In-depth reviews

2019 Peugeot 508 Fastback review - mainstream executive disrupts the premium status quo - Interior and tech

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

Interior and tech

The 508’s interior will be a shock to the system, at least if you’re unfamiliar with Peugeot’s recent interior design trends. Climb in - through doors with frameless windows, like an Audi A7 - and you’re faced with a small, almost hexagonal steering wheel, a large digital instrument display (in higher trim levels), raised centre console, and plenty of eye-catching details.

Some will instantly hate it. Like other Peugeots using the firm’s “i-Cockpit” layout - basically, a small, low-mounted steering wheel and high-set instruments - there will be a certain range of body shapes who just won’t be able to find a driving position that’s both comfortable and gives full view of the instruments.

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!

Others will be fine, and it’s fair to say that with time to adapt it’s easy to settle into a suitable position - the trick is usually as simple as positioning the wheel slightly lower than normal, aware that its smaller size means it won’t foul the tops of your legs as a normal-sized wheel might.

Once you do find the right driving position, there’s a lot to like. The seats are comfortable, the cabin is hushed, and Peugeot’s implementation of physical hot-keys for the central display means choosing between menus is simpler than it used to be - and that bank of keys acts as a shelf to steady your hand when using the screen, too. The digital instruments have various layouts, only a few of which are truly useful, but you do get satnav information and other key data presented ahead of you in a clear format.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Above all, it’s just an imaginatively-designed environment, and one that feels considerably more special than most others in the class. Peugeot even seems to be getting build quality right these days - we’ve found no obvious concerns with quality so far.

508s pack some advanced technology. There’s that TFT display screen for a start, as well as typically-found features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist (best switched off, in our experience), speed limit recognition, and high beam assist. More impressively, it’s the first car in the segment with night vision, and it genuinely works - on one night-time drive, it alerted us to a pedestrian unwisely walking down the side of the road rather than on the pavement that hadn’t been illuminated by the headlights.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/202640/bmw-m4-competition-vs-mercedes-amg-c63-s-coupe-german-coupe-twin-test
Features

BMW M4 Competition vs Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe - German coupe twin test

The F82 BMW M4 is about to be put out to pasture, so does AMG’s recently fettled C63 S Coupe finally have its number?
18 May 2020
Visit/jaguar/202404/jaguar-project-8-evo-reader-experience
Advertisement Feature

Jaguar Project 8 evo reader experience

The Jaguar Project 8 is a 200mph marvel of engineering designed with one purpose in mind: to deliver the thrill of driving. We put some lucky evo read…
14 Apr 2020
Visit/features/18127/the-best-six-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best six-cylinder engines ever – we pick our favourites

Six-cylinder engines can be found in cars of all kinds, good and bad. We collate the very best
13 May 2020
Visit/porsche/911/202636/porsche-911-carrera-to-be-turbo-only-as-manuals-stay
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera to be turbo only, as manuals stay

Porsche confirms the 911 Carrera won’t be available with a naturally aspirated engine again, but manuals stay. For now
17 May 2020