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Peugeot 508 (2011-2018) Review logo

Peugeot 508 (2011-2018) Review

heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508

1/10

Peugeot 508

2/10

Peugeot 508

3/10

Peugeot 508

4/10

Peugeot 508

5/10

Peugeot 508

6/10

Peugeot 508

7/10

Peugeot 508

8/10

Peugeot 508

9/10

Peugeot 508

10/10

1 / 10

00/10
heycar rating
"Well equipped and good value"
  • Launched: 2011
  • Large family car
  • Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid

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Quick overview

Pros

  • A good car to drive, with fine diesel engines
  • Extremely well equipped
  • Good value to buy used

Cons

  • Forgettable styling
  • Lacks premium car polish
  • Sharp ride on larger wheels

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Peugeot 508 Front View

Overall verdict

Peugeot 508 Front Interior

On the inside

Peugeot 508 Back View

Driving

Peugeot 508 Left Side View

Cost to run

Peugeot 508 Front View

Prices and Specs

Overall verdict

"The Peugeot 508 is a car that’s well worth a closer look if you’re considering used premium-badged cars and fancy something newer and better-equipped. It’s a satisfying car to live with and own. Its biggest hindrances are the badge and anonymous styling. Sadly, that’s why many will overlook it."

Peugeot 508 Front View

Peugeot has a long and proud history of building fine large cars. While the 2011-era 508 isn’t as memorable as some of the executive-sized cars it produced in the past, it’s still almost 4.8 metres long and has a commanding (if understated) presence in the company car park. What’s more, all those decades of knowing how to make great long-distance cars really show through.


Easily the 508’s biggest hindrance is the lack of a premium badge on its nose. If this were an Audi or BMW, it would get far more attention (and dramatically more sales). But unlike some mainstream marques, who simply build larger versions of small cars to cater for this shrinking sector, Peugeot produced a proper grown-up model with the 508. Spend time living with it and these qualities become apparent.


Inside, it’s commodious – the benefit of its space-efficient front-wheel-drive platform. Drivers have acres of space to get comfortable and it’s roomy in the rear as well. It is a four-door saloon, with the inevitable compromises that come in terms of practicality, but 473 litres of boot space is pretty good – and there’s the 508 SW estate if you need more.


Under the bonnet, diesel engines dominate the line-up. At launch, Peugeot offered a couple of turbo petrols, but hardly anyone bought them, so they were soon dropped. The line-up of power outputs is broad, from fuel-saving 1.6-litre motors to all-singing 2.2-litre diesels with 200PS. Later, Peugeot even offered a hybrid version with four-wheel drive.


All model variants were very well equipped. If you don’t have a posh badge, you can boost appeal with lots of standard features. Even the cheapest 508s have dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, 17-inch alloys and cruise control. As you move up through the range, the goodies just keep on coming.


This generation of 508 was face-lifted in 2014. It was a fairly extensive overhaul, with sharpened looks, clean new engines and improved infotainment. These versions still feel modern, thanks to their touchscreen system, and the distinctive LED running lights front and rear give the 508 much-needed presence on the road.


Perhaps the best bit about the 508 is driving it and living with it. You can feel the inbuilt engineering that’s gone into it. There’s an easygoing substance that belies the mainstream badge on the nose – it feels built to last, just like all those classic Peugeot 504s and 505s that just seem to go on and on around the developing world.


It’s a surprisingly sharp car to drive, with responsive manners, although the ride quality of versions with the largest alloy wheels can be caught out by sharp bumps. Mid-range versions are a nicer compromise between long-striding comfort and fingertip responsiveness.


The diesel engines are universally excellent, too – building upon Peugeot’s decades of experience here. Many of them are fitted with diesel particulate filters, and meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, so you can keep on driving safe in the knowledge you’re not emitting excessive pollution.


On the second-hand market, another great draw of the 508 are its prices. It’s considerably more affordable than a premium alternative, offering loads of metal for your money. Read on to find out everything you need to know about buying Peugeot’s big and able four-door saloon.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Peugeot 508 (2018-) review.

Is the Peugeot 508 right for you?

If you like to get the neighbours’ curtains twitching, you’ll probably still want an Audi or BMW or Mercedes-Benz. They all have enviable badges that Peugeot’s lion can’t match. But don’t worry about getting one up over the neighbours; think about what’s right for you, and your bank balance.


The Peugeot 508 is right for you if you want to save money yet still own an upmarket-feeling saloon car with lots of gadgets as standard and excellent diesel engines. It’s nice to drive, feels built for the long run and just think what you could do with the money you save over a similar-age Audi A4…


Face-lifted models do have a bit more visual appeal, if you want to try turning heads. But if you’re someone who buys for badge appeal, then we’re sorry – the 508 won’t be right for you.

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

While you can’t go wrong with any of the engines, the best ones are in the middle of the range: either a 1.6-litre or 2.0 HDi diesel. If you’re looking at early models, you’ll perhaps prefer to stick to the 2.0-litre HDi 140, as the first 1.6s were a bit light on power. Later versions had more oomph, particularly after the 2014 facelift.


While all model variants have lots of kit, entry-level Active spec does somehow look a bit basic. That’s why we prefer Allure, while the top-spec GT is extremely appealing, with luxury features such as Nappa leather and a colour head-up display.


Peugeot sold some fleet-friendly trim lines that combined the most CO2-friendly engines with a well-judged level of standard equipment (everything the busy company car driver could want, in fact). Today, they’re worth looking out for, as they are particularly good value for money and there are plenty on the second-hand market to choose from.

What other cars are similar to the Peugeot 508?

There are fewer mainstream cars competing in this sector than there were, due to the dominance of SUVs. Stalwarts include the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and Skoda Superb. All three do a similar job to the Peugeot and offer excellent value for money, including plenty of standard goodies, plus loads of space in the rear.


The Volkswagen Passat is a formidable rival, which itself has been around for decades to build a loyal following, and this era of Volvo S60 is also an alternative (it was not positioned quite so upmarket as its successor, so is more affordable).


Learn more

Peugeot 508 Front Interior

On the inside

Peugeot 508 Back View

Driving

Peugeot 508 Left Side View

Cost to run

Peugeot 508 Front View

Prices and Specs

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