Peugeot 508: Oo la la…
While small French cars have consistently streamed off the dealer forecourts across the UK and Ireland, their bigger brethren always seem doomed to gather dust in the back of the showroom.
It’s a phenomenon that to our minds defies rhyme or reason because many of these sales’ flops, whether Renault, Citroën or Peugeot badged, have actually been mighty fine cars.
Right now, business execs would do well to wipe their Audi/Beamer misted eyes and focus on Peugeot’s characterful 508 – the French company's attractively styled flagship.
We spent considerable time with both the saloon and the SW – that’s Pug speak for “estate car” – and found both to be fine drives that can hold heads high amid far pricier machinery.
This elegant and at the same time practical grand tourer embodies the French marque’s ambitions to move further upmarket.
Comprehensively restyled for last year’s Paris auto show, the 508’s strident grille treatment and other styling cues are emblematic of other Peugeot models yet to come while there’s a comprehensive raff of new goodies such as a reversing camera, blind spot sensors and a touch screen.
Also on parade are automatic headlights, a head-up display, a start and go system, and an ingenious multi-function remote control key that locks the fuel cap, as well as the doors and boot.
The car also now benefits from efficient, highly economical Euro 6 power units, such as the two-litre Blue HDi 150 six-speed manual that, with CO2 emissions of just 100g per km, is the best on offer in the market segment for this level of engine power.
Available in three body styles – saloon, coupé and estate – the 508 family is growing with the introduction of a Blue HDi six-speed auto version.
The high spec 508 SW Allure that served us well can reach 62-mph in 11-seconds and top 130 mph, while also being capable of a 69-mpg combined cycle fuel consumption figure. It retails for £26,695.
The 508 looks great and performs with aplomb. If you had a German car in your sights it’s worth dropping your aim a little, taking the French option and pocketing the change.