The Peugeot 508 has a stylish, five-door coupe style body that means it looks great, but it’s not as practical as alternatives. It’s fun to drive, though, and most models are very cheap to run
If you need a large family car, but don’t want to be too sensible just yet, the Peugeot 508 could be the model for you. Its stylish five-door coupe body looks great and it drives well, too, but the back seat is noticeably more cramped than in alternatives such as the VW Passat.
Okay, so might have to put up with a few complaints from tall passengers in the back, but you certainly can’t accuse the Peugeot 508’s interior of being boring. Its dashboard design is far more interesting than most alternatives and all models come with two large infotainment screens that make the cabin look bang-up-to-date.
If you’re more interested in old-fashioned, solid build quality, however, the Peugeot 508 might not be the car for you. It’s certainly not terrible, but the Peugeot’s materials don’t feel as consistently brilliant as those in a Skoda Superb. But, driving the Peugeot 508 feels much sportier than pottering about in the Skoda thanks to the 508’s low-set driving position.
If you’re a tall person sitting in the back, though, you don’t so much feel cocooned as crushed. The Peugeot 508’s rear seat suffers from a shortage of headroom and isn’t overly generous with knee room if there are tall people sitting up front.
The Peugeot 508 feels like a sports car that was born in the wrong body
The boot isn’t the biggest you’ll find either, but its large hatchback door makes loading bulky items relatively easy, even if you do have to lift them over a slight boot lip.
So, the Peugeot 508’s practicality might not be particularly impressive, but if you’re considering a sporty-looking saloon car, you’ll likely have more than a passing interest in how it drives. And you won’t be disappointed, the Peugeot 508 corners with a keenness that would make some more overtly sporty saloons seem docile, but also manages to smooth out bumpy roads quite effectively.
The Peugeot 508 isn’t quite so clever when it comes to autonomous driving tech, however. It’s available with active cruise control and lane assist, but these systems aren’t as sophisticated as those you’ll find in a Volvo V60.
The Peugeot 508’s 1.6-litre 180hp PureTech petrol engine will soon take your mind off that, though. It sounds sporty, can accelerate past slower moving traffic easily and maintain a decent lick on twisting B roads, yet doesn’t carry the silly price tag of higher-end models and is impressively light on fuel.
For ultimate fuel economy, you’ll need to choose a diesel model and the 130hp 1.5-litre model is your best option. Quick would be the wrong word, but it has plenty of punch for motorway driving and should manage more than 60mpg at a cruise.
That makes the Peugeot 508 sound like an entirely sensible choice when in fact, it isn’t. Other family cars are better built and more spacious, but if that all sounds a bit too ‘pipe and slippers’ for you, then the 508’s stylish design and sporty drive make it worthy of a place on your shortlist.