The last three new cars launched by Peugeot – the 3008, the 5008 and the RCZ coupé – have been very well received, and this bodes well for the latest model.
With mainly subtle, elegant styling, it makes the heavy-handed 407 it replaces seem like a Gerald Scarfe caricature of what a Peugeot should look like.
The shorter front overhang combined with a longer rear passenger compartment gives the 508 a far better proportioned look than its predecessor.
The interior of the 508 is more spacious and used higher quality materials than the 407, and it needed to offer this premium car feel as most other cars in the sector have also gone down this route in recent years.
However, Peugeot sees an opportunity for the 508, as it’s new from the ground up, and the other recent new model introductions in the class, such as the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat, are not.
New to the range is a revised 1.6-litre HDi engine which is available with e-HDi technology. It’s an advanced stop-start system combined with an electronic sequential transmission. It means the engine is off for longer than many stop-start systems as, when warm, it will cut out below 5mph just before the car comes to rest and stay off while the driver keeps the car stopped with the brake pedal.
There are other new engines – a normally aspirated 120bhp 1.6-litre (used with the ECG sequential manual transmission), and a 156bhp turbocharged version, both manual versions with CO2 emissions below 150g/km, along with a revised version of the 2.0-litre diesel.
The 2.0 HDi produces 140bhp in manual form, while customers choosing the six-speed automatic transmission version are given 163bhp.
There are five equipment grades, including a fleet-targeted SR model. Entry level Access models come with daytime running lights, air conditioning, CD/radio and USB socket, and steel wheels with plastic trims.
SR models add Peugeot Connect SOS, leather covered steering wheel, navigation with Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone air conditioning and 16-inch alloys.
Active is the next step up from Access and adds a glass roof on SW models, dual-zone air conditioning, 17-inch alloys, auto-dimming rear view mirror and auto headlamps and wipers.
Allure adds larger alloys, automatic parking brake with hill-start assist, keyless entry and start button, heated and electrically adjustable front seats plus part leather trim.
The GT model is only available with a new 2.2-litre 204bhp diesel engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Remarkably, this engine in the saloon produces CO2 emissions of 149g/km (SW: 154g/km) and includes LED daytime running lights, a colour head-up display, leather trim and xenon headlamps.
First drive: Peugeot 508
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.