Test drive Peugeot 508 1 6 eHDi 112 Active 2 0 HDi 140 Allure and 2 2 HDi 200 GT

23 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Test drive Peugeot 508 1 6 eHDi 112 Active 2 0 HDi 140 Allure and 2 2 HDi 200 GT отключены

The TotallyMotor Verdict

Let’s kick off this TotallyMotor Peugeot 508 test drive review with a little bit of concept car art Peugeot’s initial design sketches of their all-new and largest, executive-cruising, range-topper 508.

As artist’s impressions go, it’s a bit of a looker, and while the concept sketches are a little OTT in terms of incredible wheel size and arresting lower roofline; the real-world Peugeot 508 isn’t actually that far away from the concept drawings and, like the concept, the made-of-metal 508 looks good. It also looks modern, clean, a little bit French; and a whole lot Peugeot.

And while the styling is subtlety attractive, there’s a lot going on under that svelte skin and curved bonnet that will be of interest not only to the company car drivers that make up around three-quarters of potential 508 customers, but also frugal-families that want to fall back in love with a big car from the lion badge.

First impressions:

I’ve personally been a fan of the 508 since first sight of photographic images of the finished car; and I’ve included those very pics of the white, saloon 508 in GT form in this report, but having now seen the saloon and SW cars in the flesh I can confirm that Peugeot are back on big-car form in terms of style, presence and quality aura.

The curving-from-every-direction bonnet, ‘floating grille’, LED headlighting details, high shoulders and ultra-clean rear-end all add up to an appealing design picture that’s still hints with Peugeot flavour — but, it’s a new and fresh flavour that’s leaving the predecessor 407 behind, and looking distinctly forward. And while competition cars like the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and VW Passat are also individually good-looking; the 508 proudly shows off its own French flare.

I’d personally plump for a Perlescent white GT saloon with its torque-tractoring, 200bhp 2.2 HDi turbo-diesel engine, 18-inch Electra 5-spoke alloys, performance-black grille and liberal sprinkling of chrome highlights. But, it’s the ultra-frugal 1.6 e-HDi that’s going to open car-buyers’ eyes with its impressive 109g/km emissions ticket and near-65mpg combined economy.

Into the interior:

We managed some decent wheel-time with three 508 models during out TotallyMotor test drive review; with a mixture of diesel engines from the frugal to the fast and a mixture of trim levels from Access, SR, Active, Allure and GT so we’ll round-up all the key interior details. Oh, and the full-length glass roof in the SW (estate) cars is the height of pleasantry.

508’s solid looks are backed-up by a weighty driver’s door that gives way to a spacious and airy interior where the overall impression is, like the exterior, one of modernity. But, while the exterior exudes that French flare, the interior is a quieter affair; and I think that’s a good thing.

There’s nothing outlandish to constantly nudge your attention, instead all is calm and collected in this inner space, with interior happiness delivered by the right levels of fit and finish, adjustable ergonomic seating and controls comfort, and neat techno-tricks like an adjustable heads-up colour display that shows speed and sat-nav directions.

The seats, be they cloth, half-leather or full leather, offer back and side support in the right areas, and while this tester thought that the seat bases could’ve been a touch longer; I was quickly comfortable and ready to cruise within a few moments. There’s also a big boot, to boot.

The steering wheel is one of the best from Peugeot for some time and buttons and switches have been kept to a reasonable level, assisted mainly be the command-dial behind the gear selector; a control that’s easy enough to master, one you take the time to click around the functions.

Visibility issues never really come to mind while driving the 508, which means that there are no areas of unease where all-round vision is concerned, and factoring in a well-weighted steering set-up, smoothly precise manual gear-shifting and confident brakes and we’ve got a big cruiser that will doubtless deliver its business drivers in a relaxed state, even after many miles of motorway munching.

We’ve got three engines to talk about after two days with the 508 and we’ll start with the most sippingest of all three of our diesel testers; the 1.6 e-HDi 112 Stop/Start with Electronically Controlled Manual Gearbox (EGC). This is the powerplant with the right figures in every department.

Firstly, 112 stands for the 112bhp that this 1.6-litre, turbo-diesel engine makes at 3600rpm. And while 3600rpm is getting near the top of any modern diesel engine’s performance ceiling, this engine is quiet and refined you have to drop the windows to hear it tick over!

More important for a turbo-diesel is the torque figure; 202lb ft in this case, and it’s a fair dollop of acceleration-making torque that’s readily available from just 1750rpm. And that’s useful low-down grunt.

And to deliver those impressive economy figures (109g/km CO2 and 64.2mpg combined), that 6-speed auto-manual gearbox relies on early, useable torque to perform its ultra-early up-shifts.

Basically, this auto-manual ‘box beats a human-manual gearbox in the fight for frugality because it shifts up extremely early, and, of course, makes full use of Peugeot’s latest start/stop technology. The manually shifting HDi 112 still manages 60.1mpg and 124g/km, but even the most economically-minded human driver would forget the odd early up-shift and just couldn’t stop and start the engine with anywhere near the safety and regularity of the computer.

Drive the e-HDi gently and it’ll shift up almost seamlessly with the tacho needle barely nudging 2000rpm, and it will stop and start at every opportunity; even displaying the combined time the engine has been dormant during your current drive. This combination encourages you to maximise economy; happily watching the mpg readout climbing in the right direction; driving far away from the fuel forecourt.

There’s a manual, paddle-shift override just in case the back lanes start to flow faster, and while with 112bhp she’s more frugal-focused than rocketship (0-62mph in 11.9secs and 122mph), there’s enough torque, surge and soundtrack to return some excitement during fast-flowing fun.

We also drove the 2.0 HDi 140 (140bhp, 9.8secs to 62mph and 130mph; 58.9mpg / 125g/km CO2) which is just as refined and delivers more punch, and the 2.2 HDi 200 (200bhp, 8.2secs to 62mph and 139mph; 49.6mpg / 150g/km CO2) which is a smooth operating heavy hitter. You take your choice as budget and eco-consciousness dictates, but with the two petrol options and five diesel power output options, you’ve got, well, plenty of options.

On the road and the 508 behaves very well indeed; smooth, calm and quiet, with refinement right up there with the competition. All 508 variants, apart from the fastest GT, share the same MacPherson front and multi-arm rear suspension which deals with sharper road-ripples quite firmly; while the firmness of ride also means flat and composed cornering. And this tester will always take firmer and flat over softer and choppy.

The GT gets a more expensive and more ‘accurate’ double wishbone front set-up that keeps cornering flatter still and sharpens an already decent turn-in; befitting the 508 GT’s potent 200bhp motor.

Ten second sum up:

Peugeot’s big cars are right back where they should be; handsome, refined, solid and well spec’d, and the 508 drives as good as it looks. Sure, many of the drivers will be from the fleet market, but frugal families that loved the big Peugeots of old will look at the extra-economical e-HDi with keen interest. And the Hybrid4 diesel/electric is still yet to come

Prices and availability:

Prices start at £18,150 for the Peugeot 508 1.6 VTi 120 Access with EGC gearbox, rising to £28,750 for the 2.2 HDi GT 200. Various prices and specs as tested. Available now.

By Daniel Anslow

PEUGEOT 508 RXH HYbrid4 107g/km Semi-automatic 6-speed
PEUGEOT 508 RXH HYbrid4 107g/km Semi-automatic 6-speed

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