Review: Peugeot 508 (2018)
Stand-out styling. Premium interior. Superb eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Initially limited engine choice. Limited UK market for this type of car.
Peugeot 508 (2018): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 74% of the official MPG figure
The 508 represents the pinnacle of PSA's attempt to move the Peugeot brand upmarket and in this it succeeds admirably.
A virtually 'all new' car with only engines carried over and even those much improved it impresses not just with its look but with its outstanding 'anthropometric' i-cockpit, ergonomically designed to accommodate the different torso to leg ratio of different people. .
The 508 certainly looks imposing, with an aggressive front design that features sweptback LED headlights and a huge upright grille. The slung back look is complemented by frameless doors and wheels that have been designed to fill the entire arches.
Available with a range of petrol and diesel engines as well as a plug-in hybrid version, the 508 is billed as a much more driver oriented car than the outgoing model and it's an undeniable upgrade on any large saloon that Peugeot as sold before.
It’s not quite in the same league as the BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE in terms of driving dynamics - thanks mainly to the overly light steering - but it’s pleasant enough for most drivers.
Inside the 508 gets the latest digital i-Cockpit system, with the traditional instrument binnacle replaced with a 12.3-inch screen that can be customised with maps, route directions and in-car data. A 10-inch colour screen dominates the minimalist dashboard and the layout mirrors the 3008 with neat aircraft-styled switches providing useful shortcuts to all of the touchscreen controls.
There’s plenty of space for four adults to fit comfortably - although adults in the rear might find the seating position a tad awkward - while the 487-litre boot should provide lots of everyday practicality for company car drivers and family buyers alike, with a wide opening and 60/40 split rear seats.
Peugeot’s flagship model can also be equipped with an array of semi-autonomous driver assistance tech that include a new night vision system that'll use an infrared camera to detect pedestrians at night, and apply the brakes automatically should they step out in front of the car.
What does a Peugeot 508 (2018) cost?
Peugeot 508 (2018): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
Peugeot nailed the interior of its 3008 and 5008 SUVs - and now it’s done the same with its 508. Premium yet very, very different to something like a BMW 3 Series, the 508 features lots of soft-touch materials and that typical, tiny Peugeot steering wheel.
There are two slightly different dashboards depending on whether you spec for a manual or automatic gearbox. We prefer the automatic’s floating centre console, which is handy as the auto gearbox is the option to go for in this car (hit the 'driving' tab above to find out why…). Tucked away under the floating dash is a wireless phone charger.
The front seats of the Peugeot 508 are extremely comfortable and finding a good driving position is easy thanks to multi-way electric adjustment (standard on the GT level). A massage function is also standard on the GT and optional on lesser models.
Rear seat passengers aren't quite so well catered for. Headroom is fine once you're in the car, although tall passengers will have to be careful not to hit their head when getting in and legroom is little more than adequate.
You'll also sit slightly awkwardly with your knees above your legs - a pose that can soon become uncomfortable. This isn't uncommon for cars of this ilk, however, and if you regularly carry rear passengers you'd be better with a 3008 or 5008.
The biggest disappoint is the 508's 10-inch infotainment display, which is standard on all but entry-level Active models. It controls everything from the radio to the climate control, and is irritatingly laggy to use. We also failed to get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to work in our test car and the DAB radio had a very poor reception a lot of the time.
An annoying 'quirk' of the infotainment system is that, when doing anything from adjusting the air conditioning to turning on the massage seats, you'll temporarily lose the navigation information. That's frustrating when your passenger decides they're a bit warm as you're navigating a city centre ring road. And, although the toggles below the screen look pretty slick and act as shortcuts to various features, it's difficult to decipher what does what - especially in the dark.
Infotainment aside, another potential weakness of the 508 is its build quality. Peugeot's been trying to shrug off a reputation for flakey build quality, yet we've driven a few 508s which have had various creaks and rattles, despite being practically new. It makes you question how well it will last after a few years of family life - although we might be unfairly judging early production models.
Standard equipment from launch:
Active features Peugeot Connect SOS and assistance, safety pack (with advanced autonomous emergency braking, distance alert and lane keeping assistance), automatic dual zone climate control, rear parking sensors, warning triangle, leather steering wheel, cloth seats with manual adjustment, navigation, voice recognition, DAB radio , Mirror Screen (with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), 17-inch alloy wheels plus the visibility pack with automatic headlights, automatic windscreen wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror and follow me home headlights.
Allure adds active suspension (on 1.6 Puretech), safety plus pack (with active blind spot detection, advanced driver attention alert, smartbeam assist, speed limit and road sign recognition), Peugeot i-Cockpit with 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display, keyless entry and push button start, power fold door mirrors with blind spot detection indicator, rear armrest with ski flap and two cup holders, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, ambient interior lighting, front and rear carpet mats, electric front seat lumbar and base angle adjustment, heated front seats, leather seats, two rear USB sockets and 17-inch alloy wheels.
GT Line comes with self-levelling headlights, tinted windows, aluminium pedals, wireless phone charger, black door mirrors, chequered radiator grille with chrome trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED head and taillights and visibility pack (with frameless, auto-dimming rear view mirror).
GT adds active suspension, drive assist pack plus (with adaptive cruise control and lane positioning assist), memory function for door mirrors, power folding door mirrors, smart electric tailgate, multi-way adjustable electric seats, massage seats, premium speaker system and 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.
First Edition features night vision, 360-degree colour camera system, fully automated parking assistance, Alcantara and part leather seat trim, stainless steel door sill scuff plates with 'First Edition' inscription, chrome chequered radiator grille with gloss black edge trim plus 19-inch two-tone diamond cut alloy wheels.
Child seats that fit a Peugeot 508 (2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Peugeot 508 (2018) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.5 BlueHDi 130 to 2.0 BlueHDi 160 EAT8
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 39–58 mpg
Peugeot's really pushing the 508 as a car for enthusiastic drivers in the same way the Ford Mondeo once was. And in some ways, it's succeeded. It goes around corners without resorting to tyre-squealing too early on and the car remains composed with very little body roll.
There's a small steering wheel (a Peugeot trademark in recent years) which helps make the 508 feel surprisingly nimble in the corners. Feedback is lacking, though. It artificially weights up through bends and you're never quite sure how much grip is left.
When you're not hustling the 508 through corners, its steering is almost unnervingly light. That's good around town, although the small steering wheel is very keen to react to inputs. As a result, on the motorway it can be too eager to move around in the lane.
Steering aside, the 508 is a very competent motorway cruiser. It's very quiet and refined at 70mph, with assistance features like the adaptive cruise control and lane positioning assist (standard on the GT) doing a fine job of making your life easier.
The optional active suspension (standard on higher-spec models) does a good job of smoothing out uneven road surfaces, although firming it up using the drive modes seems to make negligible difference. With the standard suspension, the 508 does tend to bounce over the odd bump, but its ride could never be described as firm.
All petrol and diesel engines are quiet and refined, although the 1.6-litre Puretech 225 isn't as quick as you'd imagine. The 180PS will suffice for most drivers, while the plug-in petrol hybrid - added in early 2020 - gives the 508 serious company car appeal with 29g/km of CO2 and an offical 217mpg.
When it comes to performance, the plug-in hybrid is also one of the most potent in the 508 range, with the petrol engine and electric motor combing to produce 225PS. It will also cover up to 34 miles in all-electric mode from a 1.45h charge via a home wallbox.
Most 508 models sold in the UK will come with the eight-speed automatic gearbox. Although there's a slight delay when hitting the accelerator, most of the time the auto gearbox is in the correct gear and it's well suited to the car. More so than the manual gearbox, which feels a little stodgy to use.
One clever gadget that's available on the 508 is the night vision assist. This uses an infrared camera to monitor the road ahead and detect pedestrians when it's dark or visibility is reduced. We've tried the same system on the DS7 Crossback and it works well, although we can't help but think it's a bit of a gimmick. Especially as it's a £1300 option on the 508, unless you get one of the early (expensive) First Edition models.
Fortunately, all but the entry-level Allure come with a reversing camera. Rear visibility is pretty poor, thanks to large pillars blocking your view and weirdly small door mirrors.
|1.5 BlueHDi 130||72–74 mpg||9.7 s||101–103 g/km|
|1.5 BlueHDi 130 EAT8||74–76 mpg||10.0 s||98–101 g/km|
|1.6 Puretech 180 EAT8||51–52 mpg||7.9 s||123–125 g/km|
|1.6 Puretech 225 EAT8||50 mpg||7.3 s||131 g/km|
|2.0 BlueHDi 160 EAT8||60–63 mpg||8.3–8.4 s||118–124 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Peugeot 508 (2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Peugeot 508 (2018)?
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