This Peugeot is as big and as mechanically conventional as its class expects. Its body is a steel monocoque, with a transverse engine driving the front wheels, and there are MacPherson struts at the front, with a multi-link axle at the rear.
If you buy the highest-powered 508 GT variant, though, you’ll get double wishbones at the front. There are prohibitively expensive for the rest of the range, says Peugeot – but too expensive to develop for just one derivative of a family car, you’d have thought.
The 508 has a longer wheelbase than the 407, and has increased in overall length to 4.8 metres. Both saloon and estate variants of the 508 are styled, to our eyes and those of most observers, far more pleasingly than the 407 this car replaces – both more stylish and mature. In particular, Peugeot seems to have found a more stylish way to design the noses of its latest cars to meet pedestrian impact demands than it did previously.
All 508s are powered by either a 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre diesels. Power outputs range upwards from the 118bhp of the 1.6 HDi, a rather modest output for a car claimed to weigh at least 1545kg in estate form - even one that, like for like throughout the range, is said to be 45kg lighter than the 407 it replaces. The entry-level 2.0-litre HDi makes 148bhp and tipped our scales at 1680kg. The headline 2.0-litre diesel GT makes 178bhp.
At the top of the range is the 508 RXH, an Audi Allroad style estate that is the only bodystyle offered with the Hybrid4 powertrain option first seen in the 3008. This combines the 161bhp 2.0-litre HDI as in our test car with a 37bhp electric motor that powers the rear wheels.The only tranmission option is a six-speed automated manual gearbox.
Elsewhere in the range, the transmission options on the 508 are thankfully now less complicated than when the car was launched. The 1.6-litre and 148bhp 2.0 HD are both available with either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, while the range-topping 178bhp 2.0-litre HDi is only available as an automatic.