2015 Peugeot 508 Allure review
Isaac Bober’s 2015 Peugeot 508 Allure review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety, verdict and rating.
In a nutshell: Refreshed Pegueot 508 gets a new look front and rear with a new, frugal engine joining the range. This car proves the French car maker has found its form again.
2015 Peugeot 508 Allure
Price From $45,990 (+ORC) Warranty 3 years/100,000km Safety 5 stars ANCAP Engine 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel Power/Torque 120kW/340Nm Transmission six-speed automatic Weight 1520kg Body 4830mm (L); 1828mm (W) 1456mm Fuel Tank 72 litres Thirst 5.7L/100km claimed
IT WOULD BE fair to say that the Peugeot 508 flies, and has flown, under the radar here in Australia since it launched here in 2011, and I don’t really understand why that is. When the 508 first lobbed Down Under, replacing the frog-faced 406 and 607, it immediately impressed with its long-as-your-arm-standard-specification list, quality, ride and handling.
But the car never really caught on here. Shame. Fast forward to now and Peugeot is hoping to change that with the refreshed 2015 model. The elegant 508 has been given a new-look bumper at the front and back, new grille and headlights. Inside, the thing’s been updated with a new touch-screen infotainment unit, sat-nav and reversing camera all as standard across the range.
Pricing for the refreshed 508 starts from $37,990 (+ORC) which puts it in the ballpark against the likes of the Subaru Liberty Premium which lists from $35,490 (+ORC) and the Ford Mondeo which starts at $32,790 (+ORC). That said, we’re testing the 508 Allure which is exclusively available with a diesel engine and is priced from $45,990 (+ORC) and the equivalent Mondeo Trend which lists from $40,490 (+ORC).
As mentioned above, we’re testing the 508 Allure which is available exclusively with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder that produces 120kW at 3750rpm and 340Nm at 2000rpm. For the trainspotters, this engine also sees service int he 308, 3008 and RCZ. This engine is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is a claimed combined 5.7L/100km, but across 300km the best we could average was 7.5L/100km.
We’ll come back to performance, ride and handling in a moment… I’d like to touch briefly on the look of the 508. When the new-look 508 arrived back in 2011 it was a staggering improvement for the brand. The car looked elegant and premium, better still, from the inside it felt elegant and premium too. So too does the refreshed version which sees the grille design come into line with other Peugeots, but I don’t think this new version is as eye-catching as its predecessor. But, looks are always in the eye of the beholder, so let’s not dwell on them.
The sweeping shape and the new-look grille do indeed help the 508 standout from squarer competitors like the Skoda Superb and swoopier ones like the Ford Mondeo, and square, swoop ones like the Liberty. One thing you might notice from the profile photos is the relatively high shoulder line and the relatively short glasshouse of the 508. This suggests that room inside might be a little tight. It isn’t.
Slip behind the wheel and the 508 Allure looks every bit the premium sedan, with soft touch plastics, leather and beautifully textured finishes everywhere your eye falls. The dash is logically laid out, although it does take awhile to learn the infotainment unit and the quirky sat-nav system that utterly defeated me… familiarity would improve the experience, though. No such problems syncing your phone or fiddling with the climate control via the touchscreen; the touch function is sensitive without being overly so, and there’s minimal lag on the response time.
The driver’s seat is comfortable, although it is located very low to the floor, even in its highest setting which means shorter passengers might feel even shorter. The steering wheel offers reasonable adjustment, although it can’t be raised high enough for my liking, giving the same feeling you get from a Falcon: that the steering wheel is sitting in your lap. Small gripe in the grand scheme, though.
Over in the back seats there’s plenty of head and shoulder room, while legroom in the back isn’t quite as generous as, say, a Skoda Superb complaints are unlikely. Indeed, thanks to scallop-style roof, taller passengers will be more comfortable in the back of the 508 than in the Ford Mondeo. I fitted two child seats to the back and, again, the kids had more than enough room. The integrated blinds in the doors mean you don’t have to carry stick-on blinds to keep sunlight off younger children. Nice.
Because the floor in the back is virtually flat, the middle rear seat is actually usable for anyone with legs, meaning it’s not just a perch. Over in the boot, the refreshed 508 carries over with the previous car’s 497 litres of space, although if you fold down the rear seats this grows to 1533 litres. The wagon offers more: 612 and 1817 litres, respectively. The only gripe I have is that due to the sedan body, the rear boot opening is on the small side.
The engine offers more than enough oomph to flatten hills and make overtaking on the highway a cinch, however, from a standing start, thanks to no throttle pedal feel, you end up pushing a little too hard and getting a sudden rush of grunt to the front wheels, which ends up making the car feel awkward. But, once you’re up and moving, the gear shifts and throttle response become smooth and refined.
Peugeot’s used to be byword for comfort and handling, and while you haven’t been able to say that about their products for a long time, the Lion brand has found its form again with the 508 and the 308, but we’ll save that for the review of that car (which will be online later this week). The suspension is carried over from the car’s predecessor, which is a good thing as Peugeot got the 508’s temperament just right on its first go.
The ride is firm, but not bone jarringly so, and body movements are kept well controlled, only the sharpest of unexpected hits will see the thing skip. The steering is direct, but it wants for feel, although that generally suits the nature of the car, if you know what I mean. See, the 508 isn’t a racer; it’s a car for crushing long distances in style. The brakes are strong and progressive in their feel.
In terms of refinement, up to 90km/h the 508 is whisper quiet, but above that you do get a faint whistle of wind. And, across coarser surfaces, you can hear the suspension working away underneath, but given how cosseting the rest of the experience is, it’s a minor thing that can be forgiven in isolation.
So, what do you get for your $45,990 (+ORC)? The 508 Allure we’re testing gets blind spot monitoring, reversing camera, the seven-inch touch screen with sat-nav, paddle shifters, LED daytime running lights, electric boot release and much more.
In terms of safety, the 508 gets a five-star ANCAP safety rating (tested in 2011; scored 35.10/37), reversing camera and blind spot monitoring, six airbags, seatbelt reminders on all seats, stability and traction controls, and hill assist.