The Peugeot 508 Fastback has recently evolved, with a new plug-in hybrid now offered to tempt company car drivers. As with all hybrid plug-in cars, you need to charge your car every day, in order to make the most of the 30 mile electric range that typically comes with a PHEV. THe 508 Fastcback has one advantage over most other hybrids out there currently, because it’s gorgeous to look at & for my money, was the best looking new car of 2018.
We firmly believe, that it’s the 508 Allure range that will appeal most to the fleet sector & the traditional choice would be the 1.5 BlueHDI 130 S&S 6-speed manual. This model costs £28,115, comes with emissions of 121g/km & a BIK of 25%. Add in a claimed combined fuel economy of 63.6 mpg & you have a classic ‘rep-mobile’ of yesteryear, a car built to drive the length & breadth of the UK motorway network.
However, the move towards full electric & plug-in cars, which has been encouraged by government tax incentives, with lower BIK for company car drivers, means that Peugeot now offers a PHEV 508 & we had the opportunity to drive the Allure Hybrid 225 e-EAT8 S&S version recently.
Taking it’s cue from the Audi A5, the 508 is a five door ‘fastback,’ & it’s all the better for it. The front end features a finely fashioned radiator grille with chrome- plated chequerboard, full LED headlights, with the Peugeot lion centred on its radiator grille.The low glazed surfaces sharpen the car’s outline & reveal frameless doors. Spanning the rear end & framed between the rear lights is the glossy black horizontal strip that now characterises Peugeot’s latest vehicles & three- dimensional full LED rear lights which are illuminated throughout the night & day with adaptive intensity, making Peugeots coloured claws constantly visible.
The familiar i-Cockpit dashboard layout from the 3008 & 5008 has been adapted to the saloon, offering an almost wraparound drivers seat between door & centre binnacle. The small steering wheel is also there, plus a large 10″ wide HD capacitive touch-screen in 8:3 forma.
Being a fastback, internal space especially in the rear is slightly compromised, with rear head room taking a hit. The cabin does boast 32 litres of storage, spread out around the passenger cabin, as well as four USB sockets to charge portable devices, which are available from Allure trim & above, one jack plug in the armrest & two 12V sockets, including one in the boot. The boot offers a useful 487-litres, with five sets in place & a total of 1,537 litres with the rear seats folded flat, with room for a spare wheel under the boot floor.
The rear tailgate enables owners to make much more of the rear boot space on offer, with easier access meaning longer & bulkier items can be loaded/unloaded with ease. From a personal perspective, I love the Fastback look & as a man who likes to visit the local recycling centre, I was able to lower the rear seats & take a damaged chest of drawers there for disposal, a win in my book.
At the beginning of our loan, we drove the 508 450 miles to Surrey & back, 420 of which were on the motorway. The Hybrid 508 proved a comfortable companion. The engine is perfect for motorway cruising with a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds. The auto box gear ratios work well & once I’d set cruise control, I settled in for the ride. Passengers sit low in the cabin, with both the wraparound drivers cock-pit & rear slanting roof adding to this feeling if your’e in the back. Despite this, it never feels claustrophobic & overall it’s a really comfortable car to be in.
The DAB radio & Apple CarPlay both performed smoothly & hands-free Bluetooth phone conversations were had with no fuss at all. I still don’t like the touch screen heating system featured on many cars & that includes the one in the 508. Fiddly best describes these. However, by utilising the idiot-proof piano keys located underneath the screen, I soon got used to accessing these. There is also a Voice Control button on the steering wheel, with which you can increase or decrease the temperature by half a degree, simply by asking “increase or decrease temperature.”
At constant motorway speeds, the 508 Hybrid was averaging 55 mpg, but the electric motors roughly 25 mile range, seems pretty useless when you’re driving at 70mph & disappears in the first 20 minutes of your journey. However, there is a way to save the battery energy for later. The far right piano keyboard button gets you into a screen where by you can save battery charge. This is the e-SAVE function, which basically lets the driver set an electric energy reserve. The hybrid system can be instructed to save its battery charge for use later on, especially useful at the end of a motorway journey for the last few miles. The only issue is, you have to set it to On. Every time the car stops & you get out, it needs to be re set to On, as it’s default setting is Off, which seems a bit daft.
Still, the reserve is handy & can be utilised in town,when you’re in stop-start traffic & by shifting the automatic gear lever to the B function, you can increase the cars ability to regenerate energy. You can also choose from four Drive Modes; Comfort, Hybrid, Electric & Sport. Comfort is the de facto choice for day to day driving & we drove most of the time in this. Hybrid allows you use some of the battery range when required & Electric allows you to drive in just electric mode. Sport tightens the throttle & makes the car more fun to drive, but does decrease fuel economy.
With the last few days of my week spent close to home, urban driving, I plugged the 508 into my home Rolec 7kW charger & was able to use the electric range for several local journeys. Despite this, the final average mpg for my week in the 508 Fastback Hybrid, fell to 46.6, which is not bad compared to petrols of old, but not as high as customers perhaps would expect from a Hybrid car.
We began this review in praise of the diesel 508 Fastback & for pure fuel economy it’s still hard to beat. However, with combined CO2 emissions of just 29g/km, the current BIK on the 508 PHEV is just 10%, which is a full 15% below the manual 1.5 Allure diesel, which for fleet customers, would offer them a substantial saving, even when factoring in the higher price of £34,945.
The Peugeot 508 Fastback is currently, one of our favourite cars & the addition of a plug-in hybrid version only add’s to it’s appeal. There’s plenty of room for four adults & the excellent boot will happily carry a damaged chests of drawers to your local tip. The 508 also offers customers al of the the latest tech & safety kit they’d expect from a new car & most importantly, it’s also a great looking car, which,in a world of boxy SUV’s, is not something to be taken lightly.
|Engine||Electric Motor (on board charger 3.7Kw)/Transmission|
|Configuration: In-line 4 cylinder transverse||Max power: 81 Kw (110hp)@ 2,500rpm|
|Capacity: 1598cc||Max Torque: 337Nm (249lbs.ft) @ 500-2500|
|Engine aspiration: Turbocharged||Combined Engine/Electric motor power 225hp (165Kw|
|Max power: 133kW (181hp) @ 6,000rpm||Battery: Li-ion|
|Max torque: 250Nm (184lb.ft) @ 1,650rpm||Battery capacity : 11.8kWh – 8 year /100,00 warranty|
|Fuel injection: Direct injection||Electric range WLTP Combined: 33-39miles|
|Fuel: Petrol Euro 6d||8-speed fully Automatic|
|Stop/start functionality||Stop & Start with brake energy recapture