Peugeot’s coming 508 midsize sedan stands out for safety and movie-star looks
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like the look of the new Peugeot 508. The fourdoor fastback immediately impresses with its coupe-like silhouette and sporty stance. The inside story is the same. It’s a cabin that mixes simple lines with quality materials and sharp, modern graphics.
Unfortunately, thanks to our obsession with SUVs, the 508 will need all of its seductive powers to carve out a decent niche for itself in the Australian market.
The midsize sedan market is dying a slow death. Well credentialed, attractive examples such as the Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mondeo are struggling to find buyers.
Due in the second half of next year, the 508 will come in wagon and hatch form, potentially with two four-cylinder turbos.
The range hasn’t been finalised — Peugeot is yet to decide whether to import two versions or go with one GT model with all the fruit. If there are two, pricing will range from $45,000 to $55,000. A single, well equipped GT would likely start north of $50,000.
Peugeot Australia managing director Ben Farlow says the sleek new model is the latest step in the overall reinvention of the product line-up in recent years.
“Over the past five years, Peugeot has completely reinvented its product range and the new 508 will challenge segment norms, while delivering a vehicle that is not just enjoyable to drive but great to look at,” he says.
The new 508 is certainly a different beast from its predecessor. Built on completely new underpinnings, it bucks recent trends by shrinking in size. Shorter and lower to the ground, it is up to 70kg lighter and more fuel efficient. Top of the range models will be powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo putting out 169kW, while the standard model will be good for 135kW. Both are matched to a new eight-speed conventional automatic.
Peugeot hasn’t confirmed local details yet but the 508 has an impressive arsenal of safety technology at its disposal.
Apart from standard autonomous emergency braking that detects cyclists and pedestrians at up to 140km/h, it has night vision for detecting pedestrians and animals in poor light, lane keeping with steering assistance, adaptive high-beam, speed limit and road sign recognition and adaptive cruise control that can stop the car and take off again.
The hidden tech is complemented by a cabin layout that is simple but sophisticated. The