TEST DRIVE REPORT: PEUGEOT 508 Hybrid II PHEV Allure Fastback

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Despite the growing sales trend towards Sport Utility vehicles, there is a place in the automotive sector for saloons, sedans, fastbacks or grand coupe – whatever they’re called these times. 

Those with a keen eye on design and styling will appreciate the Peugeot 508, a perfect example of what a modern day 4-door ‘box’ saloon can offer. As well as good looks, the sheer driving pleasure that sedans ensure, is often forgotten by today’s buyers. More and more customers are preferring a higher driving position (that SUVs provide), rather than the lower, dynamic shape that saloons exude, especially the 508, with its bold, sporty front-end.

Remember its predecessor, the 407 with its shark profile and three ‘fins’ on the bumper? Well, this memorable design element is replicated within the headlight housing on the 508, launched officially at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Catering for the traditional family car buyer (yes, there are still some left!) and the fleet sector (although that purchasing landscape has changed too), the 508 features interior design and styling is just as attractive as its exterior, which is reminiscent of the stunning SR1 concept car. Firstly, its roominess is noticeable, more on par with the 607, the one-time Peugeot flagship model, and much improved on the 407. 

Its boot space is practical and accommodating, with a generous volume of
545 litres of liquid (515 dm3 VDA) for the saloon. With the seat folded in one easy movement to form a flat floor, the volume rises to 1,581 litres of
liquid (1,381 dm3 VDA) for the saloon .

All 508s come with latest-generation ESP which includes CDS (stability control), EBA (emergency brake assist) and EBFD (electronic brake force distribution). The ESP also includes Hill Assist and intelligent traction control, which improves the vehicle’s ability to move off and be driven on slippery road surfaces. The 508 is equipped with 6 air bags
and 2 Isofix fixtures. 508 breaks new ground in terms of build quality. Engineers working on the 508 project completed 2 million kilometre road tests under real life conditions, in a bid to reduce the total cost of ownership, which remains a decisive factor when buying a vehicle in this segment, particularly for corporate fleets.

Indeed, petrol/electric hybrids provide a different driving experience, more versatile and with technology that we are all getting accustomed to. A smooth drive is guaranteed, with no jerks or jolts on the transition between petrol and electric and visa-versa, or indeed up and down the 8-speed auto box. The sharp accelerated as will the silent operation of the electric powertrain, which offers up to 40km of zero-emission travel.

Total Cost of Ownership savings are in order too with average fuel costs reduced by an estimated 40%. Then there’s the Government/SEAI Grant off the price of a PHEV (Plug in Hybrid) of €2,500 and the 8-year/160,000km warranty to be content about.

Charging times stretch from an overnight home charge to a 105 minute quick boost with real time information on the trip presented through the journey, thereby eliminating any range anxiety.

Peugeot’s award-winning i-Cockpit with its 10” HD touch screen displays all the data needed relating to the driving modes, energy flows, consumption stats, charging points locations and activating e-save functions.

There is no doubt that when driving an electric vehicle, the driving takes on a more conservative character, the same goes when in a hybrid vehicle, less drama, reduced hard acceleration and/or braking.

The Peugeot 508 range combines strong design and good looks with award winning engines, class-leading driveability, high levels of quality and safety to offer a large, comfortable family car. If not covering substantial weekly road miles and keen on the car’s environmental impact, then the 508 PHEV is the perfect combination, a good solution even. The best of both worlds.

SPEC CHECK

Make/Model; Peugeot 508 Hybrid II PHEV Allure Fastback

Engines;  Petrol: 1.6-litre Puretech Euro6D + Electric motor

Power; 180hp@6,000rpm  + 81kW@2,500rpm

Torque; 250Nm@1,650rpm + 337Nm@500-2,500rpm

Transmission; 8-speed automatic

CO2 rating; 32g/km (WLTP)

Tax band; A1

Annual Road Tax; €170

Batteries; Lithium-ion: 11.8kW-80kW

Electric range; 40-62 kms (WLTP)

Charging times; from 1h45m to 3h45m

Fuel tank; 62-litres

Price; from €41,600** ** Includes SEAI grant and VRT Rebate