The first 508s stuck pretty close to the 3-box design principle of car design. So far, so ho-hum. Then the new version appeared – and what a beautiful specimen it is.
The designers went all-in with curves, frameless doors and plenty of French je ne sais quoi - including a bold grille design with distinctive blade-shaped day running lights on either side of it.
It even looks great from behind a 508 too, thanks to the neat black strip that also holds the LED rear light clusters. Add subtly countered rear wheel arches and the swooping coupe roofline, and it all adds up to a family saloon that’s not afraid to show its sporty side.
What's it like to drive?
There’s always a trade-off you have to make in cars like the 508. You want it to be comfortable, while having spot-on handling – and the latter usually means suspension that can rattle your fillings loose. The good news is that Peugeot has struck a good compromise, which gives a pretty soft ride as well as handling that sticks to the road on the twistiest of corners.
There’s also a good number of driving modes from Comfort to Sport depending on the road surface – believe us when we say that Sport mode is a bit like driving on the bare rims of your wheels.
The 508 has a pretty soft ride, yet it sticks to the road on the twistiest of corners.
The designers at Peugeot obviously also realised that if they are going to take on the likes of BMW and Audi, then the interior of the car has to be top notch. Guess what? It is - and it all starts with your bum.
The seats are super comfy with the pair in the front having the added adjustable advantage to put you in the perfect position. For the driver, this means being able to look over the top of the smallish steering wheel to see all the instruments in the car’s i-Cockpit – essentially, a virtual speedometer and rev counter that you can tailor to a digital or an analogue display.
Lower spec models get an 8-inch infotainment screen with piano-style keys to change the function. Go for a higher spec for the larger, 10-inch screen. Both are fully Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.
While there’s plenty of head and legroom in the front, it’s quite a different story in the back where taller passengers could well find themselves bumping against the roof lining, especially if the road surface isn’t great.
The frameless doors mean that on motorways, wind noise can be quite intrusive and the petrol engines are also quite raucous too at high revs.
If you’re looking for a car with the sort of boot size you need to bring home a room-load of flatpack furniture or help a friend move house, the Peugeot 508 might not be the car for you. It’s not that the boot’s small exactly, it just offers less room than you’d get in an equivalent MPV or SUV. It’s not even a class-leader for saloons.
What is very handy is the fact that it has a tailgate instead of a traditional saloon boot, which helps with loading bigger items.
When you fold the seats down you do get a very reasonable amount of storage space. Even with them up, you’ll find that it swallows up the big shop very easily.
Reliability and running costs
You can look forward to some pretty decent fuel economy from the 508 – and very decent indeed if you go for the petrol/hybrid version.
Of the diesel engines, it’s the 1.5 litre Blue HDi 130 that is the most economical giving you up to 76.3mpg. Seek out the petrol hybrid for an impressive 200mpg. The car can even travel for around 35 miles on battery power alone with a full charge taking as little as 2 hours.
Peugeot hasn’t always had the greatest reputation for reliability but it looks like they may have cracked this too, so you should be able to look forward to hassle-free driving. Of course, for extra peace of mind you could consider cinchCare.
What cinch loves
You’re really going to stand out in the car park with the sporty 508 lined up alongside all those cookie-cutter MPVs and SUVs-and you’ll be getting a pretty good car into the bargain. It looks great, it’s really comfortable as long as you choose the right mode, and it comes with plenty of extras too.