When did that get so pretty?
Peugeot is no stranger to the SUV trend, having recently repositioned its 3008 and 5008 into proper (looking) SUVs. However, it doesn’t intend to kill off its passenger cars as a result of the growing favour of high-riding estate cars. The 2018 Peugeot 508 is a great example of what it intends to do to keep its passenger cars alive despite the SUV trend: By making them so damned pretty that they’re impossible to ignore.
What strikes you immediately is the sleekness of the new 508. Its roofline is now 60mm lower than before but, oddly, it’s also some 80mm shorter than the outgoing car (new dimensions are 4.75m long and 1.4m tall). The roofline is now more fluidic and graceful in its ascent and descent, going from an upright and distinctive nose to an equally-upright and equally-distinctive rear. This 508 will not be confused for anything else, even if its profile is reminiscent of the Volkswagen Arteon and Audi A5 Sportback.
The full-LED headlights are now slimmer than before, and form part of a new LED daytime running light design that eats into the bumper. The rear sees the adornment of beautifully intricate graphics in the taillights, which sit in a blacked-out space that also houses the Peugeot Griffith badge. It’s all rather pretty. Lift that hatch (oh yes it’s a hatch now) and you’ll gain access to 487L of boot space, with a further 1537L available should the rear seats be folded down.
The cabin continues to employ the much-vaunted i-Cockpit architecture, which blends luxury, simplicity and modernity to form some of the most beautiful interiors in the class. In the 508, that means a 12.3-inch digital driver instrumentation display ahead of the smaller, more upright steering wheel, with a touchscreen infotainment screen taking pride placement on the dash (and aided by a row of metallic-silver piano buttons beneath). Tech is catered for with Apple and Android smartphone mirroring, as well as wireless smartphone charging.
Peugeot intends to muscle in on the semi-premium territory by differentiating its 508 with the use of cabin materials. As such, expect to be offered (on higher trim levels or as options) things like full-grain Nappa leather, chrome detailing, black lacquer trim, real wood inlays, and Alcantara upholstery.
Motivation for the new 508 will come from a range of 1.6-litre PureTech petrol mills, and a range of 2.0-litre BlueHDi oilers. The Puretech 180 and 225 S&S units produce a decent amount of power, 134kW for the PureTech180 and 168kW for the PureTech225 S&S, while the diesels come in tunes of 97kW, 119kW, and 134kW. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is employed through most of the range, but entry-level cars will get the option of a six-speed manual.
Built on PSA Groupe’s EMP2 platform, not only does the new 508 weigh an average of 70kg less than its predecessor, but it also gets to offer new advanced driver assistance tech for the first time. As such, 508 buyers can expect to find intelligent cruise control, lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking (limited to 140km/h), adaptive high-beam, night-vision system, and blind-spot monitoring available either as standard or as cost-options.
Peugeot has announced that the 508 will be made available in Europe late this year, so expect to see the 508 arrive on our shores by Q1 2019 at the latest. Stay tuned to CarShowroom as we bring you more updates closer to the local launch.