Peugeot 508 2.0 HDi SR review

We review the new Peugeot 508 in big selling 2.0 HDi SR form. It's good to drive, too

Evo rating
Price
from £20,950
  • Cheap to run, dynamically very good
  • Not quite class best to drive, though

What is it?

The Peugeot 508, the French firm’s new Ford Mondeo and VW Passat rival. We’ve driven it in top-spec 2.2 HDi GT form already; here it is in the version most will buy, as a 138bhp 2-litre HDi. It starts from £20,950 in SR trim.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Technical highlights?

While that range-topping GT that impressed us gets double-wishbone suspension up front, this higher-volume version, like the rest of the 508 range, has a less-sophisticated MacPherson-strut set-up. However, there is a six-speed manual gearbox – most other diesel 508s have just two pedals in the footwell.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

What’s it like to drive?

While 60bhp shy of the more sophisticated GT, this could well be just as much of a driver’s choice thanks to its availability with a manual. The throw of the gearlever is short and the changes precise, and though the GT has a slightly keener turn in and obvious power benefits, its uninvolving gearbox will be a turn-off for some.

The 508’s ride impresses on all models, being as supple and compliant as most big French cars, but with welcome tautness when cornering. And while the electro-hydraulic steering may lack genuine feedback, it is superbly weighted compared to the pure electric systems of most rivals.

The car cruises effortlessly and quietly on the motorway, but is entirely within its comfort zone when a more demanding road approaches.

How does it compare?

It’s up near the top of its class for dynamic ability, though still behind the Ford Mondeo and BMW 3-series. It’s well equipped and impressively screwed together inside, feeling on a par with Audi for quality. An equivalent Mondeo is £1K cheaper, but the Peugeot’s lower emissions (125 v 139g/km) see it a tax band lower and cheaper for company car users, too.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Anything else I should know?

The entry-level 508 gets an ultra-efficient 1.6-litre diesel and an automated manual gearbox, yielding lower CO2 emissions still (109g/km). Its stop-start system isn’t the smoothest, the engine struggles a tad with the 508’s size and the gearbox takes some getting used to. We’d pay more money and get the more pleasant and useable 2.0 HDi.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4cyl, 1997cc, turbodiesel
Max power138bhp @ 4000rpm
Max torque177lb ft @ 2000rpm
0-609.6sec (est)
Top speed130mph
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/22743/gordon-murray-automotive-t50-revealed-the-real-mclaren-f1-successor
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 revealed – the real McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray’s T.50 is the pinnacle of supercar engineering on the eve of an electrified future
4 Aug 2020
Visit/ferrari/roma
Ferrari

Ferrari Roma 2020 review – a new take on the Italian GT

Direct, engaging handling and superb ride quality, plus strong performance: the sharp-suited Roma nails its GT brief
5 Aug 2020
Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020