Large sedans may not be setting sales records at the moment, but as far as quality goes they are better than ever. Often the domain of sales reps and account managers, these mobile offices need to be comfortable, economical and easy to live with.
With this in mind, we welcome the 2015 Peugeot 508 Active to our Sydney long-term fleet for some extended ‘rep-mobile’ evaluation.
Big Peugeots haven’t seen a great deal of mainstream sales success since the iconic 505 of the 1980s. It then came as no surprise that when launched in 2010, the 508 replaced both the medium-sized 407 and larger 607, essentially hedging the French manufacturer’s bets somewhere in the middle.
And middle-ground it is. Classified by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) as a large car, the Peugeot 508 is actually shorter than the medium-sized Volkswagen Passat (4830mm to the VW’s 4874mm) and a category larger than the Citroen C5, with which it shares an underpinning platform.
Peugeot’s combination of sharp pricing, handsome styling and famed handling then presents a solid package for buyers who spend plenty of time on the road and behind the wheel.
Our test car is the entry-level $36,990 plus on-road costs Active model. It features a 121kW/240Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Peugeot claims combined cycle fuel consumption of just 5.6L/100km – a figure many diesel engines struggle to achieve, and something we will be testing with interest.
There is a generous level of standard equipment, ranging from the 7.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and 8GB music jukebox, to LED foglamps and daytime running lamps.
The seats are a combination of leather and fabric and feature electric lumbar support for the driver. Rear passengers receive a centre armrest and air vents, and there is a ski port to access the 497-litre boot.
The facelift given to the 508 earlier this year gives the Peugeot 508 a very professional and ‘business like’ appearance… but it's not particularly exciting.
This isn’t helped by the colour palette, which, aside from Egyptian Blue (seen on the Peugeot 508 Allure we drove in France), could be shown clearly on a black and white TV. Out of the remaining seven hues, there are four different shades of grey – all of which are actually very similar and far less enticing than the book of the similar name. Our car is Flint Grey Metallic which attracts a $990 premium.
So while impressing the neighbours isn’t the 508’s strong suit, high-mileage touring certainly is.
For a sales rep on the move, you want to know you can travel for hours in comfort, with somewhere to keep your coffee handy and your daily tasks in order – and it’s this role we’ll be focusing on with the 508.
Our next update will look predominantly at cross-city urban driving. From North Sydney in the morning, to Parramatta for lunch, then over to Liverpool and back to Hornsby – all in a day’s work for a travelling rep.
The third instalment will take the Peugeot a bit further afield to see how it fares between regional centres around New South Wales.
We’ll assess fuel economy, comfort and general ergonomics each time, so be sure to comment below if you have any specific questions you would like us to answer.
Also of key importance is the reliability of the Bluetooth phone connection and navigation system and we’ll no doubt also see how the French interior handles the inevitable coffee spills and dropped McDonalds fries…
Will the Peugeot have the team experiencing some joie de vivre or leave everyone a bit comme ci comme ça?
Peugeot 508 Active
Date acquired – July 2015
Odometer reading – 3,500 km
Travel since previous update – N/A
Consumption since previous update – N/A
Click the Photos tab for more images by Sam Venn.