Test drive: Peugeot 508 GT HDi 200 saloon

Test drive: Peugeot 508 GT HDi 200 saloon

The TotallyMotor Verdict


Launched in April last year and aimed at mid-level business users that want comfort, motorway composure and a good few interior toys, the Peugeot 508 is about building on Peugeot’s history for making big, cruising cars that can munch the motorway miles, and with a certain Gaelic style.

The 508 – also in SW (estate) trim, and soon as the “all-road” diesel-electric 508 RXH –
is an all-new vehicle that was the first to show the brand’s new design style and, with its £18,450 to £29,050 pricing, be a showcase for up-to-date safety- and comfort-focused technology.

This top-of-the-range, 204bhp 508 GT (£29,050) is rated at 150g/km of CO2, attracting £130 per year in road tax, and is quoted at 49.5mpg on the combined economy cycle.


Test drive: Peugeot 508 GT HDi 200 saloon

First impressions:
The 508, as a 4-door saloon, works well for me. Front- and rear-end overhangs are evenly balanced, as are the size-matched and sharper styled front and rear light units, and there are plenty of pleasantly quiet design touches dotted all over the modern-looking exterior. It’s my favourite Peugeot model, until the 208 breaks official cover, possibly.

The attraction here is no doubt helped by this TotallyMotor test car’s gold-flecked pearlescent white paint work (a £655 optional extra) and gorgeous, black-highlighted 19-inch alloys, a further – though reasonable – £255 on top.

And, adding further enjoyment still, is the JBL (American audio brand) hi fi upgrade (£310) upping the woof to the woofers with a deep and rich, and loud, stereo sound. It must be the boy-racer in me!


Into the interior:
At a touch under £30k, I think we’d be right to expect a pretty special interior from the Peugeot 508 GT, especially as it was an all-new car as of April last year.

The GT gets sat-nav (a little clunky), colour head up display (a nice touch), heated and fully electrically adjustable nappa leather driver’s seat (soft and stylish) and a very neat trick; automatic high beam which, you guessed it, automatically flicks the headlights to full power. It also flicks them back again when another car detected, too. The system worked seamlessly for me and will be missed.

I covered 450 miles – on three-quarters of a tank of fuel – in the 508 GT, and for long periods of time I found the interior calm and comfortable. The seating, whilst not fitting my long frame totally like a glove, was respectably ergonomic for a modern car, and features like cruise control, the smooth (if a little ponderous) 6-speed automatic gearbox and powerful 2.2 litre engine, all worked well together to convey me in comfort and style.

However, all this interior tech needs buttons to control it and the 508 GT’s busy inner space looks like a “button bomb” might’ve recently gone off, peppering almost every panel. Also, the B-pillar is a thick one, frustratingly increasing blind spot size.


The drive:
Use the paddles behind the steering wheel and the 204bhp, 6-speed turbodiesel GT feels pretty quick, with nice, low-down dollops of torque eating up the miles. Leave the gearbox in auto mode and it handles the cruising well enough, but don’t ask it for quick and predictive gear changes.

With progressive and powerful brakes, firm and controlled – but sometimes jittery – suspension and confident chassis composure, this punchy 508 was fun to drive fast and I found it to be an excellent long-range weapon, too.

As I’ve said, I saw 450 miles from a three-quarter tank of diesel, and averaged 41.4mpg on the in-dash readout; not that far from Peugeot’s quoted figure of 49.5mpg combined, so, as a big, cruise-worthy Peugeot, I think this high-spec 508 does the touring-trick.


Ten second sum up:
The Peugeot 508 GT saloon worked for me in terms of style, comfort, modern tech and long-distance dynamics. It’s pretty fast, respectfully frugal for its power output, and has a look all of its own, especially when it’s rockin’ those slick 19-inch alloys.


Prices and availability:
The Peugeot 508 saloon range starts at £18,450 for the 1.6 VTi Access, rising to £29,050 for the 2.2 HDi FAP Automatic GT. Price as tested, £30,270, including optional extras of pearlescent paint (£655), JBL hi fi (£310) and 19-inch “Capella” alloys (£255). Available now. 


By Daniel Anslow

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