Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Peugeot 508 Fastback rear view

Should you buy one?

On looks alone, the answer can be yes. There's no doubting that Peugeot has cracked it on style and quality and if it continues to sell well, the 508 proves that not everyone wants to buy an SUV. The good news is that this high style continues inside – it has an equally impressive interior, as long as you like that shirt-button steering wheel.

What we like

How it looks! It’s a much more interesting alternative to its German rivals, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A5 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It drives acceptably well, too, as long as you're careful about which model you choose (see below). It handles well and lower-spec models ride compliantly enough to relax.

What we don't like

Don't let those four doors lull you into thinking that it's a roomy hatchback, like a Volkswagen Arteon, because it's not. The front seats are a snug fit, and the rears are very tight for adults.

The diesel model is a disappointment. It suffers from relatively unrefined urban behaviour that's is enough to question just how much value for money this near-£40,000 Peugeot really is.

Which 508 is best for you?

There’s a wide range of engines to pick from, whether you want performance or economy, and long-distance comfort will suit company car drivers. If you’re on a budget, the cheapest engine to go for is also the most economical – the BlueHDi 130. The automatic model offers marginally better fuel economy than the manual, but costs more to buy. As such, it’ll take a while to recoup the difference in cost.

The plug-in hybrid models also lack the fun of the standard models. There's an additional 280kg in weight, and while this isn’t that much more noticeable around town – or indeed accelerating, thanks to the strong electric motors – it’s when you drive down country lanes when you notice the reduction in agility. Nevertheless, the 508 didn’t quite deliver the entertaining driving experience some would have hoped for in the first place, so the ability to drive in a quieter and more relaxed manner only suits it more.

If you want a fast 508 and can't run to the Peugeot Sport Engineered model, the PureTech 225 is the one to go for. Even so, while this engine makes for swift performance, it’s still a little underwhelming. It also doesn’t really have the sound to match the performance, so this isn’t much of a flagship performance model.

Further reading