Our car today, to give it its full name, is the Peugeot 508 Allure Blue HDi 150 saloon. You don’t see many about and yet it is unquestionably a very good car.
With a much improved range of cars Peugeot have really got their act together and it’s hard to understand why this particular model isn’t more familiar on our roads.
The 508 looks very smart from most angles and is at its best in side profile. Metallic ‘Alpine Blue’ paintwork helps which is as classy as darker hues but without being quite so anonymous.
The paint is a £520 option – something that most car makers tend to do these days whilst offering pedestrian colours as standard – and our test car was also fitted with an optional, clear and readable ‘heads-up’ display. This isn’t something you absolutely must have but if you think it helps then it will set you back an additional £300 or so.
Peugeot have breathed efficiently upon their engine range and their old 2.0L diesel is replaced with the new 2.0L Blue HDi 150 unit, producing an extra ten horsepower while slashing particulate emissions and NOx out of the tail-pipe.
Our engine, with Stop/Start, was refined and returned well over 40mpg, and we were not striving in any way for hyper-mileage. With a bit more diligence in that department 50mpg should be well on the cards.
It’s also very quiet once the initial growl of acceleration fades away and at motorway speeds you’d be hard put to notice that it was a diesel at all. VED is an abstemious twenty quid thanks to the low 109g/km.
Our test car was furnished with Allure trim, one step below the range topping GT. It loses that car’s full leather upholstery and 19” wheels, but otherwise there isn‘t much difference, although I wasn‘t so keen on the part leather seat trim. One thing or the other please.
There’s good space front and rear – easily enough for five grown-up people – and, as mentioned, a large and well-shaped boot. The driving position proved comfortable over long distances with very little wind noise and generally good visibility.
The dashboard layout is simple and quietly attractive with all the usual connectivity and sometimes unnecessary paraphernalia. The dials are clear and easy to read, and look smart.
Unusually, you also get oil and water temperature gauges something older drivers will appreciate because these days you don’t see them very often. I still reckon it is a good way to foretell trouble before it gets too serious.
Sadly, especially in this day and age, the satellite navigation isn’t good enough. It’s not so much that it doesn’t work, it’s just that it seems dated and running behind the opposition. In the end, I used my mobile Garmin for preference. This is easily rectified.
Overall we were content. For the private owner you could do a lot worse and Peugeot also offer their ‘Optiway’ service plan which looks like a very good deal. The Peugeot 508 fits the bill in most areas as a long-legged cruiser and good all-round family motor.
Geoff Maxted – motoring correspondent