Read Caroline’s Peugeot 508 diesel review to find out if the 1.5-litre diesel is the pick of the 508 range in Ireland?

The Peugeot 508 has evolved beautifully over the years and the current generation is Peugeot’s best yet. Last year Peugeot treated the 508 to a facelift with a number of updates to keep it fresh.

Since this 508 first went on sale in Ireland back in 2019, the Peugeot range has changed quite a bit. In 2022, a new 308 and 308 SW were launched, and 2023 saw the arrival of the new Peugeot 408.

The 508 still flys the flag for a stylish large executive car and with the choice of petrol, plug-in hybrid or diesel, there is great choice for this long distance cruiser. This slice of the market is shrinking with the rise in SUVs but is the 508 diesel a surprisingly smart choice of car in 2024?

Let’s take a closer look.

The Peugeot 508 on test for Changing Lanes
The Peugeot 508 on test for Changing Lanes

What’s so special about the Peugeot 508?

Well, Peugeot did a great job with the styling of this car. Billed as a ‘fastback’, the elegant proportions are saloon-like but the 508 is actually a hatchback if you want to get technical.

There’s also a 508 SW available, which is probably one of the best-looking estate cars on sale.

The front end has been revised with a new grille design framed by slim LED headlights. The fang-like daytime running lights of the original car have now been replaced with Peugeot’s new ‘3-claw’ daytime running lights.

The facelift also gives this model the new Peugeot lion shield logo.

At the back there is a different illumination to the rear lights, which are connected by a new black strip with the brand name spelt out across it.

There’s also some new colour availability including Eclipse Blue, which is available at no extra cost.

The cabin of the Peugeot 508
The cabin of the Peugeot 508

Alloy wheel sizes vary with the entry level Allure model getting 17-inch. There’s 18-inch for the sportier GT and 20-inch for the top of the range Peugeot Sport Engineered (PSE).

There’s also a great line-up of engines available.

Driving the Peugeot 508

You can choose from a 1.2-litre petrol (130hp), 1.5-litre diesel (130hp) or a 1.6-litre petrol plug in hybrid with now 180hp, or 225hp as before.

All come with an 8-speed automatic.

I was driving the Peugeot 508 1.5 Blue HDi diesel and it’s a very good match for this car. For a 1.5-litre diesel it offers good refinement, never getting too noisy.

It has 130hp but it feels more powerful than that on the road, with plenty of torque. There are a few different driving modes like Normal, Eco and Sport, the latter increasing the responsiveness of the vehicle.

The 508 is available with a petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid engine
The 508 is available with a petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid engine

Where the diesel really excels is in the return it offers on a tank of fuel. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres.

In Malaga last year, I had the opportunity to drive the new Peugeot 508 plug-in hybrid, which you can read more about here. 

This car is made for long motorway runs, offering good comfort levels and not too much noise in the cabin. It’s also quite fun to drive, with the compact steering wheel adding a feeling of dexterity that can be hard to find in cars like this.

Inside the 508

Peugeot hasn’t really tweaked the design much in the cabin of the 508. It still has a lovely wraparound design that is instantly stylish and driver-focused.

The graphics for the digital instrument cluster have been updated as has the software for the slick 10-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash. It’s still a little convoluted to adjust things like the ventilation, though the piano-style shortcut buttons underneath at least help bring up menus quickly. There’s also wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice control and over the air updates for the very first time.

Other design details include a new minimalist rocker switch on the centre console for gear selection.

Rear legroom in the Peugeot 508 fastback
Rear passenger space in the Peugeot 508 fastback

Seat upholsteries have also been updated. Allure models come with a fabric and synthetic leather combination, but going up the trim levels adds more luxurious Alcantara. The seats are comfortable and supportive with powered lumbar support for the driver though features like seat heating and power adjustment are not standard, which is a bit of a shame for an executive car!

The 508 is reasonably spacious for its size in the back though some rivals like the Volkswagen Arteon and Skoda Superb are bigger. The hatchback-style opening boot gives good access to the 487 litres of space. Not the biggest boot in the class but it’s pretty generous.

The 508 SW offer 530 litres of space.

Pricing

The range starts from €45,495 for a 1.2-litre petrol in Allure trim, from €46,495 for the 1.5 diesel as tested, and from €49,995 for a 508 plug-in hybrid.

The range-topping Peugeot 508 PSE packs 360hp
The range-topping Peugeot 508 PSE packs 360hp from a plug-in hybrid powertrain

Did you like it?

It was great to spend some time with the 508 diesel. I don’t drive many cars like this anymore with electric, hybrid and SUVs being the current trends in the motor industry.

Yet the 508 has a brilliant sophisticated presence and is really nice to drive too, offering a little driver involvement along with those gorgeous looks and sporty cabin.

The diesel also proves its merit in the 508, ticking all the right boxes for power, refinement …and economy that really cannot be argued with.

The facelift adds a little more contemporary style without upsetting the 508’s winning recipe.

The 508 will not be a big seller but if you’re looking for a stylish executive car that’s economical and a bit different to what else is on sale, then it’s definitely worth a look.

Model tested: Peugeot 508 1.5 HDi Allure
Price: 
€46,495
Engine:
1.5-litre diesel
Power: 130 hp
Torque: 300 Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 11.1 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€210 per year

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year