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In-depth reviews

Peugeot 508 – performance and 0-60 time

The Peugeot 508 isn't particularly sprightly at the bottom of the range, but the hot Peugeot Sport Engineered model provides plenty of performance for most use cases

Evo rating
Price
from £34,170
  • Sharp design, high-tech cabin, agile chassis
  • Uninspiring drivetrains, little steering feel, ergonomic flaws

The 1.2-litre petrol model now sits at the bottom of the Peugeot 508 range, and will manage standstill to 62mph in 10sec with a slight penalty for the heavier estate, going on to a 132mph top speed. The middling plug-in hybrid 1.6 PureTech 225 model will achieve the same sprint in 7.9sec with top speed at a quoted 149mph. At the top of the range is the 508 PSE, pairing the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder to a pair of electric motors for a 5.2sec 0-62mph time and 155mph quoted top speed.

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On the road, Peugeot’s numbers feel accurate enough, though where the smaller (and more potent) Peugeots with the 1.6-litre engine feel rampantly fast, the heavier and less powerful 508 merely feels adequately quick in non-PSE form. Acceleration is brisk but there’s no real kick in the back, and with the auto ‘box slurring changes the process of gathering speed is more efficient than it is exciting. There's no doubt that the 508 PSE picks up the pace well, but the complex hybrid powertrain delivers its power without the punch that you get with the torque-rich, pure-combustion B58 straight-six of its BMW M340i rival. 

> BMW M340i xDrive v Peugeot 508 PSE v VW Arteon R Shooting Brake

Switching to Sport mode does little to enhance things, though if you’re in automatic mode the car will of course select later gearchange points and give you slightly improved throttle response. You actually need to notch the switch on the centre console forward once more from Sport to choose Manual if you’re to use the paddles exclusively - in Sport it’ll eventually revert back to auto if you leave the paddles alone for any length of time.

There’s not much joy to be had using the paddles, though. Gearchanges aren’t as snappy as we’d like and the paddles themselves feel cheaper than the interior’s other touch-points, which is a shame. Most of the time you’re likely to leave the car in auto, occasionally tweaking a paddle to encourage a change. The auto ‘box behaves most of the time, even if it’s not as assertive as some, but we’ve found it can hunt around a bit.

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