The first models in the Peugeot 508 range were launched in Australia in July 2011. They replaced two cars, the Peugeot 407 and 607. Smart designing meant the 508 weighed less than the smaller Peugeot 407 as well as the significantly larger 607.
It was offered as a four-door sedan and five-door station wagon. The sedan’s boot is one of the largest in the business. The wagon is large and spacious, though at the time when many buyers were trending towards SUVs it didn’t have the sales numbers anticipated.
Peugeot is the world’s oldest automotive nameplate and has Gallic style, with a body that looks as though it has been sculpted out of a single piece of metal. The shape is likely to be ageless.
Peugeot 508 passengers are enjoy a smooth quiet ride. The front windscreen has a clever design that filters sound from the outside; hydro-elastic suspension mounts muffle road noise; and an ‘active front axle damper’ further distances the 508’s occupants from the outer world.
Engines are a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and a 2.2 turbo-diesel. The latter is fitted to the 508 GT, showing the emphasis that Peugeot puts on its diesel engined models on its home market.
All Australia imports run a six-speed automatic transmission. The auto on the GT has paddle shifters. See the notes on the automatic in our separate section cover the 508 e-HDi model.
There’s an interesting ultra-economy 508 model called the 508 e-HDi. Using a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine with advanced technology it can cover 1400 kilometres on a single tank in easy running conditions if you put some care into your driving. A drawback is its old-style automated manual gearbox that’s rough in its changes, particularly in the lower gears. You may get used to if after a while, but a full auto would be so much better.
An interesting Peugeot 508 is the Touring wagon, it sits higher off the ground and has a hybrid power unit using a diesel-electric. It’s really only aimed at the European market as its official emission is measured under 100 grams per kilometre. We haven’t seen many on Australian roads, though.
March 2015 facelift saw a mild facelift and tail tuck that kept the same successful overall theme, but added a bit more visual oomph in its frontal appearance. Changes to meet European emission regs were made the Peugeot’s engines its performance remained much the same.
Peugeot’s all-new 508 arrived in Australia in August 2019 in Fastback and Sportswagon body styles. It’s lighter, lower and shorter than the superseded model yet offers greater interior space, many high-tech features and a more powerful 1.6-litre, turbo-petrol, four-cylinder engine mated to all-new Aisin eight-speed automatic transmission.
Peugeot has sold in Australia for many decades, but has come and gone in popularity over the years. There is a reasonable number of dealers, but as you would expect these tend to be chiefly in the metro areas.
Spare parts prices are about average for this class and we’ve heard of no major delays in getting them. As is the way in this class not many country dealers will stock less-common parts, but can have them freighted in within a few days.
Peugeot 508 is relatively easy to work on for amateur mechanics but, we really would prefer if they left all but the simplest tasks to those with mechanical training.
As the Peugeot 508 has been a relatively small seller the insurance companies have had differing experiences with them. Meaning there’s quite a spread in premium charges.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Peugeots are reasonably well built, though not to the very high standard of Korean and Japanese cars.
Bodies are generally fine, but have a close look at the interior to be sure trim parts aren’t loose and don’t have signs of being glued or wedged back into place.
During your test drive listen for squeaks and rattles.
As the Peugeot 508 is well known for its load carrying ability it may have been put to use moving all sorts of stuff.
Check the condition of all the trim on the boot floor and sides.
Make sure the engine starts easily – diesels won’t be as quick as petrols – and settles down to a steady idle within a few seconds.
Engines aren’t the smoothest units, but anything you consider too harsh are a reason to call for a professional’s opinion.
Automatic transmissions shouldn’t hunt between gears or hang onto gears overlong.
Expect to pay from $7000 to $11,000 for a 2011 Peugeot 508 Active; $9000 to $13,000 for a 2012 Allure HDi; $11,000 to $16,000 for a 2014 Allure HDi Touring; $13,000 to $19,000 for a 2013 GT; $16,000 to $24,000 for a 2014 2014 GT HDi; $19,000 to $26,000 for a 2015 GT Touring; $23,000 to $31,000 for a 2018 Allure HDi Touring; $30,000 to $42,000 2019 GT Sportswagon; and $36,000 to $47,000 for a 2020 GT Sportswagon.
CAR BUYING TIP
Cars that are relatively rare in Australia may be harder to sell to buyers who prefer mainstream machines. This can mean some sellers are getting frustrated. And can possibly be pushed down in price. Give it a go…
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/