The stylisch 508 is already a few years amongst us, and has already made its mark in its class. The car combines timeless Latin elegance with (very sound) engineering, build quality and know how from one of the oldest French car builders in the world. We tested for you here the very frugal yet quite dynamic “green” Diesel version, the 112 hp 1.6 e-HDi coupled to a 6 speed manual gearbox. The Peugeot proved to be an impressive road companion… just read on.
Just looking at the fluent lines of the 508 makes you convinced that good styling always works.
One is invariably attracted to this limousine, which looks “right” from any angle. Good taste continues in the interior, where classic round dials face you when you slide behind the wheel. The well chosen lay-out of the dashboard, the good proportions, the quality of surfaces and materials, the excellent seats, all this contributes to a very good “ambiente” in this car.
A masterful “routière”
Finding the right seating position is a breeze, and turning the key lets you hear the civilised throb of a very refined Diesel engine. The gearlever lies nicely at hand, gearchange and clutch are smooth and the car picks up speed through the gears with ease. This Peugeot is engineered to travel. In town as well as on the open road.
The engine, clutch and transmission cope smoothly with dense city traffic, and once on the open road, when the car picks up speed, the excellent adjustment of the suspension lets you feel through and through that this car is built to travel long distance in effortless comfort. Here the unique know how of a car builder which has given us excellent “routières” like the 504, 505, 507 and 607, makes itself felt.
Citroën C5 drivers will agree with us, quite understandably, as their car (the second generation C5 of course) shares the same platform with the 508. Both cars are also built alongside one another both at the plant in French Rennes and in… China, in the plant inWuhan.PSA has a partnership there with Dongfeng Motor, and plans to sell some 65.000 units inChina this year.
It is also the first time in the history of PSA that it expects to sell more 508’s in China than in the major “domestic” European markets.
The car also handles quite well. It is more agile and more pleasant to drive on winding roads than its predecessor, and front end grip is excellent. Of course, the long-legged motorway comfort up to (very) high cruising speeds is an outstanding feature of the car.
Road and engine noise are very subdued indeed. Peugeot went to some lengths here, a special sound-proofing windscreen has helped to filter out the noise and special dampers on the front axle have reduced engine vibration.
Our test car came with the 1.6 litre e-HDi FAP 82 kW (112 bhp) engine, delivering a torque of 270/285 Nm, coupled to the electronically controlled 6-speed manual gearbox.
Smoothness, good pulling power and good responsiveness make this an attractive engine, which totally belies its “only” 1,6 litre capacity.
The 508 never feels underpowered with this unit, and the performance figures confirm this: 0 to 100 in 11,9 sec, and a top speed of 197 kph.
The in-gear acceleration is also impressive: getting from 80 to 120 km in fifth gear costs only some 8,2 seconds.
If “green” considerations are important to you, it is good to know that the 508 e-HDi emits only 109 g/km.
We had no trouble to achieve 5 litres on 100 km and less, and this with a car which weighs 1,5 tonnes…
Of course the car not only roomy on the inside, it also offers a boot capacity of 545 litres. Fold the rear seats, and the available load space increases to 1,581 litres, and what is even more, you get a nice even floor.
This Peugeot 508 is a very impressive contender in its class. It offers style and personality, power, comfort, and space to live. On top of all this, it is very frugal. A car, which one will come to cherish over the years, as it qualities will remain, and it will also stay timelessly elegant…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
We photographed the stylish 508 on our driveway... we are convinced that after many years, it would look still very good...the lines of the 508 are elegant and timeless!
Editor's Note: the photos on this page are taken with a Fujifilm Finepix S, our latest acquisition in our camera stable. We bought it for the wide range of its Super EBC Fujinon Lens, not less than 24 x zoom, or 24 to 500 mm for 35 mm equivalent. As sharpness is excellent and colour balance quite good, it seems excellent value for money in our eyes, certainly as we wanted a compact camera to do the work... look for more photos and a special report on this camera in these columns...
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