A colleague who has just driven Peugeot’s all-new 508 in Europe reckons the car is an absolute winner.
His report is as follows:
Styling wise it’s more conservative than previous cars from Peugeot but works quite well. The car is reasonably large and quite suitable to fit the needs of a family or executive. Good rear legroom and a large boot make it very appealing.
The wagon version not only looks good, but also has great accommodation. It’s very comfortable, has exceptional handling and it extremely quiet on the open road.
Performance wise, we drove a number of versions; the eHDI diesel (stop/ start technology with 1.6l HDI diesel), the 2.2l HDI diesel GT, the 2.0l HDI diesel and the 1.6l turbo petrol. All were impressive especially the petrol version given the size of the engine. But for me, I was divided between the eHDI and the GT. I drove the eHDI version through the CBD of Valencia out onto the open highway. It pulled really well with 4 blokes on board. The stop/ start is almost indecipherable but of course delivers excellent fuel economy with low emissions.
There are some great innovations as well; keyless entry, head up display, radar parking and 4 way climate control air conditioning to mention a few. Notably controls are now located either on the console or on the overhead panel. It cleans up the clutter of switches and dials.
Our drive route was out of Valencia through the open plains up through some mountainous/ hilly areas and back to Valencia. About four to five hours covering around 300 kms. It tested acceleration, gear changes, suspension and brakes under speed and on hills.
Out of interest the car will be manufactured in France (Rennes – west of Paris).
Australia is expected to get the 508 in the Allure (upper trim) level coupled with the above engines. We will also gain access to the wagon version. The current production schedule should see 508 on sale by the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne in July. Prices are not yet known but will be competitive.
Apparently, Peugeot Australia is thinking around 1000 sales annually, subject to availability. We like the clean styling of the 508, and think the target should be a achievable.
More on the 508 as news comes to hand.