Peugeot 508 review

Full review: Compact car packed with cutting-edge tech

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Latest model helps redefine the Pug's image

We don’t expect any reader to purchase a car based on what T3 says – it’s just not our main bag, man. However, we do know a thing or two about technology and we reckon advances in in-car tech and design are extremely exciting, especially the new tech in Pug’s latest saloon

The 508 is a production version of the ‘5’ concept car that Peugeot showcased a year ago. It also borrows distinct lines from the SR1 concept, with curvy tail lights and an LED-festooned front-end. It’s one of the most sophisticated Peugeot’s we’ve seen, with the SW version competing for head-turns with the likes of the Audi A4 and Volkswagen Passat.

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Inside, there’s plenty of room. The designers have been extremely clever, because the 508 not only gives the impression of space, with a huge glass roof extending back to the rear passenger seats, it actually has a lot of space, despite its outwardly compact appearance – it’s Tardis-like. The saloon offers a boot-area of 545 litres; the SW model can jump to 1,865 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

The driving experience is a pleasant one. Good cockpit insulation means your iPhone or in-car stereo doesn’t have to be stretched and distorted to be heard over the roar of the engines – choices range from a 1.6-litre petrol to 2.2-litre diesel. Plump for the e-HDi version and you’ll get the option of stop/start technology, bringing the 508 back to life at traffic lights with the slightest nudge of the accelerator. This model delivers 109g/km emissions.

Gadget-wise, the 508 is well equipped. A heads-up display appears from a chunky-looking projection unit in view just above the wheel offering speed info and basic satnav instructions. You can also opt for keyless entry and engine start, two-zone air conditioning and a rear-parking aid.

Multimedia-wise, there’s the option for Peugeot’s Connect Navigation (RT6) with Bluetooth connectivity and a JBL sound-system. Naturally, we chose to drive this version and found the connectivity straightforward – either wirelessly through A2DP or via USB. Our favourite piece of tech, however, is the automatic SOS feature that, if your airbags inflate, pinpoints your exact location and opens up a telephone link to the emergency services. There’s also a manual SOS button on the dash that, when pressed for three seconds, also opens up an emergency call.

So, a lot of tech and design that should equal a lot of bunce. However, the Access model (1.6 VTi) starts at £18,150 with the top-end GT version coming in at £10k more. Anyone with preconceived ideas of what a modern Peugeot offers, should look again.