Peugeot has rolled out a facelifted version of the 508 mid-size vehicle last year, coming as a mid-life refresh for the replacement of the 407 and the larger 607.
Large Peugeot cars should be crazy and they shouldn’t make much sense but as it has to go on with its times, the “new” 508 has been toned down, compared to the vehicles it is replacing and only now it can truly be considered a rival for the Ford Mondeo or for the Volkswagen Passat. But is it really worth spending your money on a fully loaded 508 when you can go for an entry-level Passat or a medium-equipped Mondeo? The answer in short is “Yes”, because the 508 can be truly called “the forgotten rival”.
Engine and Transmission
In the entry-level version, Peugeot is offering a small four-cylinder petrol engine but the tested car came with the 2.0 liter four-cylinder HDi diesel burner. The unit is coping with the Euro 6 emission standards and it is capable of putting down 180 HP (132 kW) at 3,750 rpm and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque, available at 2,000 rpm. The carmaker says that it needs 8.5 seconds, in this configuration, to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) and it can go all the way up to 230 km/h (143 mph).
These figures shouldn’t impress you because the D-segment is not something to be impressed about, unless you are talking about an M3 or a C63 AMG, but this isn’t the case here because the 508 is a reasonable car, meant to get you from A to B in comfort and to make you forget about German cars, because there is a whole new breed of gamblers in town.
The engine is quite interesting, don’t expect something similar to the 320d but don’t act too surprised when you won’t find that many differences. It is doing exactly what it’s meant to be done without asking too many questions. In the tested car, the 2.0-liter diesel burner came with an automatic transmission which, besides the “normal” driving mode, it is also offering a “sports” mode. You won’t basically feel any differences between the two because what the “sports” driving mode does is to let the engine cope with higher revs. Peugeot has also added a “snow” driving mode but since the weather was mostly rainy, I couldn’t really tell if it was any good.
In this configuration, the French carmaker says that the updated 508 will eat up 5.1 liters of fuel in the city, 3.8 liters on the highway and it will achieve a medium of just 4.2 liters. Things couldn’t be more different in the real world because the trip computer indicated an average of 4.1L / 100km at speeds of 80 km/h but get passed the 100 km/h mark and it will be eating up more than 5L / 100km. In the city, in a normal driving mode, the average fuel consumption stood at just above the 10L / 100km mark but drive like an old man and you could achieve about 8.
Being basically for the first time behind the wheel of a 508, and coming right after taking the new Mondeo for a spin, I was expecting the worse and when you do that, you will often be surprised, in the good way of course. The mid-sized French car is one comfortable vehicle from the driver’s point of view and from the rear-seat occupants as well. It is well made, the suspension hasn’t been developed on a track and this really makes sense in a crowded city, with speed bumps and holes in the asphalt.
Things couldn’t be looking any different in its cornering abilities too because I was surprised once again to find out how stable it is. The only drawback, or drawbacks because there are two, is that this is a front-wheel drive car coming with some sort of assisted steering which won’t let you know what each and every wheel is doing at every precise time. But since most 508 buyers couldn’t care less about this, I have to admit that if I will be looking for a D-segment car in the future, the 508 will definitely be on my list.
The 2015 Peugeot 508 has some premium quality finishes inside it. The tested car came with part-leather seats, with a sliding armrest covered in leather, with aluminum finish for the gear knob and several other bits and pieces which didn’t feel cheap at all. It also had a glossy finish around the climate controls, contributing to its “premium-wanna-be” feel.
All the knobs and buttons are where you would expect them to be, you get enough storage spaces but since it has been redesigned last year, I would have enjoyed some space to host my large phone. Maybe in the next generation. Cup holders seem like something the designers forgot to fit but there are a couple of them sticking out of the dashboard, right between the climate control and the screen. This is a major drawback because you cannot see the navigation system if you place your cup / bottle inside it.
I also liked how Peugeot has copied BMW’s design for the front seats but they are still miles away of being that comfortable. I’m not saying that you will feel like you’re sitting on top of a barrel but some more attention in this subject would have been nice. The instrument cluster is customizable, you get a two-zone climate control, heated seats, four electric windows, electrically adjustable and foldable side mirrors, a lot of airbags and some good quality finishes to make your day.
When it was tested four years ago by the Euro NCAP, the Peugeot 508 achieved a maximum 5-star safety rating, with 90 percent in Adult Occupant, 87 percent in Child Occupant, 97 percent in Safety Assist and a mere 41 percent in Pedestrian Safety.
Likes / Dislikes
In the “Likes” category, I have to mention its exterior design. Let’s admit it, the 508 is one pretty ride if we leave aside the Mazda6 or the Ford Mondeo and the same goes for its cabin too. I enjoyed the good quality finishes, the fact that it is an ergonomic ride, the space in the front and on the rear seats, its suspension setting and sound proofing.
On the other part, its cornering abilities are inferior to its rivals and I simply cannot go over the fact that its assisted steering doesn’t really work as well as it should. This being said, if you are looking for a mid-size sedan, make sure you test drive the 508 too because it may surprise you, like it has surprised me.
Peugeot 508 facelift 2.0 BlueHDi BVA Allure
Engine: 2.0 liter diesel, 1,997 cc
Power: 180 HP at 3,750 rpm
Torque: 400 NM @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Dimensions: length 4,830 mm, width 2,068 mm, height 1,456 mm
Weight: 1,540 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 72
Trunk Capacity: 473 liters
0 – 100 km/h: 8.5s
Top Speed: 230 km/h
Starting Price – 22,800 EUR, VAT included
Tested Car – 33,281 EUR, VAT included (30,311 EUR at the time of the test)
3.6 / 5