First Impression: Peugeot 508 1.6 THP – Style and staturePOSTED BY Mick Chan ON 28 May 2015
It’s been a little while since the first incarnation of the Peugeot 508 arrived on our shores; here in updated guise, the French manufacturer’s large sedan has been given a nip and tuck, most notably at the front; a facelift, if you will.
On location for our sampling was the 1.6-litre THP petrol variant, which sports output figures of 163hp and 240Nm of torque; numbers which are par for the course in the D-segment which the 508 slots nicely into.
What’s new? Firstly, the big sedan gains a restyled front and rear, and the clue to its updated illumination is inscribed on the updated 508’s headlights: it features all-LED technology, which means that there is not a single traditional incandescent light bulb in the car, right down to the smallest interior lights.
Interior architecture remains largely as before, with key updates including a seven-inch high-definition multimedia touchscreen unit with navigation capabilities, a JBL sound system with a 500-watt subwoofer, and an integrated reverse camera.
Additionally, Peugeot’s blind-spot monitoring system makes an appearance on the 508 as well, adding to the list of active safety measures already in its goodie bag. Meanwhile, six airbags make up its supplementary restraint system should the really untoward happen.
It’s a spacious cabin for four adults, and most who are six feet tall or less will be well accommodated in the 508. Pleasant additions for this segment, which are of course present in the 508, are four-zone air-conditioning (rear occupants share a common blower adjustment) and a 12-volt power socket for the rear seats.
In the hot seat up in front, the steering wheel is found to be slightly flat-bottomed, and not excessively so; the overall cabin ambience is one of relaxed stature – albeit with rather than pronounced sportiness. It retains a fairly open form as before, which maximises the sense of space within the car.
And where space is maximised, the car’s wieldiness is typically the first to suffer; not here in the 508, though. It is a remarkably easy car to place on the road at urban speeds, with the helm staying commendably light.
The big sedan gathers speed nicely too, as 240Nm of torque ensures plenty of easy overtaking potential, with the Aisin-sourced six-speed automatic gearbox shuffling ratios easily with little obtrusion into the cabin’s serenity. That calmness within the cabin is mostly retained up to high three-figure speeds on the motorway, a scenario only punctuated by some wind noise rustling around the upper edges of the windows.
The highway truly is the 508’s domain, where it felt as if it could maintain a high-speed cruise all day long. Chassis movements are well controlled at speed, and even at lower urban velocities the ride is absorbent and all but the worst potholes are well isolated.
This is a competent car, then. In isolation the Peugeot 508 performs well as a car for executives, and we suspect it will stand well in comparison with the other players in its segment.
Peugeot traditionally doesn’t play the volume game in our market, not in this segment at least. That the 508 hasn’t sold in numbers comparable to the aforementioned is more indicative of preference rather than any glaring inadequacy; this big French car has both flair and substance going for it.
Specifications of the Peugeot 508 THP 1.6
Engine: inline-four cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged petrol, direct injection
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
Max power: 162hp @ 6,000rpm
Max torque: 240Nm @ 1,450 – 4,250rpm
Acceleration (0-100km/h): 9.2 seconds
Top speed: 220km/h
Fuel consumption (combined): 7.1 litres/100km
CO2 emissions (combined): 164g/km