Peugeot 508 (2011 – 2018) Review

Peugeot 508 (2011 – 2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Peugeot 508 was a return to form for the French company. After years of dull and lacklustre family cars, the 508 was the first sign that Peugeot had rediscovered its mojo. It’s almost as though someone at Peugeot had done their homework.

+Surprisingly good to drive, excellent diesel engines, attractive styling of post-facelift cars.

-Pre-facelift cars look dated, weak petrol engines, lack of premium image.

Insurance Groups are between 19–37
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

If you’re in the market for a family saloon, you could do a lot worse than the Peugeot 508. It might be less obvious than its mainstream rivals, and not as desirable as competitors with a premium badge, but it could offer the best of both worlds. Launched in 2011, and treated to a successful facelift in 2014, the Peugeot 508 is a rival to cars like the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat. To drive, it’s almost as satisfying as the BMW 3 Series. A 508 with a diesel engine will offer exceptionally low running costs.

Launched in 2011, early cars suffer from rather forgettable styling. Things improved when Peugeot facelifted the car in 2014, introducing a new look that still looks fresh today. Although most 508s left the showroom as a saloon, buyers could also opt for an estate model (badged ‘SW’). There were also some rather forgettable hybrid options.

Today, the Peugeot 508 is a used car bargain, with prices dropping as low as £2500. That said, the post-facelift cars are easier to recommend, and you’ll need to find at least £8500 for one of those. Either way, the 508 offers exceptional value for money in a market dominated by the likes of the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo and BMW 3 Series.

Most versions are well-equipped, but we’d avoid the entry-level trims. Opt for one of the higher trim levels and it will feel like you’ve bought a premium car on the cheap. You might be surprised by the level of quality – this is a world away from the Peugeots of the late 1990s and 2000s. It’s even a cut above contemporary Peugeots.

It’s also very good to drive, offering the balance of ride and handling we’d expect from a French car. It’s not cushion-soft in the style of a Skoda Superb, but the supple ride and precision handling will delight keen drivers. There’s still a gap between a 508 and a 3 Series, but it’s not as wide as you might think.

The Peugeot just feels that little bit more special than a mainstream saloon car. Even practicality is good, with the 508 boasting 473 litres of luggage capacity and space for five adults. Sure, a hatchback will be more useful still, but if you need more space, you could always opt for the 508 SW.

The facelifted models are the best of the breed. The styling overhaul extended to a new grille, LED lights, a revised rear bumper and new rear lights. Tech upgrades included a reversing camera and a mirror-based blind-spot warning system.

There was also a refreshed engine line-up, but whatever the age of the 508, you should opt for a diesel engine. The 1.6 HDi offers remarkable fuel economy, while the 2.0 HDi is almost as economical, but with more punch. There’s a 2.2 diesel, but although this is the quickest 508, you’ll pay a price in terms of efficiency. The petrol engines are best avoided.

If you’re considering a Peugeot 508 – and the fact that you’re here suggests you might be – we’re not going to talk you out of it. It’s only cheap because not enough people appreciate its talents, while the Peugeot badge is a negative point for some. Look beyond the lion, though, and you’ll find a car that’s great to drive, cheap to run and surprisingly upmarket.

Ask Honest John

Do I need to polish my car before waxing it to protect the paintwork?
"I have a 2011 Peugeot 508 SW. The paint work is still in good condition and has a fair amount of shine still. I'd really like to enhance the shine, bringing it as close as I could back to its original shine but at the same time protecting it from the elements. I have been reading various reviews and looking at purchasing the Soft99 Fusso Coat wax, but if I'm right I'd need to purchase something like the Autoglym Super Resin Polish to polish the car before applying the wax. Is this correct?"
You need a paint cleaner first. Autoglym does one. That's what I use, then follow it up with Autoglym High Def wax.
Answered by Honest John
What car can fit 3 child seats, plus reasonable boot space, for £6000?
"My son is looking to swap his 2011 Peugeot 508 SW for an old Volvo XC90 to accommodate a growing family. He wants to be able to fit 3 child seats in the back and still have room for luggage on long trips. Economy is important so petrol engines are out. The budget is about £6000 but I'm worried about expensive servicing and repairs on something like the XC90. He has struggled to find a clean Ford Galaxy in his price range and says the boot is too small when all the seats are up. Can you recommend some alternatives?"
A £6000 XC90 is likely to be an expensive mechanical nightmare. What might work is a Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life. I've been in the rearmost seat of one 7-up with luggage and it was fine. If he wants big and cheap, maybe a Hyundai i800, a KIA Sedona or a Ssangyong Rodius. These three are not recommendations, though.
Answered by Honest John
What estate should I buy to replace my Citroen C5 Tourer?
"I am looking to replace my 2009 Citroen C5 VTR+ Tourer 140 HDI with one that is 2 or 3 years old. I travel 8000 miles a year, 30% in town and the balance on motorways. I recently started using Millers additive in the branded fuel as an alternative to a 1:4 cocktail of v-power and branded diesel. With all the recent news and problems associated with diesel cars, I am strongly considering a petrol car. I have driven Citroen for 50 years and would like another C5 Tourer. Looking round for one I find they are almost non-existent, as is the Peugeot 508 SW. The Ford Mondeo Estate seems a likely alternative. Which petrol version would be best for my use? "
Depending on how old it is, the Mondeo can be had with a 1.6-litre 150PS Ecoboost or a 1.5-litre 150PS Ecoboost. Or a 240PS 2.0-litre Ecoboost with a Powershift transmission, or even a hybrid version. Check out for some of them, including the Vignale hybrid (doesn't have to be Vignale). An alternative is a Mazda 6 2.0 Skyactiv Tourer, or maybe a Toyota Avensis 1.8 i or 2.0 i Valvematic estate. None offer the magic carpet ride of a C5 with hydractive suspension, but, as usual, deeper profile tyres on smaller wheels help absorb some of the shocks. You might also consider a Toyota Auris hybrid Touring Sport. It's a lot bigger than the first generation Auris.
Answered by Honest John
Rejecting a used car - how can I get all of my money back?
"Further to previous correspondence with you regarding the ongoing issues with my Peugeot 508. Car purchased beginning of July this year: 2.0 HDI 140 Further to your advice on demanding a courtesy car or replacement (thank you) the garage have still not been successful in repairing the car. I've written to the dealer principal to demand either that the car be fixed or that my money be refunded. To cut a long story short, they have offered to refund the vehicle (or repair it) BUT will deduct monies to the sum of 30 pence per mile for use. I've done approximately 6000 miles in the vehicle which means I'm in for a deduction of £1800 against a purchase value of £7500 four months ago. This seems excessive in my opinion - bearing in mind the problem was first reported to them within a month of taking on the car. The dealer assures me that the 'industry standard is 40p per mile' and that they are essentially offering more than they need to. Do you consider this fair practice? Is it 'industry standard'? What do I do next? Currently they are looking to get the car back in to repair it."
I'd say cobblers to any "industry standard". Selling cars isn't an "industry" anyway. It's a business. 30p per mile would be fair for a new car, but if you only paid £7,500 for the car it wasn't new and would not have dropped £1,800 over 6,000 miles in 4 months. 20p per mile would be fair. If they don't agree, take the matter to Small Claims.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Peugeot 508 (2011 – 2018) cost?

Buy new from £31,770 (list price from £35,295)