If like almost all users, you confine your selection to 1. 6 and 2. 0-litre engines, then the big news with the revised model is the addition of the brand’s latest generation 2. 0-litre BlueHDi diesel, offered with 150bhp in manual form or with 180bhp as a 6-speed automatic. In either case, there’s enough performance to compensate for the fact that the 508 line-up no longer provides any petrol options, an SW version of the 150bhp variant making 62mph from rest in 10. 1s on the way to 130mph but more importantly putting out a pokey 370Nm of torque, so you won’t have to stir the gearbox too much into action if you’re really running late.
Alongside the BlueHDi offerings sit the older Euro5 engines carried over from the original 508 range. Most will probably want the entry-level 1. 6-litre e-HDi diesel models which offer 115bhp.
We tend to expect something special of Peugeot in the styling department, a distinguished elegance that carries a bit of weight. The original 508 certainly had a very clean shape but it lacked that gravitas, that…. certain something that ought to differentiate a Peugeot from, say, a Ford or Vauxhall. To that end, the smarter, more upright front grille with its central lion motif certainly gives the car a bit more visual clout, with chromed styling that's more assertive and adds another 16mm of length to the front overhang. The bonnet’s a little more handsome too, redesigned to be more horizontal and give the car what the brand hopes is a more contemporary look.
Lift the optional powered tailgate on the SW estate model and a 512-litre luggage compartment is revealed, which is a useful improvement on the 473-litre boot you get in the saloon variant. Good too, that there are practical touches, an optional load net and solid hooks for restraining straps there to ensure that your eggs don’t end up merging with your Iron Bru.
Take a seat behind the wheel and if you had experience of the original version of this car, you’ll find that this improved model offers up a noticeable improvement in quality, with softer trim finishes and higher quality cloths. The main change though, is the addition of the 7" colour touchscreen to the dash, the idea being to intuitively group together most of the vehicle’s main functions and so reduce button clutter.
Peugeot reckons that its clever BlueHDi diesel engines offer ‘have-your-cake-and-eat-it’ technology and wheels out the much improved 508 model as proof. So it is that you can enjoy the 150bhp performance of the 2. 0-litre 150bhp BlueHDi variant, yet return a 67. 3mpg combined cycle fuel figure that, in SW guise, still betters that of the much feebler 115bhp 1. 6-litre e-HDi manual gearbox model. The BlueHDi model’s CO2 return is better too, 110g/km in SW form, as opposed to 112g/km for a 1. 6-litre e-HDi stick-shift 508 variant.
508 folk, it seems, are people who want style and comfort but don’t want either of those things to compromise the experience. They’re people with a very distinct set of priorities. Here’s a car that’ll continue to suit them perfectly.