Peugeot Sport Engineered
Hottest 508 is an impressive performer, with fleet-friendly running costs, finds Martyn Collins.
SECTOR Upper Medium PRICE £53,225 - £55,795 CO2 46g/km CHARGING 3 hours (0-100% 7kW AC)
High-performance versions of the Peugeot’s attractive 508 saloon and SW estate don’t sound like the sort of model attractive to fleets. However, what sets the 508 apart from key rivals is that this Peugeot is a plug-in hybrid. As such, despite the 355hp punch from the combination of the 200hp 1.6-litre turbo petrol and the 200hp electric motor, this 508 has a CO2 figure of just 46g/km, ensuring BiK rates as low as 13% for both bodystyles.
That electric motor powers the rear wheels, so the 508 PSE (to give it its short name) is also four-wheel drive. The motor motor kicks in first, offering 26 miles of electric-only power. A full recharge from a 7.4kWh wall box takes three hours and 15 minutes.
On the main road, you’ll be flicking the drive mode button and picking from Comfort, Sport, Hybrid and 4WD modes. We couldn’t tell much difference between Comfort and Hybrid – although the ride on the stiffer sports suspension and 20-inch wheels is at its most comfortable and composed here. In Sport mode, where efficiency goes out of the window, this 508 is rapid with the EV assistance and particularly fun to drive. The handling is precise, although the ride is best described as unyielding, and the auto gearbox seems to hold on to gears for too long.
The 508 PSE looks great from the outside, with the subtle body kit working well with sharp styling – although we’re not so sure about the green highlights. Inside, sports seats aside, it’s standard 508. Space is average, the infotainment is slow and not everyone will get on with the i-Cockpit driving position.
An exciting, efficient, if flawed and expensive alternative to the performance opposition.
Which model is right for you?
There is only the choice of Saloon and SW estate bodystyles; all PSE models include Active Suspension, Night Vision, Drive Assist Pack Plus, Driver Sports Pack, power folding heated door mirrors with blind spot detection indicator and electrochrome auto dimming function, 360 degree HD colour camera system, fully automated parking assistance, keyless entry and push button start, Focal sound system, Wireless smartphone charging plate, Connected 3D navigation system, Nappa leather and Alcantara trim, 20-inch alloy wheels, dark tinted side and tailgate windows, plus full LED front and rear headlights.