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In-depth reviews

Peugeot 508 – ride and handling

Direct, grippy and agile, if not truly entertaining. Ride quality is good even on larger wheel options, and refinement is impressive

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

Being based on the same EMP2 platform as the 308, you can expect some 308-style agility from the 508, albeit not quite to the same extent. While a minimum kerbweight of 1455kg would make it not far from the lightest in its class, the range-topping 508 PSE weighs in at 1892kg. Regardless, there’s a sense of integrity to its structure and a well-cushioned ride, even in entry-level form.

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The 508 feels fairly effortless to guide down a road in all forms. There’s not much roll, and grip levels are strong too, which is useful as the small steering wheel responds quite quickly, and at first you may end up taking a tighter line through some corners than intended. 

The small wheel is both a blessing and a curse, for us. In smaller Peugeots like the 208 and 308 GTIs, it’s an essential part of the car’s character, encouraging you to turn in aggressively and ensuring you can make instantaneous corrections as you hustle down a road. The range-topping PSE boasts impressive dynamic ability, with an ability to flow and carry speed without much fuss, putting the imperfections of Britain's roads to one side – while this is undoubtedly impressive, it does make it less engaging than some rivals. 

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

In the ordinary 508, this sharpness perhaps feels out of character with the more laid-back, advanced nature of the rest of the car. While turn-in is quick and the resulting grip levels strong, the chassis sometimes feels like it’s slightly lagging behind those ultra-speedy inputs, rather than immediately following as it would in a 208. The relative lack of leverage of a small wheel means Peugeot has also whacked up the power assistance, which masks any semblance of feel - everything feels a bit remote, even if you never want for precision or response.

The front wheels do seem more than capable of taking everything you throw at them though, not just in terms of strong lateral traction, but also resistance to torque steer. Even accelerating hard out of tighter corners the 508 seems to follow your line faithfully, though some of this can be accounted for by slightly laggy responses through the eight-speed auto. 

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