Peugeot 508 Review logo

Peugeot 508 Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2018
      Body type
      Large family car
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Very stylish, not very practical”

Best bits

  • Looks sensational
  • Interior wows, too
  • Decent electric-only range with the plug-in model

Not so great

  • Space compromised by the rakish design
  • Interior looks good, but there are some low-rent plastics
  • Touchscreen everything and odd driving position not ideal for everyone

Read by

Peugeot 508 Front View

Overall verdict

Peugeot 508 SW Front Interior

On the inside

Peugeot 508 Front View

Driving

Peugeot 508 Rearview

How much does it cost to run

Peugeot 508 Right Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Peugeot 508

"If the Peugeot 508 was a chair it would be Ame Jacobsen’s Egg Chair. Designed in 1959 for the Radisson hotel in Copenhagen it showed that everyday items could be jaw-droppingly stylish if you don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of practicality and paying a premium for the privilege."

Peugeot 508 Front View

The 508 follows that recipe to the letter. It has a svelte shape on the outside and sporty feel on the inside, yet back seat space has been sacrificed and it also costs a little more than rivals. 


In fairness, Peugeot had to try something. The marketplace the 508 competes in has been decimated by cars like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Indeed, many of Peugeot’s rivals have simply packed up and left the large family hatchback and saloon marketplace to concentrate on building SUVS.  

 

There are some compromises as a result of Peugeot’s ambitious positioning of the 508, as we’ve said the Peugeot is bettered, significantly in some cases, for interior spaciousness, and for all its expansive equipment, it’s not cheap. 


There’s no denying though that it’s one of the sharpest looking cars in the class, with its coupe-like roofline, bold grille and LED lighting and the sort of busy surfacing that make it really stand out. Its relative rarity helps here, too, that certain to be attractive to those saloon and hatchback buyers looking for something different from the premium norm.


Certainly, the 508 has the capacity to wow, the interior, which the company dubs i-Cockpit sees a large touchscreen in the centre of the tiered dashboard, while ahead of the driver is another digital display which offers configurability for your instrumentation.


The engine range is broadly based around turbodiesel offerings, with 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre choices, though there’s a 1.6-litre petrol engine offering various outputs and topping the range is a plug-in hybrid that promises the best of both worlds – fine daily economy and the potential for electric-only motoring of between 33-39 miles, and the long-legged ability of conventional propulsion thanks to the petrol engine.


In all but the entry-level turbodiesel shifting gears is taken care of by an eight-speed automatic transmission, and for those wanting a bit more practicality Peugeot offers the 508 as an estate, the Peugeot 508 SW


A slightly different take on the mainstream family car, then, and in many instances it’s a successful one, but the 508 doesn’t offer quite the rounded offering of some of its more sober-suited alternatives. Whether that’s a pay-off you’re prepared to make depends on how you’re likely to use it, but if practicality isn’t particularly high on your list of priorities, and head-turning looks are, then the Peugeot 508 might make some sacrifices you're willing to live with. 

Is the Peugeot 508 right for you?

It’s a brave buyer who diverts away from the upmarket German saloons that have decimated the mainstream models. But then, that’s exactly the point, and if you’re going to be bold and different then you might as well be noticed for it. And you’ll undoubtedly be noticed in the Peugeot 508. 


It’s a handsome car, with a rakish coupe-like profile and some really neat detailing outside, while the interior too is knock-out in relation to how it looks, even if reality it can be a little bit fiddly to operate. 


It’s fairly unremarkable to drive by the class standards, its super-light, direct steering bringing some agility, but it’s not as sporting as any of those German three, instead it sitting in the middle-ground between them and the most comfortable of the mainstream alternatives. If course if you need more space, there's the Peugeot 508 SW.

What's the best Peugeot 508 model/engine to choose?

The likelihood is you’ll be restricted by budget, or the monthly payment via your company car scheme, but it’s difficult to ignore the low running costs of the plug-in Hybrid model, which mates a 1.6-litre petrol engine to an electric motor and battery pack. It’s available from the Allure trim upwards, and for most buyers the specification it offers will be more than satisfactory, and cost you just shy of £35,000. 


GT Line trim above does add some slightly more overt styling outside – LED rear lights and a chequered front grille - as well things like a perforated leather steering wheel, ambient lighting and a wireless smartphone charging plate, but none of those would be a deal-breaker if we were walking into a Peugeot dealer.

What other cars are similar to the Peugeot 508?

SUVs might be the dominant sellers these days, but there are still plenty of choices as alternatives to the Peugeot 508. Vauxhall and Ford offer the Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo respectively which are both practical and good value and we'd always highly recommend the Skoda Superb and Mazda 6, plus of course the Volkswagen Passat.


The 508 however, is arguably a bit more stylish than most of those and attempts to move things upmarket, meaning it competes with the popular BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4. Don't forget the Jaguar XE and our favourite, the high quality Volvo S60. If you really want something different, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is worth a look.

Learn more

Peugeot 508 SW Front Interior

On the inside

Peugeot 508 Front View

Driving

Peugeot 508 Rearview

How much does it cost to run

Peugeot 508 Right Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Where is the Peugeot 508 built?

The Peugeot 508 is built in PSA's factory in Rennes, France.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

What does SW mean on Peugeot?

SW stands for Station Wagon and refers to the estate versions of Peugeot's family cars.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

Who designed the Peugeot 508?

Peugeot Design Director Gilles Vidal styled the eye-catching new 508, which he calls a "two-and-a-half-box" fastback.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

How long is a Peugeot 508?

The Peugeot 508 saloon is 4.75 m (187 in) long and has a wheelbase of 2.75m (110 in) – both are slightly smaller than the old 508's measurements.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody