Peugeot 508 review
Peugeot turns up the quality with new 508
Paddy Comyn

Published on February 9, 2011

In the Metal

The Peugeot 508 is a brand new car and as such looks nothing like the car it replaces, the 407 - even though it sits on a modified version of that car's platform. The 508's styling was first hinted at by Peugeot's SR1 concept and many of that car's stunning design cues have been carried over to the 508.

The front end is probably the car's most striking aspect. It is dramatic and very 'German'. The rear styling doesn't do it for us as much. The strip of chrome on the tailgate is a little fussy, but the LED tail lights are smart and make the car look more upmarket.

Inside, the quality is the first thing that stands out. We have previously got a taste of this with the 3008, 5008 and RCZ, where Peugeot had shown just how much it has moved on in terms of quality. The fit and finish of the 508's cabin is really outstanding, from the materials used to the way they feel to the touch.

Our test cars had a ridiculous number of buttons, although this would obviously depend on which grade of 508 you choose. But our test cars featured items like a head-up display for your speed and navigation instructions while the steering wheel was littered with switches. Spending more than the several hours we did behind the wheel would no doubt allow these to become more familiar.

Driving it

Ireland is getting a choice of four variants of the HDi diesel engine in the 508 and these range in power from 112- to 163hp. There are two 1.6-litre units: one is a standard version that will be the entry-point to the 508 range and for a €1,600 premium you can have the e-HDi version. This utilises start-stop and the electronic Ecomatique transmission to further reduce emissions, this time down to 115g/km. The standard car sits in Band B, with emissions of 124g/km, but it is so much cheaper than the e-HDi version that we would see few buying the latter unless they really needed the auto.

We tried out the e-HDi, a 2.2-litre HDi model that we won't be offered in Ireland and the 2.0-litre 140hp HDi, which would be a top choice for us if the budget allows, as it comes it at under €30,000.

The first thing you notice is proper steering feel in the 508; twinned with a talented chassis the 508 is a keen driver's car even though this is not at the sacrifice of comfort, which is really very good. This is a car that owners or user choosers will spend a lot of time driving and being in so comfort would be foremost in their minds. On a variety of roads around Alicante we found the car to handle the twisty stuff well and on the motorway it was whisper quiet.

The automatic gearbox isn't quite as responsive as we would have liked and the paddle shifters on the GT we drive (the 2.2-litre HDi) just weren't quick enough for our rather 'spirited' driving.

What you get for your Money

The Peugeot 508 will be available as a saloon and SW estate model from launch, with three trim levels offered: Access, Active and Allure. Standard equipment will include ESP, ASR, hill assist, driver, passenger and curtain airbags, air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, a full-size spare wheel and front fog lamps.

The Active model with either 112- or 140hp gains rear parking aid, automatic wipers and headlights, Bluetooth, cruise control and speed limiter, leather steering wheel, electrochrome rear view mirror, electric child locks, electric lumbar adjustment, dual-zone climate control, electric folding door mirrors and 17-inch alloys with anti-theft wheel nuts.

The top of the range Allure with either 140- or 163hp engines starts at €32,550 and gains keyless entry, full leather upholstery, front parking sensors, electric parking brake, electric / heated front seats, front and rear carpet mats and 18-inch alloys.

Worth Noting

The 508 comes to Ireland on the 29th of April, although Peugeot Ireland will be running a roadshow throughout the month of March where would-be customers will have a chance to try the car. We think it certainly deserves some patience on the part of the buyer if you are considering spending your own money on something this year.


Further proof, if it were needed, that Peugeot is improving by leaps and bounds can be found in this new 508. It must now be considered in the same breath as the Volkswagen Passat, Opel Insignia and Ford Mondeo. We would say to give it a serious look if you are buying in this segment.

Peugeot 508 1.6 HDi 112hp Access:

  • Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel

  • Maximum power: 112hp at 3,600rpm

  • Maximum torque: 240Nm at 1,500 - 3,000rpm

  • Acceleration (0-100km/h): 11.3 seconds

  • Maximum speed: 190km/h

  • Fuel economy (combined cycle): 4.7 litres/100km (60mpg)

  • CO2 emissions: 124g/km

  • Motor tax band: B

  • Annual road tax: €156

  • Price: €24,850

  • On sale in Ireland: April 29