Peugeot 508 PSE Hybrid4 Reviewed

In Car Reviews, Hybrid, Peugeot by Tom Scanlan

Such a handsome car: The Peugeot 508 PSE! PSE means…Peugeot Sport Engineered!


This is going to be something special, isn’t it? The basic stats would seem to support this: 355 hybrid bhp…wow! 384 lb/ft of torque…wow! 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds…without having to change gear yourself because of that cool 8-speed auto box!

So: loads of exclamation marks, but are they all justified, especially since this car will set you back around £55,000?

That sort of money enters this Peugeot onto some very serious front-row grids. The opposition from Germany, Italy and even the UK is powerful.

Our Peugeot, being a hybrid, offers a purely electric range of 26miles. In my week, covering 520miles, about half of which was on motorway or dual-carriageway, the indicated consumption came out at 42.1mpg, satisfactory enough, but a reminder that the official figures of up to 139.9 mpg are to be read on the assumption that the car is driven mainly in electric mode. When the test car was delivered, I had an indicated 14 (out of a maximum of 26) miles of pure electric available and this soon dwindled to around three, then went down, as the week progressed, to zero; had it been necessary to drive into the city, then I would have had to re-charge; had I had a wall-charger, this would have taken an easy 1 hour 45 minutes. However, I’d hoped that my everyday less-than-frenetic driving would have produced more electric re-charging: every time I checked by switching the car to electric mode, it told me that none was available. Confusingly, the instrument that showed the ‘eco-ness’ indicated that I was regularly in regeneration mode (so I thought), but it wasn’t enough to produce enough pure electric performance.

By the way, the personalisation available meant that this instrument could be changed to a straightforward rev-counter. This would, psychologically speaking, have underlined the sporty nature that ‘PSE’ leads you to think is a significant feature of this 508. When in eco mode, the speedometer’s figures appear green, then switch to white if your foot goes down harder.

But let’s get onto that ‘sport engineered’ business.

The car’s acceleration is a given. And, given it’s only a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine with 200 bhp, which is pretty impressive in itself, I’d expected an exciting growl when the accelerator is floored. But, no, only a hard-to-hear disinterested hum. And maybe that was just those volts adding in.

In other respects, the handling proved to be relatively high g-force, I would guess, on seriously-hard cornering, which was fun; the brakes were well up to dealing with a series of full-hard stops (carried out in simulated emergency conditions)…more G-force on the eyeballs!

As a straightforward family vehicle, the car was comfortable for four adults, with typical luggage space in the boot.

As a driver, the eight-speed automatic gear-change was super-smooth; however, there was a noticeable ‘grab’ when the car’s petrol engine almost literally kicked in at low speed; once, when I happened to have the window open, I could hear a little squeal from the tyre, scuffing as this happened.

That aside, I found the car fun to drive and, with its super driver-seat back massaging system: there are three different massages selectable via the touch-screen, up and down your back…luxuriously cosseting!

But I’m still scratching my head at what, given the opposition, is really going to make this car sell.

However, this Peugeot 508 PSE, like its variants, continues to be a very good family saloon, with a long list of safety, convenience and comfort features.

Author Rating 4/5

Car Reviewed: Peugeot 508 PSE HYBRID4

on the road price inc options £54665

  • 0-62mph 5.2secs
  • Top speed 155mph
  • Engine 1598cc inline 4-cylinder unleaded / Hybrid
  • Fuel Economy Combined 138.9mpg
  • Max Power 200hp@6000rpm
  • Torque 441Nm@1400-2600rpm
  • Dimensions MM 4750 L /2079 W /1403 H
  • CO2 emissions 46g/km
  • Transmission 8-speed efficient automatic
  • Bootspace 487 / 1537 litres seats down

Tom Scanlan

Motoring Journalist

Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.

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