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Peugeot 508 SW PSE Fast Fleet test – 7 months with the hot hybrid estate

Peugeot's hybrid 508 PSE estate departs having proved the value of its electric tech

Evo rating

In some respects the 508 PSE was an instant hit, in others a slow burner, so that after seven months and nearly 10,000 miles I admired and enjoyed the handsome hybrid Peugeot. In Selenium Grey with metallic lime highlights, it sat perfectly on its big wheels and Peugeot Sport Engineered suspension and was often admired. Everyone in my Sunday-morning mountain-bike group – all middle-aged men – thought it was a cracking bit of design. ‘Beg your pardon?!’ usually followed when I told them how much it cost. 

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No question, £56k is a lot for a Peugeot, even a sleek one with a 4wd, hybrid drivetrain delivering up to 350bhp, with about 200bhp of that from a 1.6-litre turbo ‘four’, the rest from electric motors, one on each axle. Hybrids cop some flack for hauling around two drivetrains and offering limited pure-electric range, but I found the 508 suited my lifestyle remarkably well.

> Peugeot 508 PSE review – high performance hybrid takes on S4 and M340i

I used it for many short journeys – dropping the kids at school or getting my bike to the local woods – as evidenced by the refuelling/charging log I kept. Between fill-ups of the modest 43-litre fuel tank, I could have topped up the battery a couple of dozen times, getting on average 26 miles per charge, matching the brochure claim. I don’t have a home charge point but, via a domestic three-pin plug, depleted to fully charged took about seven hours, which was rarely an issue. Before domestic energy prices rocketed, the near 30-mile school run on electric cost about half what it would on petrol. 

Even when that gap narrowed it still felt good to slip off the driveway and through town quietly and cleanly, and often save cold-start wear and tear on the engine too. Performance wasn’t sparkling running on ICE alone but my fears for the consumption proved unfounded, the 508 managing close to 40mpg generally. When the cost of charging over our seven months was included, it managed an average of just over 45mpg. Not bad for a big, practical car. 

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Dynamically, it took me a while to appreciate Peugeot Sport’s work. I generally preferred the relaxed, Comfort damping, though even that was quite firm. The upside was a chassis that was rarely fazed and could calm even the most tricky asphalt. Handling-wise, it was at its most impressive when the battery was fully charged and you therefore had full powertrain ability at your disposal. Then the 508 responded crisply to the throttle and felt balanced and agile like a 1850kg car really shouldn’t. Given Peugeot’s historic reputation for sweet-handling and sweet-riding cars, it would have been even more impressive to have more of that engagement in regular mode. 

I got the chance to try the absolute opposite of the 508 PSE in the form of the Citroën C5 X, built on the same platform but with two-wheel drive and one electric motor. I don’t think it’s as good looking inside or out but I haven’t driven such a sumptuous-riding car in years. If you prize ride comfort over all else, you need to test drive one. 

The appeal of the 508 PSE runs much deeper. It’s such a great looking car, very refined and solidly built, with a user-friendly HMI – even a volume knob! I was slightly sceptical about the usefulness of its hybrid capabilities but it proved to be an efficient and engaging car that suited my lifestyle remarkably well. It’s already missed. 

Date acquiredMarch 2022
Duration of test7 months
Total mileage9424
Overall mpg45.2
Total costs£0
Purchase price£55,830
Value today£40,000

This story was first featured in evo issue 305.

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