Peugeot has been on a roll recently.
After several years of visually underwhelming models, the French firm has well and truly recovered its position as a style icon for the everyday driver. The Peugeot 508, offered in both Fastback and SW estate bodystyles and introduced in 2018, is a fine case in point. Not only is it a looker, but it’s also practical, good to drive and a capable rival for the segment-leading Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Octavia.
With several powertrain variants available, the 508 can cover a wide spectrum of duties. Diesel options are the cheapest on the used market and the range opens with a 1.5-litre BlueHDi, which produces 128bhp for a 0-62mph time of 10sec. A more powerful 2.0-litre diesel, also available since launch but removed from sale in 2021, comes in 161bhp and 175bhp guises.
For petrol, drivers can choose from a 129bhp 1.2-litre and a 1.6-litre unit with outputs of 179bhp and 218bhp. In its 218bhp guise, the 508 offers a punchy 0-62mph time of 7.4sec. A plug-in hybrid arrived in 2019, using a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined 222bhp. The model achieves 0-62mph in 8.3sec and has an electric-only range of up to 32 miles.
In 2020, the Peugeot Sport Engineered (PSE) performance model joined the range. The most powerful Peugeot production car yet, it pumps out 355bhp and 383lb ft from its plug-in hybrid powertrain and has a 0-62mph time of 5.2sec.
All engines provide decent performance, with smooth power delivery, but the 508’s cruising capabilities are certainly more of a draw than its straight-line pace. Fans of outright speed will be better off with rivals such as the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series.
Where the 508’s engines might leave some drivers wanting more, its handling is fluid and direct. The model also offers a largely comfortable ride, but steer clear of those 19in alloys if you want the best comfort the 508 has to offer.
In terms of equipment, launch models were offered with Active trim as the entry-level spec, which included 17in alloy wheels, sat-nav, automatic headlights, a 12.3in digital instrument cluster and an 8.0in infotainment system.