In-depth reviews

2019 Peugeot 508 Fastback review - mainstream executive disrupts the premium status quo - Performance and 0-60 time

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

Performance and 0-60 time

The least potent 508s, the entry-level 1.6 diesels, will manage 62mph in 11 seconds and eventually go on to the mid-120s mph, with a slight penalty for heavier estate models. All others will reach the acceleration benchmark in under ten seconds and most will comfortably top 130mph, with the hottest diesels hitting 62mph in the mid-8s and reaching up to 146mph. 

Most interesting is the 508 GT fitted with what Peugeot calls the 1.6 PureTech 225. We know it better as a variant of the turbocharged, four-cylinder 1.6 in the 208 and 308 GTIs, and predictably it’s the quickest model in the range, at least until Peugeot Sport efforts arrive.

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!

> Click here for our review of the Mercedes C-class

In fastback form the GT will manage 0-62mph in 7.3sec, and run on to 155mph. For comparison, that’s similar performance to the latest 320i SE Auto (7.1sec and 149mph), though the BMW does manage its numbers with more weight (1525kg) and less power (181bhp).

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

On the road, Peugeot’s numbers feel accurate enough, though where the smaller (and more potent) Peugeots with this engine feel rampantly fast, the heavier and less powerful 508 merely feels adequately quick. 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.

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 with the petrol, even if it’s not as assertive as some, but we’ve found it can hunt around a bit when paired with the diesel.

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