Road Test: Peugeot 508 SW BlueHDI 150 Allure
Sector: Upper Medium Price: £27,145 Fuel: 67.3mpg CO2: 110g/km
Against established D-segment models and the ever-present threat of crossovers, the Peugeot 508 hasn’t had the recognition it’s deserved.
This is unquestionably a brilliant car. It’s good looking, great to drive, exceptionally comfortable in the front and rear sets, the cabin is built properly and, with its 72-litre tank, there’s enough range to cross the Continent without needing to stop for a refuel. In SW estate form, it’s also a fantastic load carrier despite the sloping roofline.
Picking faults with the product itself comes down to details. The infotainment system isn’t the most intuitive, even with its rotary controller, and the cupholders are still a design flaw. Positioned at the top of the dashboard, a medium cup of high street coffee will obscure the navigation screen and the buttons beneath it are vulnerable to latte spillage on speed-bumped roads.
Euro 6 emissions standards come into force at the end of the year and, as a result, Peugeot is revisiting its engine range. The old 2.0-litre HDI diesel is replaced with the new BlueHDI 150 unit, producing ten extra horsepower while slashing particulate emissions and NOx out of the exhaust thanks to a gas treatment system under the cabin.
More obvious for fleet users, though, is that it’s more efficient and lower in CO2 emissions than the 140bhp unit that this will eventually supercede – down from 58.9mpg and 125g/km in this trim level to 67.3mpg and 110g/km. That’s more than enough to absorb the £1,100 price difference between the two over a three-year life cycle.
Keeping up with legislation has cost the 508 none of its good points. The engine is still very refined, though the power uplift is barely noticeable, and returns well over 50mpg without requiring feather-footed driving. It’s so quiet at motorway speeds that most wouldn’t notice it was a diesel.
But recognition is still a problem. Residual values are surprisingly low, which puts a large dent in whole-life costs, and competitors are steadily sneaking under the 100g/km mark. As easy as it would be to recommend the 508 as a car to live with, the fashionable crossover and its more familiar rivals start to look like better value over a typical fleet life cycle.
The 508 is a brilliant estate car which, in theory, has all the right ingredients to be a real threat to the sector’s best models. But with residual values not in its favour, the sums don’t quite add up for Peugeot’s corporate contender