New Peugeot in the frame for success T
AKE a good look at the car above – at first glance a top of the range Audi or Jaguar? Well no, actually, this is the new multi award-winning Peugeot 508.
Yes that’s right, it is a Peugeot – and it’s also a bit of a looker. I have been lucky enough to have tested many exotic or just released cars over the years and so am used to people stopping taking pictures.
But I never thought Peugeot would produce a car that had the same effect – more than once when I left the 508 parked-up I returned to find someone taking a quick picture.
Also I got a few ‘nice car mate’ comments, lots of looks on the road and it even caused a bit of a stir on the M.E.N car park - where they are used to seeing all manner of vehicles in my parking space.
So exactly what is the new 508? It is Peugeot’s flagship executive saloon, released earlier this year, and the first one I have seen ‘in the flesh.’ A direct rival to well-specced German executive saloons but for a lot less money – several thousand pounds less than an equivalent Mercedes or Audi (although more than a Mondeo or Insignia).
And when I say well specced the kit list is long and interesting. Top of that list is night vision – a system using the front parking camera which can detect objects in near total darkness. The big digital instrument binnacle ahead of the driver - mounted in Peugeot’s now trademark ‘floating’ position above the steering wheel and so near to your line of sight - can display a long list of different views from traditional dials to almost the whole display showing night vision ahead.
This system can also identify other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists ect and highlights them in the display – clever stuff.
Driving to see an old friend through the pitch black country lanes near Blackpool I got a good chance to really try this out.
It works too – although the urge to still look through the windscreen is so strong it is more of a driving aid rather than something you can totally rely on to navigate through the blackness. And when I came across a cyclist without lights, probably riding home from the pub, and on the wrong side of the road on a pitch black lane the system spotted him before I did and outlined his shape on the display – a real lifesaver.
Also on the list are: wireless phone charging, distinctive ‘slash’ front running lights, active suspension, leather trim with front seats heated and electrically adjustable with massage and memory function, power smart tailgate, premium sound system, smart 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels, ‘cornering’ LED headlights and much more.
The second-generation Peugeot 508 looks a lot like the Audi A5 Sportback and is around the size of a Mondeo but feels bigger. Distinctive front and rear lights include LED ‘tusks’ in the front bumper.
Some 70kg lighter that the outgoing model our FWD 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel has an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s offered with either 161bhp or 174bhp, while a 1.5-litre diesel, available in manual only, has 129bhp and CO2 emissions of just 98g/km. Petrol versions have a 1.6litre turbo with 178bhp or 221bhp.
Adaptive dampers plus modes ranging from Eco to Sport (which improves throttle and steering response and increases exhaust volume) come on our GT-Line and all versions have that stylish, well put together interior which has the i-cockpit control layout and ‘piano key’ infotainment shortcut buttons. Our car also had the 10-in ‘highdefinition’ central touch screen which looks good giving navigation mapping more clearly than in other Peugeots.
Figures wise the 2-litre diesel 508 GT-Line gets from 0 to 62 in 8.4 seconds and will hit 143 mph while returning a claimed 62 mpg.
Prices are from £25,000 for the Active 1.5L Blue HDi while our 2-litre GT-Line is from £31,089, while the top-of-the-range First Edition comes in at £37,439 for the 2-litre version. It’s a stylish alternative to the German midsized executive opposition which will be more exclusive on the road and cheaper to buy and run.
More info at www.peugeot.co.uk BELIEVE it or not this beast is the latest SsangYong!
But it is not one you are likely to see on UK roads as the Rexton DKR has been built to tackle next year’s Dakar Rally - the world’s toughest.
It has a dune buggy body style and is built to be strong, fast and light to overcome the many different challenges posed by the 11-day race in Peru in January. With 10 hard stages, competitors race over 5,000 kilometres, 70 per cent of which is across dunes and sand.
The rear wheel drive car will compete in the two-wheel drive petrol vehicle class. It is powered by a 450hp V8 race engine and can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.4 seconds.