First Drive: Peugeot 508 PSE
Hottest 508 is an impressive performer, with fleet-friendly running costs, finds Martyn Collins.
SECTOR Upper Medium PRICE £53,225-£55,025 FUEL 138.9mpg CO2 46g/km
High-performance versions of the Peugeot’s attractive 508 saloon and SW estate don’t sound like the sort of model attractive to fleets. However, what sets the 508 apart from key rivals, is that this Peugeot is a plug-in hybrid. Despite the 355hp punch from the combination of the 242hp 1.6-litre turbo petrol and the 200hp electric motor, this 508 has a CO2 figure of just 46g/km, ensuring BiK rates as low as 13% for both bodystyles.
That electric motor powers the rear wheels, so the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered (to give it its full name) is also four-wheel drive. That electric motor kicks in first offering 26 miles of electric-only power. A full recharge from a 7.4kWh wall box takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.
On the main road, you’ll be flicking the drive mode button and picking from Comfort, Sport, Hybrid and 4WD modes. We couldn’t tell much difference between Comfort and Hybrid – although the ride on the stiffer sports suspension and 20-inch wheels is at its most comfortable and composed here.
In Sport mode, where efficiency goes out the window, this 508 is rapid and particularly fun to drive. The handling is precise, although the ride is firm, and the auto gearbox seems to hold on to gears for a little too long.
The 508 PSE looks great from the outside, with the subtle body kit working well with sharp styling. Inside, nappa leather/alcantara sports seats aside, it’s standard 508. The infotainment is a little slow and not everyone will get on with the i-Cockpit driving position.
An exciting, efficient, if flawed and slightly expensive alternative to the performance opposition.
All PSE models include Active Suspension, Night Vision, Drive Assist Pack Plus, Driver Sports Pack, power-folding heated door mirrors with blind spot detection indicator, 360° HD camera, fully automated parking assis- tance, Wireless smartphone charging plate, Connected 3D navigation system, plus full LED front and rear headlights.
FW Rating: 4/5