Peugeot 508 PSE Review: Maintaining Its Status as the Top-Speed Peugeot in Years, Though Flaws Persist

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Peugeot 508 PSE Review: Still The Best Fast Pug In Years, Still Flawed

Peugeot has given its performance hatch/estate, the 508 PSE, a facelift, but there’s still room for improvement. If you’re in the market for a high-performance saloon or estate, brands like Audi and BMW might be the first that comes to mind. Peugeot, however, is likely not at the forefront of your considerations.

As it turns out, the 508 PSE hasn’t been a sales sensation, whether in its estate (‘SW’) or hatchback forms. Despite this, Peugeot decided to carry the car over when it was time for a facelift, retaining its name as the Peugeot 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered.

The mid-life update brings a more dramatic restyling to the car’s face, aligning it with Peugeot’s recent models like the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar and the new 308.

Peugeot 508 PSE
Peugeot 508 PSE (Credits: Flickr)

While the exterior changes are significant, the mechanical aspects remain unchanged. The 508 retains its eye-catching appearance, especially in PSE form, with distinctive acid green accents and a set of two-tone, diamond-cut, 20-inch wheels.

Inside, the cabin maintains its plush and stylish ambiance, now upgraded with a more advanced 10-inch infotainment screen. The unique layout with a small steering wheel beneath a high-set instrument binnacle remains, requiring some drivers to adjust their driving position for optimal visibility.

Despite the initial adjustment challenges, the 508 PSE proves to be more engaging to drive than its predecessor, showcasing a heightened urgency in its plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Combining a 1.6-litre inline-four petrol engine with two electric motors results in a total power output of 355bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds. The chassis impresses with its ability to smoothly navigate uneven surfaces and corners, offering a well-weighted, natural steering feel.

However, the car’s weight, primarily due to the 12.4kWh battery pack, becomes noticeable at times. The gearbox also exhibits a lag between acceleration input and response, and the coordination between the electrical and combustion components could be smoother during regular operation.

In terms of practicality, the 508 PSE estate maintains its boot space compared to combustion-only versions, offering 530 litres with the seats up and 1,780 litres with the seats down. The battery provides an electric-only range of up to 34 miles, though real-world figures tend to be in the low 20s.

Despite these positive attributes, the 508 PSE faces challenges in the market, especially with its price tag of £53,725. Potential buyers might be inclined to compare it unfavorably with models from brands with fancier badges.

The hope is that the striking new facelift will attract more attention and convince prospective buyers to consider the Peugeot 508 PSE.

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