refreshed 508 SW, in particular the new
Euro 6, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, 150bhp BlueHDi turbodiesel with the most popular Allure specification and priced at £27,795 on-the-road. This model has a six-speed manual gearbox and the figure of note is the low 110g/km of CO2 emissions so company car drivers pay a relatively low – in this sector – 18% Benefit-in-Kind tax.

Peugeot 508Peugeot 508Peugeot 508The latest 508 models unveiled at the recent Paris Show embody the Peugeot brand’s move up-market. There is the restyled front end with the new family grille seen in the new 308 range and on other models from the 108 to the 3008. The interiors mostly always impress me with Peugeot models, probably one of the brand’s best features in terms of quality and styling. The latest 508 is no exception; it’s roomy, comfortable and smart. New levels of equipment include a touch-screen – although thankfully not the fiddly ‘tablet’ styled one pioneered in the 308 range. There is a reversing camera and blind-spot sensors options as well. Core specification includes automatic lights and wipers, LED daytime running lights, halogen headlights, rear parking aid, electrically operated windows and door mirrors, DAB digital radio, 7-inch multi-function touchscreen, sat-nav, automatic duel zone air-con, 18-inch alloy wheels and a spare wheel, remote central locking and Peugeot Connect SOS and Assistance function. The Allure spec level adds front parking sensors, keyless entry with push-button start, automatic electric parking brake with hill hold function, full LED headlights with cornering function, LED fog lights, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, panoramic glass sunroof (SW only) and blind-spot detection. There are no less than 44 LEDs in the latest higher spec 508s.

The new front end styling treatment gives improved kerb-appeal but the long body still looks slab-sided lacking the latest industry-norm sculptured treatment. The overall length is 4,830mm which gives ample front and rear passenger space with roomy boot space of 758-litres which goes up to a massive 1,865-litres with the split rear seats folded and the vehicle then load to the roof. There is a low rear sill so loading items into the boot area is easy. My test car also had the power operated tailgate which costs £480, it was useful but slow in operation.

Although the overall height of the vehicle is 1,456mm, headroom through the front doors is tight for us six-footers due to the steeply swept-back front A pillars although there is plenty of front seat headroom once inside the estate.

Ride comfort is a big feature of the 508 SW, Peugeot call it a grand-tourer and for long journeys it is ideal transport and the huge load space for luggage and ample rear seat legroom will meet most people’s needs. It is perhaps not so agile on winding country lanes but by no means is it a tiring to drive ungainly big estate. Given its long length parking in tight car parks or finding a street parking space can be an issue but the vehicle has far more realistic plus-points than negative ones.

Another significant plus-point is the new 2.0-litre 150bhp BlueHDi turbocharged diesel engine. To meet Euro 6 emission requirements, including reducing NOx, Peugeot and their PSA Group partners Citroen, are using a chemical injection mode as a third stage in their cleaner exhaust particulate system. By injecting a chemical called AddBlue into the upstream stage of the catalyser component ahead of the particulate filter reduces harmful NOx (nitrogen oxides) by up to 90%, eliminates 99.9% of particulates and optimises CO2 emissions and fuel economy by up to 4% compared to Euro 6 diesel engines. The AddBlue reservoir is filled at each service interval and there is a low level warning light should the system need topping up before a service is due.

So not only is this new 2.0-litre four cylinder BlueHDi engine cleaner and better for fuel economy power has gone up from 140 to 150bhp and this is supported with an impressive 370Nm (273lb ft) of torque delivered from 2,000rpm. Used in conjunction with a six-speed manual gearbox with sensibly space gear ratios, power delivery is linear right through the rev-range so it is not only a fuel efficient drive it’s a responsive one as well. Top speed is 130mph and zero to 62mph takes 10.1 seconds so it is no slouch. It cruises effortlessly and quietly at 70mph yet it remains responsive and smooth at lower speeds in traffic. Officially this engine will return 67.3mpg in the Combined Cycle but on my test drive using all types of roads the figure was a realistic 49.5mpg. Given the size and substance of the 508 SW this I think was impressive. Very acceptable is the 110g/km CO2 figure so taxes are low with zero cost VED road tax for the First Year rate and then only £20 for Year Two onwards. Company car drivers will pay 18% Benefit-in-Kind tax, again a relatively reasonable amount for an estate of this size and quality.

With a refreshed styling makeover, more equipment, a comfortable ride, spacious interior, BlueHDi cleaner diesel engines with lower emissions and better fuel economy the latest Peugeot 508 SW has all the ingredients to state a better claim for consideration in its competitive market sector.

MILESTONES: Peugeot 508 SW Allure HDi 150. Price: £27,795. Engine/transmission: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder BlueHDi turbodiesel, 150bhp, 370Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, 6-speed manual. Performance: 130mph, 0-62mph 10.1 seconds, 67.3mpg Combined Cycle (49.5mpg on test), CO2 110g/km, VED road tax £0 First Year/£20 Year Two onwards, BIK company car tax 18%. Insurance group: 30E. Warranty: 3-years/unlimited mileage. Dimensions/capacities: L 4,830mm, W 1,853mm, H 1,456mm, boot/load space 758 to 1,865-litres. For: No price increase over outgoing versions, cleaner more powerful engine, comfortable ride, spacious classy high-spec interior. Against: Low headroom through the doors, lacks modern sculptured/contoured side panel styling, residual values need to improve, fuel economy was good but well short of the official figure, rear seats do not fold completely flat.  Miles Better News agency 

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