Reviewed the Peugeot 508 GT, a rare breed

In Car Reviews, Peugeot by Tom Scanlan

On the few occasions that I have spotted one, I have always thought they had quite striking looks.

Having now experienced the top spec Peugeot 508 GT for around three hundred miles over a week, I am a bit of a fan.

The engine in the Peugeot 508 GT is the 2197cc Blue HDi diesel, with its 180 bhp at 3750 rpm and torque of 370 Nm at 2000 rpm it makes quite a brisk performer. Off the line it can reach 62 mph in less than nine seconds and there is loads of oomph for overtaking at higher speeds. The GT has a six-speed automatic with paddles at the steering wheel for individual control.

At first the motor seemed a bit on the noisy side, but that typical diesel sound soon dissipates for the ambience to become calm and quiet. The ride is slightly on the firm side, but the car is comfortable to travel in. I really enjoyed taking the car at (legal and safe) higher speeds around sweeping bends because the steering and handling are excellent.

For parking and tight manoeuvering, the effort on the wheel is just right, too and reversing is much helped by the rear-view colour camera and warning lines. Depending on how high or low the driver adjusts the seat, vision over the front of the bonnet can be a bit limited and, again, there is a warning system to help you keep the front end from damage when parking.

Night-time driving is enhanced by the smart and clear instrumentation, while the headlamps are second to none. These are smart LEDs that you can set to work automatically on high beam that dips in lit-up areas, behind other cars and when ‘seeing’ oncoming vehicles; on unlit roads they automatically highlight road signs and shed extra light on the road as you go around a corner. They are also suitable for driving on the continent without the need of any adjustment.

Inside, the 508 has plenty of room for driver and passengers, including those in the back seats, who can easily get in and out thanks to the wide opening doors. it was a bit odd that the handbook did not fit into the glovebox.

The back massager for the driver and the heated seats, standard features in the GT, were very welcome!

The boot is a good size, too, although the tailgate is not quite so easy to shut one-handed without touching a dirty lid as some. rainwater tended to drip into the boot when I opened up on a wet day. Folding the rear seats, which couldn’t be easier, extends the boot with a good deal more flat stowage space. Under the boot floor lies a space-saver spare wheel…better than one of those squirty things. However, having not actually tried to put a punctured wheel in, but having measured the wheel and where the space-saver would have been removed from, it looks a very tight fit. Worth checking out.

The Peugeot 508 GT is very well equipped with driver AIDS, including the red SOS button that sits amongst the other minor controls on the central console; at first, I was a bit concerned that I might inadvertently hit it, but I managed not to. Peugeot pioneered this automatic emergency system, standard across the 508 range, and says that more than seven thousand people have used it since its inception in 2003.

All the switchgear looks smart, feels good to operate and is neatly laid out in a variety of matt and shiny-piano black surfaces.

The satellite navigation system, different again from that in other marques, took a bit of getting used to and could have done with a simple method of turning the vocal instructions off or on. At one point, it would not accept the correct postcode that I had entered. The head-up display can be used to show a variety of driving information or can be stowed back into its slot on the dashboard.

The car has five euro ncap stars for safety.

At the end of my week with the car, driving in the usual variety of short trips, city runs, cross-country and motorway, the trip recorder displayed an overall,fuel consumption of 44.0 mpg. Emissions are low at just 110 g/km. Insurance is 32E and the total cost of this model is £30,345 making it very competitive and well worth investigating for anyone who hasn’t already been convinced by Peugeot.

About the Author

Tom Scanlan

'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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