5.7.2021Peugeot 508 Hybrid review
Peugeot’s 508 range has been designed and set-up to sit somewhere between conventional saloons and the executive market. It’s like VW’s Arteon, utilising coupe design details to create a sleek, stylish saloon. One crucial element to compete in this premium saloon market is an electrified option, and Peugeot’s 508 Hybrid does exactly that; offering a PHEV model for low running costs and attractive BIK rates for company car drivers and fleets.
Review by Chris Lilly
PEUGEOT 508 HYBRID: PERFORMANCE
Fitted to the 508 Hybrid is Peugeot’s 1.6 litre PureTech petrol engine, which is very good overall. In this case, it’s tuned to provide 181 hp, but is supported by an 81 kW electric motor. Combined output is 225 hp, good for a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph, or 84 mph in electric-only mode.
It’s not blisteringly fast as some executive PHEVs are then, but it’s quick enough, and the electric motor helps provide rapid pick-up at lower speeds. It’s a flexible system but relies heavily on the electric motor for refinement. The eight-speed EAT8 automatic transmission can be a bit slow to change gear when not using the motor to fill in the power gap, and the motor can jolt a little when kicking in if pushing hard. Not a bad system, but gentle use makes for smoother progress.
To drive, the 508 Hybrid is really rather composed and refined. The suspension is softer than on some rival models, which means that although there’s more body roll in corners, it is more comfortable, and soaks up bumps with aplomb.
In town or out, it proves composed, as well as offering precise steering, thanks in part to the small steering wheel. It’s not going to trouble Mercedes Benz’s C-Class in terms of comfort champion, but the set-up is pleasantly surprising, and grown up.
The Peugeot 508 is a fantastic car to look at, and showcases the style available from Peugeot’s range nicely. The saloon’s sloping roofline, swooping lines, and sharp cuts help create a premium look, and contrasts strongly with the more dour, standard saloons like the Ford Mondeo.
The downside to the sleek design is that rear occupants will feel more cramped due to a lower roof, though leg room is respectable, if not generous. Boot space is very good, and unchanged compared to non-PHEV models - some rivals can’t say the same.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Like the exterior, Peugeot’s interior designers have done a good job of creating a premium feel. The cabin features piano key-style buttons, and also has a good sized infotainment system, digital instrument cluster, gloss black plastic, and carbon-fibre effect trim. It’s not built as well as true premium rivals, but it does look and work well.
The 508 range uses Peugeot’s i-Cockpit system, which uses a compact steering wheel with the instruments placed above the wheel rim, rather than looking through the steering wheel to read them. I love the set-up, though concede that some drivers won’t like it.
PEUGEOT 508 HYBRID: MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Key figures here are an electric range of up to 39 miles on a charge, CO2 emissions as good as 30 g/km, and fuel economy of 235.4 MPG. Of course, the last figure depends greatly on how often the 508 Hybrid is charged.
In real-world conditions, the model tested achieved around 30 miles on a charge - closer to the GT trim’s 33 mile range than the most efficient model’s quoted figure above. Even on no charge, the petrol engine was returning about 50 MPG, but clearly regular charging greatly improves this.
Charging the Peugeot 508 Hybrid is possible at up to 3.7 kW AC as standard, though there’s a 7.4 kW AC option available. This will recharge the 11.8 kWh battery in around 3.5 hours or 1.5 hours respectively.
Driving modes allow the driver to switch into Eco, whilst there’s also brake energy recuperation to aid the electric range. EV modes can be selected including holding it in electric driving for as long as the battery charge lasts, or using the engine to top-up the battery on the move.
Equipment levels are very good for the 508 range, with two core trim levels, plus Premium versions of each. Entry level (for the Hybrid range) Allure includes 17-inch alloys, Peugeot i-Cockpit with 3D navigation, 10-inch display, and smartphone connectivity.
GT model tested adds leather steering wheel and upholstery, LED headlights, powered tailgate, and electric front seats.
PEUGEOT 508 HYBRID: MODEL SUMMARY
Peugeot’s 508 Hybrid isn’t the most accomplished PHEV on the market, but it is a good all-rounder. Well equipped, spacious enough for four adults, a useful electric range, and comfortable ride help make a case for the plug-in 508. It’s pricy to buy, but low running costs - in particular for company car drivers - mean Peugeot has an attractive option in its 508 line-up.
Model tested: Peugeot 508 Hybrid Fastback GT
Engine / CO2: 225hp petrol / 30 g/km
Trim grades: Allure, Allure Premium, GT, GT Premium
On-road price: 508 Hybrid range from £36,010. Price as tested: £38,010
Warranty: Three years / unlimited mileage
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 3.5 Stars