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With its sleek sheet metal, well-appointed cabin and sensible drive, the Peugeot 508 will appeal to drivers looking for a practical family car with added visual flair.

23 Jun 2021

What We Dislike
Need to be careful when opening the heavy doors
Can't visually see the cruise control buttons
There are more practical options in the market

When the new generation Peugeot 508 was first revealed back in 2018, it certainly grabbed many people's attention thanks to its bold and modern design. Put simply, it looked damn good.

Now, the car has finally made its way to our shores. Is it simply a case of all form no function, or does this 508 truly impress?

Visual flair

The new Peugeot 508 is a distinctly good-looking family sedan
In person, the 508 is as visually pleasing as it is in pictures. With its long, low bonnet, lower overall height, a sharpened and slender front end, the 508 is a really good-looking sedan.

That sense of sleekness continues into the cabin. With the muted tones, clean lines and digital dashboard and large infotainment system, the car has an air of upmarket quality to it. The copper-coloured graphics and stitching also add an additional sense of flair to the cabin.

While the equipment may be familiar from other cars in the Peugeot range like the 3008 and the 5008, the way it is situated within this sedan body actually makes it feel more cossetting. I like the way the infotainment system and centre console controls are angled towards the driver. Combined with the low roof and embracing seats, it really does create a cockpit-feel.

The plush Nappa leather front seats also come equipped with massage functionality
With Nappa leather upholstery throughout, as well as massage functions on the electric front seats, there's also some additional luxury touches to the car.

However, there are some quibbles. I find the positioning of the cruise control buttons a little cumbersome for first time users. It's tucked behind the steering wheel (like several other brands), however it's located such that it's almost impossible to visually see the controls unless you really bend down and look. Obviously, this isn't very conducive to do while you're actually driving. Effectively, you have to memorise the controls.

Also, the location of the USB port and wireless charging pad is a little bit inconvenient. It's tucked away in a small space under the centre console, which makes it a little inaccessible. You also don't get navigation built into the infotainment system. However this can be easily circumvented by using your phone's navigation function, either through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

This GT variant gets fancy copper graphics 
One more thing - I find the doors really heavy. When opening the doors, you would be well advised to be a little bit careful. There was one or two times when the door very quickly swung outwards, which caused a near miss with an Audi TT's side view mirror once. Just… be a little careful with it.

Useful purpose

On the road, the 508 is capable, though perhaps lacking in excitement that the overall design may otherwise suggest.

Power comes from a familiar 1.6-litre turbocharged engine sending power to the front wheels through an eight-speed gearbox. With 178bhp and 250Nm of torque, power is amply sufficient, even for slightly more enthusiastic driving.

The 1.6-litre engine pumps out a healthy 178bhp and 250Nm of torque
With this particular test car, I did experience some juddering from the gearbox in 1st and 2nd gears, especially on moderate to hard acceleration and braking. I've not experienced this issue with other Peugeot cars I've driven that use the same gearbox, so I don't think it's an issue with the gearbox generally, but perhaps just this particular car.

As far as on road comfort goes, there are really no complaints with the 508. The suspension is pliant and responds smoothly to bumps in the road, overall noise insulation is good, and driven lightly the driving experience is pretty relaxing.

The 508 has Peugeot's small steering wheel, which is a design feature that certainly divides opinions. The more I use it, especially in this car, the more I do like it.

The small steering wheel and variable power assistance make for effortless driving even at low speeds
Combined with the speed-sensitive variable power assistance, lower speed manoeuvring is super easy. You can make sharp 90-degree turns using just one hand. It also gives the sensation of driving a car that's smaller than it actually is. And at higher speeds, there is a slightly better sense of steering agility and sharpness.

On the practicality front, the 508 has a 487-litre boot, which can be usefully opened and closed by waving your foot. Admittedly, given its fastback body style, the boot space isn't that impressive (a comparable Skoda Superb has 625 litres). However, it should be plenty for most people. Knock the rear seats down and you can easily fit a full-length Ikea mirror.

Function and form

The new Peugeot 508 will appeal to drivers who want extra flair and visual oomph to go with a practical and sensible family sedan package
The new Peugeot 508 ticks enough of the boxes to deliver practical daily functionality for a family. It's not particularly outstanding in this regard, but it makes up for that in other areas.

Where it stands out is certainly the way it looks. The exterior looks fantastic, and the interior has greater visual flair compared to some of its competitors. At $159,888 (as of 22 Jun 2021), it's priced reasonably enough as well.

Ultimately, it boils down to what you want. If you want something that's supremely practical and functional, you're probably better off with a Superb or VW Passat. However, if you want a car with much more visual flair and a sleeker interior, then this new Peugeot 508 is a good choice.

Car Information

Peugeot 508 Fastback 1.6 EAT8 GT (A)
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: $168,888

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC Turbocharged

Engine Cap





133kW (178 bhp) / 5500 rpm



250 Nm / 1650 rpm



8-speed (A) EAT8

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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peugeot  508  508 fastback  peugeot 508  peugeot sedan