Living with the Peugeot 508: A Fortnight in Sunny Noosa

 

 

 

 

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The Iphone 4 with Navigon. NOTE: the 2 buttons below the phone have a cupholder either side. With the driver’s cupholder in use, the Cup sits so high that it BLOCKS the LCD screen even if the larger SATNAV screen is fitted. Can you imagine steaming hot coffee spilling into the controls below? What a daft place for holders.

 

 

 

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Fog and rain along the top of the Blackall Range between Montville and Flaxton

 

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508 ALLURE Sedan at Noosa Heads Surf Club car park

 

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508 Allure sedan at the http://www.apollonianhotel.com.au/ at Boreen Point.

 

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Allure Touring and the fishmarkets on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast

MORE PICS OF 508 HERE

 

Have you ever wondered why European cars are the ones to be bought when someone wants a luxury motor car? We simply accept there is something about them that car makers on the other continents don’t quite get. It would be easy for the Americans or Asians to take a Euro-car and take it to bits to see how it works. They haven’t done this, or if they have it hasn’t worked.

We jumped at the chance to have a further few weeks behind the wheel. Our earlier drive revealed what the 508 is like around town and on short highway hops, but a lazy break away under the hot Queensland sun was something to get even the driest juices flowing. A luxury executive Euro saloon, the beach, the mountains and lots of free time; sounds like a recipe as perfect and as simple as smoked salmon, cream cheese and little triangles of lightly toasted bread.

Sadly, Queensland has suffered, like the rest of the country, one of the most awful summers in memory. There was rain, mediocre temps, wind and occasional blasts of Arctic air. Every city felt like being in  Melbourne on a good day, but I digress. The one bright spot in an otherwise dreary and unpredictable summer seeing how a car performs in all seasons and in all conditions. It was during a torrential downpour that we pulled in to the car park of Peugeot’s secret inner Brisvegas headquarters and so a perfect time to detect any unfortunate leaks in the test car. Our shiny 508 evidentially hadn’t been made on a Wednesday, or after big lunch of French wine and a baguette,  because not so much as a skerrick of moisture penetrated our inner sanctum. There’s one great-big-new-TICK before we’ve even turned a key.

Our 508 had the midrange 120KW turbo diesel. It’s true that I’d have preferred the quite wonderful 150KW top-of-the-line GT engine but one mustn’t complain. The bottom to choices really don’t cut the mustard for me. The 115KW turbo petrol is OK but the 82KW turbo diesel should be kept strictly for those who have lost the will to live. There is more than enough poke in the 120KW model to get the old girl moving along at a respectable rate. More importantly, it does it while sipping mere wasp-sized mouthfuls of  juice. Happy days.

I’m pleased to report the work Peugeot did on their quality control seems to have paid off.  The new generation of models are more robust while still keeping the Frenchness that gives them their Je ne sai quoi. Sadly the cloud-like ride is gone for good and the lounge chair seating has been similarly banished. I loved this about the very old Pugs but needs-must and a modern consumer demands firmer rides, and for some inexplicable reason, seats hard enough to leave an imprint of its stitching on your butt.    

It seems Peugeot has aimed the 508 squarely at the savvy mainstream buyer who might have gone for a full size car at the luxury end of the market. That word “luxury” is one applied a wide range of vehicles and in my view is one that is over-used. Many car makers use “luxury” to describe their top models but in truth the term couldn’t be less accurate. The 508 however is well deserving of the description because from stem to stern it exudes quality in design, build and material. The overall impression is value for money wrapped in a smart looking, well made coat.

Since you can read all about it in our other tests, we’ll quickly run through a few of the important points:

· Excellent diesel engines with fab fuel economy

· Beautiful classy interiors trimmed in quality finishes with top-notch fixtures

· Similarly classy exterior, smooth lines, quality look and feel

· Sophisticated auto whose shifts are as smooth as a baby’s bottom

· Oodles of room in the cabin and an enormous boot for lots of DJ’s bags

· Well priced for a full-size luxury Euro saloon

· Long list of inclusions with options list getting shorter

Take it from me, if ever you have a “sports” button on your dashboard, USE IT! The throttle, steering and transmission start to tingle and the whole car feels like its ready to go clubbing. There’s a sharpness with a discernable edge that once experienced can’t be ignored. This is particularly evident in tight mountain roads where the big Peugeot seems to know what you want almost before you do. Although the shifters on the steering wheel allow you to make your own gear changes, the system seems to do a better job than most people ever could. On the highway the 508 has long legs and lopes along in 6th with the engine scarcely ticking over at well under 2,000 rpm’s. In the mountains, and in sports mode, the gears are held longer and the revs are kept higher. This means a reserve of power and torque are instantly available for tight turns followed by bursts of acceleration. The road climbed steeply up thickly wooded  passes with occasional glimpses  through the trees to the villages on the valley floor far below. The 508 wasn’t at all bothered by the sharp turns and twists and indeed felt more sports car than deluxe transport. As we came out from under the dense canopy, the road led into a thick bank of fog like a scene from a Spielberg movie. From the safe cocoon of the Peugeot, the experience seemed quite magical and even a little mystical. The weather had turned nasty but it was warm, dry and protected inside. Moreover, it was a place one would want to be rather than merely to get out of the weather.

Peugeot have also done a lot of work on the engines. Peugeot’s 505 GTd had a 2.5 turbo-diesel with an anaemic 79kw pulling around that enormous body and it was as pathetic as the numbers would suggest. While not blistering, the 508 serves a moderately warm plate of medium chillies so as not to blow the back of your head off. The GT is the best choice for a slightly more spirited performance and also has the double wishbones suspension up front which you notice in the corners. Considering that GT is more than 5k cheaper than the Holden Calais or Ford Falcon top spec, and is better equipped, and has better handling, and is more technically advanced, it is quite simply, better value. Still, that V8 Calais has a honking great 6L engine which fills a primal need, and provides 110 extra KW which is not to be sniffed at. The real cost is at the pump where you’ll make many more stops. After all, you can only go 110KPH in Australia so does it really make a huge difference in your life that you get to the limit 3 seconds after a car with an engine 3 times the size using more than twice the fuel putting out 3 times the CO2?

We didn’t have the GT this time around but rather the allure sedan and touring (wagon). When you have a car for a longer drive you notice things that might have slipped past the first time round. Also, niggles you thought would really get you hardly matter a jot.

I’m glad to see the steering wheel buttons now control the auxiliary functions. The ridiculous stalk mounted controls have been banished to history and are now an unpleasant memory. You once needed to remember to investigate what all the buttons did before you set off on your journey. Even then you constantly hit the wrong buttons because there were so many of them and they were all hidden behind the steering wheel.

The Good:-

Fabulous handling especially in the GT with the double wishbones

Good sounding stereo

Fantastic fuel economy even in the 2.2L model

Electric parking brake applies itself (and releases when you take off) if you forget

Very quiet on the road except for the awful bitumen chip surfaces

Electric steering has feel

The Bad:-

Satnav (and usb/Bluetooth media streaming) froze after phone calls and needed the car restarted

Bluetooth continually froze after a call

Ipod folder search parameters MUST be selected in config of the Audio Setup menu NOT search menu in Ipod.USB in non-satnav model

Cup holders right above the switches which could spill liquid into the electronics.

Cup holders too small for normal size cup

Cup holder with cup in OBSCURES the centre LCD completely (satnav, radio etc blocked by cup)

AC took a long time to cool the car down on a 37c day (wagon with full glass roof with shade deployed)

USB difficult to use and needed unplugging or car restarted on many occasions.

One thing which didn’t surprise me was how hot the Touring (wagon) was after being left for the day to stew in its own juices in the carpark of Australia Zoo. 37c plays havoc with panoramic glass roofs even when the shade is fully shut. We set after after a day spent oohing and ahhing at the pretty animals hoping to be ice cold  quick smart, but it was not to be. It took fully 20 minutes for the AC to finally cool the cabin down. Frosty Air Cond is a must have in hot old OZ. Similarly, full length glass roofs should be outlawed. Pretty as they are, they cause everyone inside to fry like a breakfast egg and are a daft waste of money, as well as adding extra weight. However this is well and truly countered but a very classy interior, super comfy seats and a nippy performance, all belying the dowdy reputation of a car with an oil burning engine. The exterior has the same pleasing lines and thoughtful design. The gaping mouth of the 407 was kicked to the curb as was the awful stumpy boot that looked as if it had been rear-ended by the Indian-Pacific.

The test cars (4 of them so far for a week each) have never put a foot wrong. There have been reports of 508s not starting and taking weeks to fix because the parts have had to be flown in. I personally have had experience with such things in a shiny new personally owned Peugeot, but I’ve also had the same things happen in new Holdens, Toyotas and Fords. It’s the luck of the draw. I can’t help but feel the dealers can be very slack indeed and perhaps non-aligned repair centres are better tuned to the customer needs. Who can say? What I can say is apart from the matter raised there were not issues and the car ran flawlessly. Some of the issues may well be user error but it is something I would want to be clear on before buying any car no matter how much I was spending.

To wrap it up, the Peugeot 508 sedan and wagon have a luxury feel with quality finishes and thoughtful inclusions. The electronics appear to fairly reliable, the steering is fabulous and the brakes are pin-point sharp. It really does have a sporty feel and in my opinion presents decent value and a must see for the upwardly mobile exec-type lad who fancies being seen in something with a bit of panache.

Here’s what we thought of the 508 the first time round

Peugeot 508 $36,990 – $52,990

2012 Peugeot 508 4D SEDAN ALLURE HDi Data

GENERAL INFO

Release Date

Jul 01, 2011

Price Guide

$42,990

Body Style

4D SEDAN

Engine

DIESEL TURBO F/INJ

Transmission

6 SP AUTOMATIC

Safety Rating

N/A

Green Vehicle Guide Rating

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Fuel Type

DIESEL

Fuel Consumption

5.7 L / 100 km

Max Power

120kW @ 3750 RPM

GREEN AND SAFETY RATINGS

ANCAP Rating (out of 5)

N/A

Green Vehicle Guide Overall Rating (out of 5)

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COý Emission

149

Green House Rating (out of 10)

7.5

Air Pollution Rating (out of 10)

6

 

COý Emission

149

Green House Rating (out of 10)

7.5

Air Pollution Rating (out of 10)

6

ENGINE

Engine

DIESEL TURBO F/INJ

Capacity

1,997 cc

Size

2.0L

Cylinders

DT4

Valve Gear

DUAL OVERHEAD CAM

Bore x Stroke

85×88

Max Power

120kW @ 3750 RPM

Max Torque

340Nm @ 2000 RPM

Compression Ratio

16.0

No. of Valves

16

TRANSMISSION

Transmission

6 SP AUTOMATIC

Drive

FWD

Gear Final Ration

N/A

BRAKES

Front

DISC – VENTILATED

Rear

DISC

SUSPENSION

Front

Anti roll bar
Coil Spring
Gas damper
MacPherson strut

Rear

Coil Spring
Hydraulic double acting shock absorber
Multi-link system

STEERING

Type

RACK & PINION – POWER ASSISTED

WHEELS

Front

215/55 R17

Rear

215/55 R17

Front Rim Size

7×17

Rear Rim Size

7×17

DIMENSIONS

Body Style

4D SEDAN

Doors

4

Height

1,456 mm

Width

1,853 mm

Seats

5

Ground Clearance

143 mm

Wheel Base

2,817 mm

Turning Circle

12 m

Track Front

1,579 mm

Track Rear

1,552 mm

Towing – Braked

1,375 kg

Towing – Unbraked

750 kg

Kerb Weight

1,520 kg

Payload

N/A

Gross Vehicle Mass

N/A

FUEL

Type

DIESEL

Capacity

72 L

Fuel Consumption City Combined

5.7 L / 100 km

Highway Consumption

N/A

STANDARD FEATURES

Standard

Power Windows
Radio CD with 8 Speakers
Rain Sensing Wipers
Seat belt Pre-tensioner
Side Front Air Bags
Sport Seats
Traction Control System
Trip Computer

Optional

Metallic Paint

SERVICE

Months

12 months

KMS

20,000 kms

WARRANTY

Months

36 months

KMS

100,000 kms

Noosa Diaries: day 7 Troy’s visit

NOTE:- Last night went down the hill for dinner. There is a surf comp in tow so the place is heaving. There were waits at all the food joints. I thought a place on the beach might have been nice to take the parents for like everywhere else there was at least a half hour wait. It didn’t worry me but the InLaws and the Gen Y brother want everything NOW. We went through a small arcade onto the boardwalk and came upon the most marvellous sandcastle. It must have taken hours to construct and was lit by several spirit burners. I’ve never seen anything as wondrous. The note said “please take a photo. A donation is most welcome.” I emptied my coin purse into the container. Here’s why:

 

Sand Castle Noosa Main Beach (2)Sand Castle Noosa Main Beach (3)Sand Castle Noosa Main Beach (4)Sand Castle Noosa Main Beach (5)

Sand castle, Noosa Main Beach. Worth every penny.

 

Our mate Troy drove 2 hours to pop up and see us. We wandered down to Hastings street after going for a short spin in the 508. Troy likes a posh car and thinks the supercharged C180 he is is the bees knees. I’m not sure I agree. If I’m paying 80k I want something with better performance and/or better looks. C classes are all well and good, but cost too much and deliver too little.

 

Had lunch at one of the cafes on the boardwalk on the beach. You can just see the corner or their marquee right near the edge of the lawn.

 

 Noosa Main Beach boardwalk (17)

We had a lazy day after that with more pool, steam and spa. There is nothing wrong with that and it was great to make use of the facilities on holidays for a change, after all we’ve paid for them.

Noosa Diaries: day 6 Crikey, it’s Australia Zoo day!

NOTE:- day 5 hung out in Noosa. Nothing to report.

 

It’s a million degrees today. I remember now why I left Queensland. We’re meeting hubby’s mum and dad at Australia Zoo out on the old highway. In all the years we had a beach house at Marcoola/Mudjimba and drove past this zoon we never went in.

The 508 has travelled 550 k’s and hasn’t yet hit half a tank. How awesome is that? My directionally challenged hubby had some trouble with the Satnav. Mother insisted on calling a hundred times to see where we were. On one of those calls the system froze after she hung up. We couldn’t get it going again so had to stop the car and restart it. It was around that time I discovered the cup holders don’t take a standard cup and since they are on the console under the LCD screen, will spill liquid down the controls if your cup is disturbed. Even worse it completely blocks the view of the screen which is is dumb beyond belief. I always thought the position was suspect, but that was before I used an actual cup. Didn’t a little Frenchman sit in a mock-up before they put it into production? Obviously not, he was too busy having a little un vin rouge.

 

peugeot 508 cup holder

The bit behind the cup is the “map” section of the satnav. And just try getting repeat directions.

 

 

We arrived at the Zoo with Steve Irwin’s picture high overhead and it’s as hot as hades in the car park. Met mum and dad inside.

Saw the wombats, cuddled the Koalas and smooched a Kanga. I’d have kissed the Komodo Dragon but it would have your head off quick as look at you.

Loved the Africa Savannah. We should have caught the tram because it’s a long walk especially under the baking sun. Loved the Rhinos. They reminded me if Gina Rinehart and I just can’t think why. 

gina rhinoface - rinehartAustralia Zoo african savannah rhinos (6)

Had lunch after the show at the Crocaseum. I had very low expectations of this event but I had a ball. The Macaws, Major Mitchells and Black Cockatoo made a spectacle but the star was surely the Condor with its 1.8 metre wingspan. How did they train these birds to fly around the stadium and not just fly off into the distance. I know I would have if I was a birdie. The croc rising from the water was a sight to behold.

That Cassowary has a face only a mother could love. Patted the lazy Kanga again on the way back.

All up we spent  5 hours there and could easily have stayed longer. I had my 60 bucks worth though and was anxious to board the Pug and head north to a cold drink and cold A/C.

 

Australia Zoo  turtle 068 (3)Australia Zoo  turtle 068 (4)Australia Zoo 003Australia Zoo 091Australia Zoo 092Australia Zoo 100Australia Zoo 101Australia Zoo african savannah (3)Australia Zoo african savannah rhinos (6)Australia Zoo Asian Otters 008 (1)Australia Zoo Cassowary 043 (2)Australia Zoo Cassowary 043 (6)Australia Zoo cheetah 131Australia Zoo chinese dragon 116 (1)Australia Zoo crocaseum 114 (5)Australia Zoo crocaseum 114 (8)Australia Zoo crocaseum 114 (9)Australia Zoo crocaseum 114 (11)Australia Zoo DINGO 036 (1)Australia Zoo giraffes (5)Australia Zoo Kangaroo 087 (4)Australia Zoo Kangaroo 087 (5)Australia Zoo Koala 058 (5)Australia Zoo Koala 058 (6)Australia Zoo Komodo Dragon  011Australia Zoo MacawAustralia Zoo red pandas 117 (1)Australia Zoo red pandas 117 (2)Australia Zoo Tasmanian Devil 031 (3)Australia Zoo Tasmanian Devil 031 (5)Australia Zoo Tasmanian Devil 031 (6)Australia Zoo water dragon 017Australia Zoo wombat feeding 079 (2)Australia Zoo wombat feeding 079 (3)Australia Zoo wombat feeding 079 (7)Australia Zoocat enclosure pool  122

Noosa Diaries: day 2 Hastings Street. The pug gets the day on light duties.

 

 

Noosa hastings stNoosa main beach (1)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (1)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (2)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (3)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (4)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (5)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (6)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (7)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (8)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (9)a view from our balcony breakfree noosa (10)Ally leading to Noosa Main Beachbreakfast view from our balcony breakfree noosa (1)breakfast view from our balcony breakfree noosa (2)breakfast view from our balcony breakfree noosa (3)Breakfree NOOSA (1)Breakfree NOOSA (2)Breakfree NOOSA (3)Noosa main beach (2)Noosa main beach (3)Noosa main beach (4)Noosa main beach (5)Noosa main beach (6)Noosa main beach (7)Noosa main beach (8)Noosa main beach (9)Noosa Main Beach (10)Noosa Main Beach (12)Noosa Main Beach (13)sand pumping building Noosa Main Beach (11)Noosa Main Beach (14)Noosa Main Beach (15)Noosa Main Beach boardwalk (17)Noosa Main Beach boardwalk (18)Noosa Surf Club and views (1)Noosa Surf Club and views (2)Noosa Surf Club and views (3)Noosa Surf Club and views (4)Noosa Surf Club and views (5)Noosa Surf Club and views (6)Noosa Surf Club and views (7)Noosa Surf Club and views (8)peugeot 508 wagon at noosa surf clubView from our balcony (1)View from our balcony (2)View from our balcony (3)View from our balcony (4)Mouth of Noosa River (1)Mouth of Noosa River (2)Mouth of Noosa River (3)Noosa hastings st 2

Roll over the image for info or click for a larger view.

 

It’s been raining so not risking getting caught in it so we’ve driven the few hundred metres down the hill. I couldn’t bear to leave the Pug in the garage. She performed faultlessly today but what can go wrong going downhill for 2 minutes.

Weather still gloomy so walk along the beach. Went to the mouth of the Noosa River and stood on the rock wall. Current very fast with water from the floods. Brown muck floating into Laguna Bay. Sent Matt to investigate.  Matt paddled out on some kind of water contraption. I don’t do water contraptions. He reported it is “brown muck” and that he thoroughly enjoyed his paddle about in Laguna bay. Bugger all good that did!

The beach has some sand this year. The last few years the sand has been missing. Walk off the edge of the boardwalk and you’d fall flat on your face a few metres below. Not only that the strip of sand was only a few metres wide. My memories of Noosa as a kid have huge sand dunes rising behind the surf club. The idiots changed the mouth of the river and would you believe it the first cyclone saw the beach vanish almost over night. Serves them right.

You can see in the pics from the Surf Club that the beach stair railings continue into the sand as if descending into a ghostly basement. This is the result of the sand pumping the council has to do to ensure the loss doesn’t result in the same decline seen on the rest of the Sunshine Coast.

We had a slap-up lunch at the Noosa Surf Club. I LOVE a life saver or 4. The club has had a bucket of money spent on it and looks great. It’s position looking over the main beach can’t be bettered anywhere on the strip.

We drove the few k’s to the Noosa National Park entrance. No parking, so back to our digs for drinkies, pool, spa, sauna and steam room. See pictures.

NOTE TO SELF: don’t use the spa if a half a dozen hot euro-trash tourists have have been sitting in it for 4 hours the night before, use one of the other two spas.

Re our resort, like the rest of the Sunshine Coast, is a but down at heal. It’s clean but the restaurant and pool bar have been closed for 3 years despite being on the list of resort highlights. The “Poo Depth” sign an obvious sign of neglect. The gardens are live in but could do with a thorough seeing to

I discovered the 508 applies the parking brake if you forget. It’s electric just like the windows, seats and steering. It also releases itself if you forget. Since this is the leather seat model, I was expecting a reversing camera since we are in the premium range but only sensors have been provided. Hey ho. The electric steering is still a bit on the light side but I I’m getting used to it. The ride, though not Peugeot of the old days, is pretty damned fabulous. I can imagine putting matt’s sports gear in the back.

Keeping this entry brief as there is drinking to be done. Enjoy the pics.

Peugeot 508 eHDI: Fab or Fail?

27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 508_1007PC0281508_2010_160_ACC.img508_2010_jfb06227/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com - FOR PEUGEOT AUSTRALIA 201127/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com - FOR PEUGEOT AUSTRALIA 201127/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com - FOR PEUGEOT AUSTRALIA 2011

The good: gorgeous body, classy interior, good equipment level.

The bad: stop/start not smooth,awful  transmission – too slow to change up

You’ll remember we nearly wet ourselves when we tested the gorgeous 508 GT saloon and Allure Wagon a few months ago. We fairly frothed at the mouth at the handling that harkened back to the halcyon days of French car design. The days when a Peugeot felt as at home on a rally track as it did on the Champs Elysees and had the proportions both beautiful and desirable. We may have inadvertently mentioned the design had taken a terrible turn down Dreadful Street stopping at the corner of Ugly Lane. Then came the voluptuous RCZ which transformed Peugeot’s slightly frumpy image overnight.

We drove the 508 GT sedan and Allure wagon a few months ago and fell in love. It’s true that big French cars can be hit and miss. For some reason the tasty 607 never realised its full potential and remained largely unloved. Indeed the 508 replaces the poor 607 as well as the smaller, rather odd looking 407.

The eHDI had much to live up to. Did it come up to the standard of her sisters? The exterior shares the same gracious lines as the other models so the promise builds. There is no evidence of the eHDI being an entry level model but it does miss out on a few of the delicious luxuries, so sadly there is none of the much-loved keyless entry/start which is a terrible shame. You’re stuck with having to get the key out of your bag and pressing a button to unlock the door. The things we do.

Sure, some of the luxury from the range topper is absent, but most of the fixtures and fittings are exactly the same as in the GT so it’s a only bit of leather and the odd gizmo which is not present and accounted for. You would need to be slightly OCD to find any real difference and the same goes for the handling. The GT of course has the double wishbone front end but most of us won’t notice that much of a difference.

Since only the drivetrain is different that’s where we’ll focus our attention. If you’d like to see the test of the GT and Allure click here. So here comes the crunch, I stepped into the eHDI with the engine already running. The girl at Peugeot had warned me that the “auto” would take about 3 seconds to change from 1st to 2nd. “3 Milliseconds surely,” I said. She just looked at me, oh dear.

I left Peugeot’s secret head office vehicle storage location, just off Parramatta Road at Homebush, and set off into the Sydney traffic and for me this is where things gradually started going wrong. As promised, the gear changes were as if an unseen foot had depressed the unseen clutch and an unseen hand had moved the gear lever to a higher cog. Imagine sitting at a set of lights. Because of the stop/start, the engine has switched off and you sit there listening to something tasteful on the audio system. You’re hoping like hell that when you remove your foot from the brake, the engine starts by the time your foot has reached the go pedal. It works but is frightful when you’re trying to sneak into tight parking spots as it can be a bit jumpy.

You move off from the lights but just as you get a little momentum, the power vanishes and all those on-board lurch forward like a minibus full of drunken footballers. When the power returns on a higher cog a few seconds, yes seconds, later, you all lurch backward again. My passengers soon complained about a slight feeling of sea sickness and this continued throughout the week.

The situation improves slightly by using “sport” mode but passengers still look like those dash-doggies from the 70’s. You know the ones with the spring and made the head of the dog bob about like a ping-pong ball on steroids. The only way to reduce this quite bizarre gear change is to lift your foot when you think the gears are going to change which, as you can appreciate, is difficult unless you’re psychic. A manual would illuminate the problem completely.

The whole point of the eHDI is economy. Peugeot want the sales reps in our midst to buy their car instead of a Holden Commodore or Ford Falcom. The claimed fuel 0f 4.4l/100k seemed a bit optimistic. Around town, even with a viper under my right foot, I just couldn’t manage anything like that. The highway was a different kettle of fish and you’d probably get 1700 k’s or more from a full tank of juice. Something amazing for a car this size and comfort and what’s more, the annoying gear changes and stop/start aren’t an issue on the move.

Like the other 508’ the eHDI is fabulously quiet on the highway and the steering is sharp but smooth with a nice amount of weight. This means the road feel gives the car a feel which can only be described as sophisticated. The ride feels much firmer but one wonders if that’s just a fanciful thought.

If the 82kw of the 1.6L diesel sounds a trifle modest, it is. Strangely enough the low gearing in 1st gives the car an unexpectedly frisky feel. The engine I hve no problem with at all.

I’m afraid the eHDI is a fabulous car utterly ruined by a truly awful transmission. This is especially poignant because the auto 508’s are supremely smooth and quite and is where my money would go every time.

Model Active Sedan 1.6L e-HDi EGC Stop Start EGC
Body 5-Door Sedan
Engine 1.6L 4-cyl
EURO Euro 5
Fuel
Type
D
Comb Fuel
Cons.
4.4
CO2 115
Power kW 82 @ 3600
Torque
Nm
270 @ 1750
Gearbox EGC6
Kerb
Weight
1485kg
Drive FWD
Warranty 3-years/100,000kms
EURO-NCAP 5 star

Price: $36,000 (ehdi) – $52,000 for the GT

Peugeot 508: A little French Kissin

508_1007PC011

508: A posh French Kiss.

We spent a week with the stunning Peugeot 508 GT. Yes I said stunning. I know stunningness has been missing from the Peugeot line up in recent times. Until the gorgeous RCZ turned up you would be forgiven for thinking that the designers were on holiday leaving the kids in charge. Now the 508 follows in the sexy trend set by the gorgeous RCZ and takes Peugeot into a new world of desire and pleasure and naughtiness. Even the 308 has had its front end de-uglified. Things are going very well at the house of the Rampant Lion so let’s get the keys and get the 508 onto the tarmac.

508_1009STYLE_02

 

OUTSIDE

The simple lines are elegant and tasteful. The rear end sits high but the light hand of the designer has kept the adornment simple too. The lights sweep diagonally up and over the side to give a little illumination in the side as well as the back. The front too has a light touch. Gone is the gaping mouth grill and instead something entirely more understated and classic. The headlight array is high tech with the light looking like something off the Enterprise D. The GT does score a few embellishments that the lower models don’t have but it doesn’t detract from a stylish concept for the whole model range. I particularly like the mirror mounted indicators and puddle lights.

The GT gets big fat wheels the size of Tasmania on low sleek tyres and our test car had the optional 19”ers. I’m told he had borrowed the bosses car so there were a few extra bells and whistles installed. I don’t think I’d like to be the one cleaning them though. Peugeot tell me there have been a fistful of extra quality control points along the production line and this really shows. There is no doubt about the vastly improved standard Peugeot now holds itself to. There is a nice solid feel, and although the metal doesn’t quite look as futuristic and gangster-like as the drawings, its nonetheless gorgeous.

The keyless entry gives you the option of simply lifting the door handle to unlock the car as touching the inside of the doorhandle activates the mechanism. To lock, caress the grooved pad on the outside the door handle and like magic, the lights flash and bobs-your-uncle. As with all proximity keys, the range shortens considerably as the battery dies which is annoying in a lonely carpark at night, in the dark? You can just press the buttons on the key if you like. The Peugeot system is very easy to get used to.

INSIDE27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com

27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com - FOR PEUGEOT AUSTRALIA 2011

The keyless entry also means you don’t need a key to start or stop the engine. That’s done just by a gentle caress of the large friendly button to bring her to life. The HUD (heads up display) rises from the dash board and the instruments and infotainment systems awaken. There’s even a gentle light wrapping around the gear knob. At night the whole cabin is bathed in a soft warm glow that seems to hug you gently. The electric leather seats are firm and supportive but I miss my old Peugeot seats which were huge and super-soft. They were so comfy it was like sitting in a post lounge room. 508_1007PC008

 

The quality of the fittings and design inside is another quantum leap in both quality and ergonomics. And in a touch to make my heart truly leap with joy, those pesky and rather silly auxiliary control stalks have been banished to the “unsuccessful Trials” bin. The new steering wheel controls are laid out in a way that’s easy to use without having to read the manual every 5 minutes unlike some infotainment systems which require advanced degrees to operate. My only beef was I simply could not get the Ipod function to work. The streaming option always played from the same spot and couldn’t be advanced and the USB option didn’t seem to have any controls. I have no doubt it was user error but the most important requirement f the infotainment system is ease of use. No amount of cursing made any difference. I wasn’t fussed on the sound either. I seemed unable to get much base out of it. Again it was no doubt user error but an incredibly annoying thing not to be able to sort out.

The Dash and instruments have a crisp new look. The siting of the infotainment screen means everyone can see it clearly but under the screen sit 2 concealed cup holders. I’m all for cup holders but they’re sitting directly above all those lovely electronic controls which makes me slightly nervous. I gave them a whirl but the thought of my freshly brewed coffee spilling down the shiny new console was too much and the idea was abandoned fairly quickly.

The rear seaters have their own controls for the quad zone air and an extra power outlet to keep your iPhone alive and kicking. The back has a surprising amount of room. The roof might make you think that the head room might be tight but there is plenty of room. We had the usual 4 beefy lads onboard all of whom are around 183cms and none was pushed for space which is something you can’t say about the previous model.

Peugeot tell me they want to aim the base model (E-hdi) at the fleet buyers, a market hitherto untapped by any of the French car makers in Australia. Most foreign brands cost far too many bikkies to have in the garage of a mere businessman unless of course you’re the exec with a 100k car allowance paid for by the tax payers.

The Drive

Car makers are reducing the size of the engines but increasing the power thus is the magic contained in the box of tricks that is modern technology. The GT has a 150KW 2.2 Diesel. You would be very lucky to find a second hand diesel older than 6 years old but as petrol went up in price and, we became greenies looking for a more efficient mode of transport. This weekend the e10 petrol was around $1.50 a litre so the frugality of an oil burner looks pretty damned good. Is it any good though? Yes it is. Peugeot have been making diesels since the early days. I remember a certain 505 Turbo-diesel that had a great deal of trouble pulling the skin off a custard. An anaemic 70KW 4 pot pulling an 1800kilo car around simply didn’t cut the mustard. The 508 is 200 kilos lighter and has more than twice as much power. That says it all really.

The 6sp auto is extremely smooth and responsive. I used the paddle shifters in through those tight mountain passes and left it in sports the rest of the time. After all that it still returned brilliant fuel figures and I struggle to think why Holden haven’t stuck a gorgeous little diesel like this in a Commodore.

The power off the mark makes the GT feel faster than it is, not that there is anything wrong with 8.2 secs 0-100kp. The GT scores double wishbones up front. Does it make a difference? It certainly drives like a smaller sportier car, the Allure wagon felt far less responsive in the steering. It wasn’t terrible by any means but the GT feels brilliant.

Before you ask, yes we took the GT south of Sydney to the fabulous Grand Pacific Drive. The mix of tighter than tight corners, breathtaking straights through heavily forested stretches of coastline, and goat tracks clinging to cliff tops, are the perfect place to show any errant tendencies. This is the same road where only a few weeks before the RCZ had excelled itself. Despite the fact the 508 is a large 4 door executive saloon, it handled the road likes a sports car. The Europeans have a certain something in their DNA that other makers just can’t duplicate. Perhaps it’s the fact that fuel costs almost twice as much in Europe as it does in Australia, or the brilliant high speed roads to be found all over the continent, but they manage more power and better handling from smaller engines with better economy. On the highway the big 508 sips only 4.4 l/100k with a combined average of only 5.5l/100k. Of course the 72L tank is going to cost 100 bucks to fill but going on 4.4l/100k you would expect around 1,600 kilometres on a trip. That’s Sydney to Brisbane and back to around Newcastle before you have to top up the tank. Imagine what the Ehdi will do!

Conclusion

There are far too many things I could say about this fabulous great looking car, but we would still be here in a month talking about it so let’s not do that. Let’s instead talk about the price which starts at around 36k. The GT is around $52,000 but the upgraded infotainment system includes the Satnav and centre console control system. I am saying this more and more these days that the Satnav systems from the car makers are becoming better and better. This is mainly because of the inclusions in the package such as upgraded controls and easier to use Bluetooth integration. Most makers charge around 4 grand for the privilege but that is becoming a better deal every day.

After the catastrophically ugly 407, I really wanted the 508 to be brilliant, and it is. I’d have one!

 

Engine

cyl

fuel

aspir

Perf

trans

Co2

price

2.2L

4

diesel

Turbo

8.2 0-100

6sp auto

150 gms 52,990

* price range from $36,990 to $52,990 excluding extras like Satnav

 

27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com - FOR PEUGEOT AUSTRALIA 2011508_1007PC016508_1007PC019508_1007PC020508_1007PC013508_1007PC015508_1007PC010508_1007PC004508_1007PC003508_1007PC00227/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com - FOR PEUGEOT AUSTRALIA 201127/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 27/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 508_2010_124_FR.img508_1101NC00827/6/11 - PEUGEOT 508 - PHOTOS BY: JACK ATLEY/www.jackatley.com 508SW_1007PC007508SW_1007PC012508SW_1007PC013508SW_1007PC017508SW_1007PC018508SW_1007PC014508SW_1101NC010508sw_2010_jfb146508SW_1007PC022508SW_1007PC035image_80035_19455872508_2010_112_FR.img508SW_1101NC011508_2010_199_ACC.img508sw_1007PC001508SW_1007PC002508SW_1007PC005508SW_1007PC006508_2010_126_FR.img508GT1508_1101NC007508_1009STYLE_03508_1009STYLE_05508_1007PC0281508_1009STYLE_01508_1007PC022508_1007PC023508_1007PC026508_1007PC027508_1007PC021

Peugeot Set To Preview 508 At Australian International Motor Show 2011

 

How’s this from a scrumptious executive 4 door Euro-Car?

508 side508 back508 front

Peugeot’s new 508 will make its first local public appearance at this year’s Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.

The widely acclaimed 508 is due to go on sale in Australia as of 15th July; however Peugeot will offer a special preview at the Peugeot stand throughout the motor show, from Friday 1st July through to Sunday 10th July – stand one, hall one, Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Since the European launch of the 508 earlier this year, Peugeot has enjoyed significant success with 5,000 508 cars registered in Q1 2011. Over 4,000 orders were taken in March and more than 8,000 orders since the beginning of April. Furthermore, the Peugeot 508 picked up the 2010 Auto Trophy in Germany, where readers of the respected Auto Zeitung magazine gave the 508 first prize in its category ahead of eighteen of its rivals.

After undergoing an in-depth strategy review as part of the new brand project in 2009 and 2010, Peugeot’s styling has focused on its core values of emotion, elegance, dynamism and fuel efficiency. This, combined with driving pleasure and superior quality, gives each Peugeot a renewed power of attraction and the 508 is no exception.

Combining strong design and emotion with cutting edge technology, the 508 will offer Australian drivers unique driveability, based on the Marque’s longstanding expertise in the medium / large car segment; quality craftsmanship and interior comfort; a streamlined, prestigious and dynamic appearance; and EURO 5 compliant engine technology.

Three versions of the 508 will be previewed and will include a 508 Allure 2.0ltr HDi sedan, a 508 Touring Allure 2.0ltr HDi wagon and the top-of-the-line 508 GT 2.2ltr HDi sedan. Also on show for the first time in Australia will be the new 308 – in hatch, Touring and Coupe Convertible (CC) variants.

With a preview of the new 508 and 308 range at the show, we are eagerly anticipating a lot of interest,” said Ken Thomas, General Manager / Director, Peugeot Australia. “We have scheduled a number of special events around the motor show to ensure that both of these models are as well received here as they have been in Europe.”