I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Peugeot are underrated, yes the VW group steals the headlines but I always ask why is there a clamor for all things German? Maybe because made in Germany is always guaranteed to be brilliant. Most of the time. That isn’t always the case and so there shouldn’t be a case for over looking Peugeot in that Gallic expression shoulder shrug of disapproval the French do so well.
For 2014 the 508 received a number of updates which include a new more serious looking corporate grille design, new headlights, front and rear bumper re-designs, in addition to the boot and tail lights which have been also been given a mid-life design re-fresh.
Peugeot is hauling itself up-market and with the 508 it seems like job done. Its even got a new up-market sounding trim level. Enter the ‘GT Line’ spec that replaces one trim level for a more dynamic sounding one on the options list.
The SW (station wagon) version gets all those exterior revisions with the exception of the tail lights which remain unchanged for 2015. On the inside the interior design is also pretty much unchanged. But there is a sense of more tactile surfaces not just around the dash but around the door cards and handles, it all feels of better quality than before. And before was really good.
The central console is tidied up, a slightly larger touch screen now houses more primary functions therefore reducing the amount of physical buttons, mainly the heating controls, that piano black finish to some of the inserts remains. It all looks less cluttered and a little bit more classy. And even the seating materials also get better quality fabrics.
GT Line gets you pretty much everything you need, exterior features include 18-inch alloy wheels. On the inside you get glass panoramic sunroof, half-leather trim with red ‘GT-Line’ stitching, colour Head Up Display and half leather trim and more. Of course you get extras such as Sat/Nav, cruise control, heated seats and so on. But you also get full LED headlamps and LED Daytime running lights. Why would you want inefficient halogens when LED headlamps are the way to go.
The standard 508 is a comfortable and pleasant enough place to spend a long journey, plenty of room is on offer in the front and for rear passengers and of course you get a massive boot space with the seats up or down, which ever you prefer. That’s what estates are good for, ferrying the crates of Beaujolais from France or the Capo di Tutti Capi from Italy. And of course thoses folding seats do fold, flat.
I could go into detail about the total boot space in terms of litres but lets just say there’s more then enough room to haul whatever stuff you can manage in an estate car and sometimes a little bit more.
On the move the 508 is graceful, its not setup to be a sporting demon in the corners, it errs on the side of comfort more than it does on decreasing body roll, which is still sufficiently well contained. The suspension is made up of the right formula, front double wishbones at the front and a rear multi-link setup. But make no mistake this 508 is like a warm blanket that wraps around you when taking on say, a long two hour drive.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine is a strong performer and in GT-Line spec its available in two power derivatives, 115bhp and 150bhp, the lesser powered version comes in at £2k less. Like all modern diesel’s its not in your face when rattling away at idle and when you move up the gears and into a motorway cruise you barely notice any trace of ‘diesel-ness’.
With 150bhp version on test also pumped out and 220Nm of torque meaning there is never going to be any danger of being short changed when it comes to power. Aided by a slick shifting six-speed manual gearbox the 508 returned nearly 58 mpg on a combined cycle and had a range of over 700miles on a full tank.
The 508 is a great family car and as an estate its exceedingly practical and very much underrated when compared to the VW Passat. I would say in comparison the 508 looks better and is equally as classy. The one gripe I would highlight is the User Interface for the infotainment system. The new graphical layout looks better but it seems clunky and sometimes less intuitive than the old version.
The only optional extra that came with the 508 GT-Line on test was metallic paintwork at £520, its a fully loaded executive cruiser that but if you want that up market feel be prepared to pay for it, £28k is what it takes to chase the movers and shakers these days.