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Peugeot 508 Saloon engines, drive and performance

2011 - 2018 (change model)
Performance rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by Simon McBride Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

A strong engine line-up is available for UK customers from launch with a mix of two petrol units and five diesel power plants. The petrol engine range includes a 1.6-litre 120bhp with an electrically controlled manual gearbox (ECG) and a 156bhp 1.6-litre with a six-speed manual gearbox. The diesel range features five choices: a 1.6-litre 112bhp with five-speed manual, a 1.6-litre 112bhp with stop/start and an electrically controlled manual, a 2.0-litre 140bhp with six-speed manual, a 2.0-litre 163bhp six-speed auto ‘box and finally there’s the 2.2-litre 200bhp with a six-speed auto gearbox.

If you enjoy driving then the 1.6-litre 156bhp is the best choice because the engine is feisty, fun, makes overtaking manoeuvres child’s play and it also sounds lovely. It can get from 0 to 62mph in 8.6 seconds and has an achievable top speed of 126mph. However, let your head rule your heart and you’ll choose the most frugal and CO2 efficient unit: the 1.6 diesel 112bhp engine mated to the six-speed EGC manual gearbox.

Performance figures are reasonable for this engine: 11.9 seconds to reach 62mph and a top speed of 122mph.

Peugeot’s 407 saloon was supposed to be a real contender in the four-door saloon class and although it wasn’t bad it couldn’t compete with the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat. The new 508 has closed the gap in terms of handling and driving enjoyment thanks to a chassis that delivers good cornering ability and excellent front-end grip.

It may look like a run-of-the-mill saloon but the 508 is nimble, agile and its quick steering rack adds to the enjoyment levels. The steering is also nicely weighted, precise with impressive levels of feedback. Ok, so the 508 may not be as a sharp as a Ford Mondeo in the bends but it is better than a Volkswagen Passat.