2019 Peugeot 508 Fastback review - mainstream executive disrupts the premium status quo - Design

A declining market it may be, but the new 508 is good (if not thrilling) to drive, attractive and comfortable

Evo rating
  • Good looks, high-tech cabin, agile chassis
  • Uninspiring drivetrains, little steering feel, divisive cockpit layout

Design

Peugeot has undergone something of a styling renaissance of late, coinciding with its run of competitive cars. The 308 was an early sign of this, looking handsome and distinctive without resorting to fussiness, and Peugeot’s more recent crossovers showed an even more distinctive look was on the way.

The 508 is probably the best example yet of the brand’s modern design chops. It’s well-proportioned, impressively detailed and if the reactions of some passers-by are anything to go by, attention grabbing in the right kind of way. Swivelling heads isn’t something the previous 508 ever did, but the shark-like front end, slim rear light units and swooping roofline make the 508, for us, one of the better-looking cars in the class.

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Naturally, it’s at its best in strong colours and preferably higher trim levels - the GT with its twin exhaust outlets, 19-inch wheels and intricate grille design has a particularly strong look, though the extra chrome elements on some models are also subtly integrated. It even has frameless windows, which is an upmarket touch you don’t expect to see outside of the premium brands. 

Along with the rival Mazda 6, the 508 is a good example of not necessarily needing a premium badge to make a premium-style impact on the segment.

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