Peugeot revamps the 508
With an all-new Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat on the horizon Peugeot has decided to give its underrated 508 saloon an update, but this is apparently more than just a simple splash and dash; Peugeot says the car signifies the start of its move upmarket. A host of new technologies have been added and the looks set the template for future Peugeot models.
The three body styles - saloon, estate, and high-riding RXH - all receive a new 308-inspired front end where the Lion badge moves from the bonnet and into the grille for the first time. The grille itself is flanked by redesigned lights, which are fully LED, as too are the tail lights. The bonnet has also been reshaped, taking away the droopy look of before and replacing it with a much more imposing appearance. Surprisingly for a facelift Peugeot has added extra length to the car - 38mm to be exact.
The extra length is put to good use (says Peugeot) by providing more space for occupants in the updated cabin. Central to this is a seven-inch touchscreen, much like the one in the 308, which takes the place of some of the control buttons to leave a tidier looking dashboard. The touchscreen also houses Peugeot's Connect Apps that provides information on parking spaces, traffic conditions and information from the likes of the Michelin Guide and Tripadvisor.
Interior quality has always been one of the 508's strong points but in that upmarket move the current set-up was not deemed enough and so higher quality materials have been brought in to give the 508 a "modern and refined" finish. New dials have been fitted while a colour heads-up display has been added to the options list. Joining it there are blind spot indicators and a reversing camera that provides a colour image to the display screen. Not that the 508 is skimpy on the standard equipment, as some of the items it includes are keyless entry and starting, automatic electric parking brake, automatic headlamp dipping, quad-zone climate control and a JBL-badged stereo system.
Under the bonnet
When the 508 arrives in autumn buyers will get a choice of one new petrol and two new diesel engines, both of which are more powerful yet efficient than before, while meeting the Euro 6 standards. The 1.6-litre THP 165 Stop & Start petrol engine is available with either a six-speed manual or new six-speed automatic gearbox. Replacing the old 156hp unit the new engine can deliver emissions as low as 131g/km when fitted to a manual saloon. Of much more interest to Irish buyers will be the 150hp 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 diesel. With its six-speed manual transmission it can achieve 105g/km of CO2, an impressive figure until you notice that the 180hp version of that engine, with a six-speed automatic, only fares 6g/km worse.
For truly low emissions you have to venture into the HYbrid4 world. Available in either saloon or RXH body style the diesel-hybrid, which pairs a 163hp 2.0-litre BlueHDi engine with a 37hp electric motor, can achieve 85g/km and uses 3.3 litres/100km.
Peugeot has also listened to criticisms of the current car and retuned the suspension to deliver 'an impressive combination of good ride comfort and road holding', which is nice.
The Peugeot 508 will be simultaneously unveiled to the public at the Moscow and Chengdu motor shows before travelling to France for the Paris Motor Show in October.
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