What's it like?
The powertrain is unresponsive, inflexible and almost entirely one-dimensional. It is at least quiet and fairly economical, and good for more than 50mpg in mixed use once you’ve learned how to get the best out of it – which is better than the 3008 Hybrid4 did in our hands.
But be warned: that learning process will drain the zest out of your commute. You have to be patient with the engine and economical with the accelerator, and learn how to make the best use of that electric rear axle.
You must also ‘regenerate’ rather than friction-brake wherever possible, and rouse the combustion engine as infrequently as you can.
Basically, you have to be willing to make progress at all times like a terrified pensioner. Do that and the 508 feels like it’s operating as its maker intended; do anything else and it’s singularly disobliging to drive.
Although the 508 otherwise steers and handles well enough, an often noisy and restless ride completes the dynamic picture.
Should I buy one?
Your fleet manager will tell you all about the advantages of the PSA diesel hybrid system for company car drivers. The chief one is reduced benefit in kind tax. A 40 per cent income tax payer will be liable for £115 a month on the 508.
An equivalent Volkswagen Passat saloon (with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, a high-output diesel engine and in Sport trim) would cost £198 a month.
Poorer residuals and concurrently higher contract hire rates work against the Peugeot in that same comparison, but the 508 should still remain the cheaper fleet car at the end of every month. Cheaper than a Volvo S60 D5 automatic and a Honda Accord Type-S, too.
So the Peugeot 508's cabin, along with its attractive running costs, will appeal to business users; the flaccid powertrain and restless ride will put off others.
Peugeot 508 Hybrid4
Price £31,450; 0-62mph 9.0sec; Top speed 130mph; Economy 78.5mpg; CO2 emissions 95g/km; Kerb weight 1815kg; Engine 4cyls, 1997cc, turbodiesel plus electric motor assist; Power 161bhp at 3850rpm (diesel), 36bhp (electric); Torque 221lb ft at 1700rpm (diesel), 148lb ft (electric); Gearbox 6-spd automated manual