Fleet News

First Drive: Peugeot 508 Hybrid4

Peugeot
BIK List Price
£31,395
Peugeot 508 BIK list price
BIK Percentage
10%
Peugeot 508 BIK Percent
CO2
95g/km
Peugeot 508 CO2
Combined MPG
78.5
Peugeot 508 MPG

Review

Peugeot has arguably become a pioneer when it comes to diesel-electric hybrids. While it shares technology with its sister company Citroën, it now has three cars on the market, while Citroën has just one.

The latest to join is the 508 Hybrid4 – based on the standard 508 saloon. It comes with the 2.0-litre 163bhp diesel found elsewhere in the 508 range, with additional power coming from an electric motor.

The diesel engine drives the front wheels only, while the electric motor powers the rear wheels.
Sophisticated electronics govern how both work together or alone which results in low-speed driving carried out under electric-only power (with around a couple of miles possible before the battery needs recharging from the engine).

This can also be ‘locked in’ with a dial on the centre console with the ZEV setting, which will ensure the electric motor is the only power source until the battery needs more charge.

There are three other modes: auto, sport and 4WD. Auto ensures the most efficient combination of engine and motor; sport delivers the maximum combined 200bhp available and optimises performance, while 4WD has both the engine and electric motor running simultaneously. In 4WD – which would normally be selected when maximum traction is required – the diesel engine continues to charge the battery to allow permanent running of the electric motor and ensure there is no loss of power delivery to the rear axle.

Arguably the most important results of the powertrain are CO2 emissions of 95g/km – giving the 508 Hybrid4 10% BIK tax liability and it meets the requirements for a 100% first year writing down allowance when the tougher limits come in next year – together with 78.5mpg on the combined cycle.

Both figures are remarkable for a car with a 2.0-litre diesel engine sitting under the bonnet. In the real world, anything near the 78.5mpg official figure would be difficult to achieve unless the 508 is driven around town for much of the time, allowing it to rely on the electric motor more often.

But the 508 is a car that feels most at home on the motorway. It has room for five adults to travel in comfort, and benefits from the keen responses and excellent refinement of the rest of the 508 range.
One aspect that perhaps takes getting used to is the electronic gearshifts from the sequential manual transmission. Upshifts normally feel stilted, but when the electric motor is running these are much smoother, although it is still a little hesitant in kicking down when you need to overtake.

Boot space is also compromised thanks to the hybrid technology on board – substantially less than the 473 litres provided by the standard car.

CO2 emissions
CO2 emissions of 95g/km give the 508 Hybrid4 class-leading status, thanks to its hybrid diesel-electric powertrain. While conventional cars are achieving 109g/km with a little over 100bhp, the 508 manages less than 100g/km with up to 200bhp.
Fuel costs
It has been well documented that it is difficult for us road testers to reproduce the official fuel consumption figures (particularly of hybrids) in real-world driving. We believe that with practice, someone driving this car regularly will learn to get the most out of it, but they will rarely get near the official 78.5mpg with frequent motorway driving.
Residual values
The 508 Hybrid4 is an expensive car in a sector not renowned for strong residual values, so it's a bleak outlook on this front. Maybe its appeal as a London congestion charge-exempt vehicle could improve its appeal as a used car in the capital.
Running costs
Low fuel costs (in theory) manage to help balance the expense of owning a 508 Hybrid4 in other areas, but for now the car offers some significant advantages for fleets, and qualifies for the reduced 100% writing down allowance threshold of 95g/km from 2013.
Driver appeal
The 508 is one of the best large cars Peugeot has produced, and although the boot space is compromised by the need to accommodate hybrid components, the upmarket feel inside and the benefit of four-wheel drive traction will give the car strong appeal.
FN Verdict
The 508 Hybrid4 boosts the low-CO2 choices in the large car sector using technology that we were once wary of, but has now become commonplace in fleets thanks to pioneers such as Toyota and Honda. But Peugeot was there first with a diesel engine, and the Hybrid4 builds on the many virtues of the 508.
Top Speed
N/A
Peugeot 508 Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Peugeot 508 Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Peugeot 508 Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : £5,225
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : 46.17

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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