Peugeot 508 (2011 – 2018) Review
Peugeot 508 (2011 – 2018) At A Glance
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.