2019 Peugeot 508 Australian Launch

Big French cars can be a hard sell at the best of times, but the new 508 is a stunner from any angle. Gone are the dark days of the frumpish 207, 307 and 407 whose interiors were utter rubbish.

Peugeot says, “NON! Non plus de voitures poubelles”

So, the evolution begun by 3008 and 5008 continues with delectable 508, and the soon to be released funky 208.

Other Peugeot Reviews:

The looks:

508 is a 5 door execu-hatch.

The 508 badge is proudly displayed up on the bonnet like its not-so-pretty 504 predecessor from the 70’s.

508 is 4.75m long, which makes the svelte saloon compact in its segment.

It brings a new found class and elegance to the mid-size passenger car segment. Peugeot has opted for a single GT model. They’ve raided the goodie box, rummaging about for anything they could shoe-horn into their new baby. It does everything but run a hot bath for you.

Sexy Red paint is an extra $1,000, and the long low coupe-style saloon has frameless windows which allow the roof to be lowered by 6cm. I particularly love the way the ¼ window is a shard of glass that is displayed like an artwork when the door is open and window down.

18” provide a sexy presence without ruining the ride by being so big, that tyres cannot cushion the cabin from nasty intrusions.

All lighting is thoroughly-modern LED, which is the most striking feature. Front and back, the light arrays sparkle like jewellery, day or night.

  • Full LED headlights
  • GT Sports styling kit
  • GT ‘equaliser’ grille with chequerboard motif
  • LED three-claw tail lights with unlock animation
  • 18” machined and black-finish alloy wheels

How Safe is Peugeot 508

ANCAP gave 508 a 5 Star rating, date stamped for 2018.

  • Highway Positioning Assist [segment first]
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Advanced Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Active Blind Spot Monitoring System
  • Pre-Collision Warning System
  • Advanced Driver Attention Alert
  • Auto-dimming exterior side mirrors
  • Four-mode adaptive suspension

Is the cabin as luxurious as the exterior?

508 closely follows the recent 3008 and 5008 interior design philosophy, thankfully.

i-cockpit has a full 12.3” LCD dash, which is viewed over the top of a very small steering wheel. It takes a bit of getting used to. Peugeot claims this is the better solution to an HUD projected onto the windscreen. It is configurable to driver preference and can show as much or as little as the driver wants.

Buttery-soft Nappa leather is used with gay abandon on the seats and other surfaces, with the front seats also getting heating and massage functions. A pattern is quilted into the seats for a final flourish of French flavour.

Rear legroom is bijou, yet comfortable, with 5 cms between the legs of a tall passenger, and the seat in front. You won’t be holding any balls in the back seat, that’s for sure, and that can mean whatever you want it to.

The centre stack has a high-res 10” LCD infotainment screen, and a row of piano keys for major functions. Under that is a row of touch keys to keep the console neat and tidy.

  • Full Nappa leather sports seats with patterned stitching
  • Driver and passenger seat massage function
  • Driver and passenger seat heating
  • FOCAL 10-speaker premium audio
  • Latest-generation Peugeot i-Cockpit
  • 10” high definition centre screen
  • 3” digital head-up instrument cluster
  • Carbon-effect interior trim

What other features does 508 have?

There are a load of driver aids to make a comfortable drive as easy as possible.

Your key can stay in your pocket. You can open the doors and boot, and start the can, just by pressing a button.

All Peugeots have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and 508 also have wireless charging.

  • Smart key entry
  • Electric tailgate with gesture control
  • Qi wireless phone charging
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity

Peugeot intentionally kept options to a minimum. A sunroof costs $2,500 extra, and paint is $590 for metallic, and $1,050 for pearlescent colours.

How does 508 drive?

It is a peach, an absolute peach.

In order to keep economy down, the 1.6L turbo 4 as seen in 308GTi, puts out 165kw and 300Nm. CO2 is 142g/k and uses just 6.3L/100k. Peugeot is proud of the low emissions, particularly the all-new Petrol Particulate Filter (PPF).

Those figures are phenomenal in a car of this size.

A new 8 speed AISIN automatic directs power to the front wheels. Unlike most autos, 508 only changes into top gear above 100kph. It as smooth as a Sinatra croon, and responsive as a cat on carpet.

Electric steering has enough simulated road feel to give the driver simulated feedback, and selectable drive modes allow throttle, transmission, steering, and suspension to be set make the driver’s inner sanctum tingle mercilessly. Manual mode allows the paddle shifters to give the OCD driver total and utter control. At no time do you feel like you’ll spin gracelessly backwards into a hedge.

You can keep the 1.6 spinning at optimal fun-speed.

If things get a smidge untidy, the electronic nannies call you back in to class, quick smart. They also watch wayward pedestrians, or petulant P-Platers who might wander into your path. 508 will toss out the anchors to avoid a crash.

Handling is what you’d expect of Peugeots of old. They stick to the road, and although there is a hint of body roll, you never feel like it is going to let go. It holds on with the grip of a pensioner on a hotdog.

There are a few other things worth noting.

First, the transmission will allow the fulsome Frenchie to freewheel above 20kph. The wheels disconnect from the engine which can idle happily while you plunge headlong down a hill.

Next, the car will put the transmission in to Park when you turn the engine off. The electronic shifting allows the clever old thing to change from forward to reverse when the automated parking function is used. We didn’t get a chance to use it, but will do when we do a full review.

What do we think of 508?

There is nothing to improve here.

This is as good as motoring gets for the price. 508 is the epitome of the alchemist’s art. Design, looks, performance, safety, and technology are given lashing of flare to make it one of the most beautiful cars to hit the tarmac.

If average is 5, 508 sits at 8.5/10. This handsome stranger doesn’t write cheques it can’t cash.

  • Model Price from $53,900 MLP*
  • Engine 1.6L 4 cylinder Petrol
  • Drivetrain 8 Sp automatic
  • Power165kW @5,500rpm
  • Torque 300 Nm @2,500rpm
  • Safety 5 star
  • CO2 142g/km
  • Economy 6.3L/100k
  • Servicing 5 yr price promise programme
  • 0-100KMH 8.1 Seconds fastback, 8.2 Sportswagon
  • Warranty 5yr / Unlimited km, 5yr Roadside Assist

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