Peugeot 508 Hybrid review
Peugeot's 508 plug-in hybrid executive saloon is a good effort; it hits all the right notes, but it does seem a little too expensive
- Stunning looks
- Pretty well equipped
- Very low CO2 emissions
- BMW 330e better to drive
- Expensive for private buyers
- Style trumps practicality somewhat
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||33-39 miles||166-235mpg||29-33g/km|
Available in the UK since 2018 in conventional petrol and diesel form, the Peugeot 508 now features a plug-in hybrid powertrain variant. Thanks to the plug-in hybrid model’s lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy, it has the added bonuses of a small discount on annual road tax and savings on company-car drivers’ Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax.
The 508 is one of many saloons offering plug-in hybrid power now, including the sportier 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered in both saloon and estate form. The list of the 508’s rivals includes the BMW 330e, Volkswagen Passat GTE, and the Skoda Octavia iV and Superb iV. But, aside from the financial benefits, what's the 508 like in the metal? The short answer is very stylish and attractive. Nearly all modern Peugeots, from the 208 hatchback to the 3008 SUV, cut a dash on the road, but the 508 is particularly svelte and shapely and guaranteed to turn heads.
The interior looks as good as the exterior, with all manner of high-tech displays and classy 'piano-key' buttons to keep you informed as to what the hybrid drivetrain is doing and operate its various driving modes. Like almost every other plug-in hybrid, these include a pure-electric mode, a 'full power' mode that gives you everything the engine and electric motor can muster and a charge preservation mode that allows you to hold on to battery charge to be deployed later on in your journey – such as when you arrive in an urban area after a long motorway run.
It's good to drive, offering the same combination of comfort and poise as the standard car, but the 508 still can't match its BMW 330e rival for outright polish and driver engagement. Still, as an alternative to the executive saloon mainstream, the Peugeot is a viable option.
And while the 508 Hybrid carries a considerable premium over its internal-combustion-powered rangemates, the pay off is low running costs, including impressive fuel economy if you can keep its battery topped up. The added benefit of ultra-low company-car tax rates and an unlimited-mileage warranty are further strings to its bow.
However, as good as the 508 is in objective terms, its suitability for private buyers is easily brought into question. It'll suit a very specific type of user, but the high asking price and relatively low residuals will only count against it when compared to rivals from the more established premium brands.
If you use your car mainly on frequent shorter journeys and occasionally undertake longer ones, however, the 508 Hybrid is a worthy alternative to other plug-in saloons – and in 508 SW estate guise, a welcome and stylish alternative to an SUV. For a more detailed look at the car, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingPeugeot's 508 plug-in hybrid executive saloon is a good effort; it hits all the right notes, but it does seem a little too expensive
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingAs with many cars in this class, the 508 Hybrid's fuel economy depends on battery charge; CO2 emissions are low
- 3Running costsPlug-in hybrid tax breaks mean the 508 Hybrid makes a lot of sense for company-car users; strong warranty offers great peace of mind
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe 508 Hybrid isn't quite up to BMW standards of driver involvement, but it's a comfortable and enjoyable car nonetheless
- 5Interior & comfortThe 508 Hybrid's interior is a showstopper and you'll be happy to spend lots of time in it
- 6Practicality & boot spaceStriking styling and a rakish roofline don't dent the 508 Hybrid's practicality too much; nor does the battery
- 7Reliability & safetyAs with all Peugeots, the 508 Hybrid is very safe and should be built to last, but the reliability of its new drivetrain is largely unproven