Shorter, and especially lower, the new 508 marks a stark contrast in strategy compared to the predecessor, aiming to provide a mainstream alternative to premium, sporty offerings from the D segment.
At 4.75 meters, the all-new Peugeot 508 is not only among the most compact saloons in its segment, but it’s also a full 8 cm shorter than its predecessor, while the wheelbase only lost 2.4 cm at 2.79 meters in order not to compromise interior space. The most obvious dimensional reduction will be the new ride height – at 1.40 meters it’s 6 cm less than the previous generation – and Peugeot even talks about its competitors, with its sights set upon the Volkswagen Arteon and even on the Audi A5 Sportback. It hasn’t been that long since the first 508 appeared on the market back in 2011 but already the new generation makes it obsolete with its new styling, which is a complete departure from the chic, relaxed stance of the predecessor.
The design is now edgy, dynamic and presents a completely different story than before – especially if you think the new 508 is actually growing in terms of width by 20 mm. Reminiscing of the past, the grille lion is doubled by the 508 lettering on the bonnet, the rear lights sport a completely different design yet seem somehow related to other new entries in the family – and the frameless doors again hint at the upmarket reposition of the model. And yes, the new LED daytime running lights do look as if a lion (or two) decided to attack the car… You could also hide said lion in the trunk – which is now improved by 14 liters to 487 liters and can be extended to a 1,537-liter load space.
Inside, just like any other modern Peugeot, the 508 features the i-Cockpit, even though the high-position instrument panel and small steering wheel has attracted enough criticism. On the other hand, having a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 10-inch infotainment system display with touchscreen is certainly not something to frown about. Motivating its upscale reposition, Peugeot offers perks such as massage seats, leather, Alcantara and even real wood finishes. Just like any modern vehicle, the 508 is getting a barrage of driving assistance systems, including a night vision system, a first in the segment – according to Peugeot. There are also semi-autonomous aids – for the first time on a Peugeot, the Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function functioning with a Lane Positioning Assist system.
At the start of sales – which kick off in September after first being introduced at the Geneva Motor Show next month – the powertrain range will include a single petrol option, a 1.6L PureTech engine with 180 or 225 hp, the latter reserved to the GT version only. The Blue HDI diesel range is more expansive – using the 1.5L and 2.0L BlueHDi options customers can get a 130 hp model with both a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic (used exclusively in all other instances), as well as more powerful installations with 160 and 180 hp. The new 508 has been built on the PSA Group’s EMP2 platform, and is 70 kilos lighter than its predecessor, while also packing a standard Active Suspension Control system on the GT and all petrol versions.