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Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE (2023 - )

This is the Peugeot 508, but it’s not any old 508. That’s because it carries the PSE badging which stands for Peugeot Sport Engineered and that means it raises the bar in every department.

Starting price:
£53,975

Why we love it:
  • Dynamic good looks and packed with tech
  • PHEV technology keeps running costs down
  • Fun to drive with bonus of four-wheel drive
Where it could be better:
  • Price-tag will make you look twice
  • EV range is just 34 miles
  • The i-Cockpit layout always divides opinion

Introduction

Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE

This is the Peugeot 508, but it’s not any old 508. That’s because it carries the PSE badging which stands for Peugeot Sport Engineered and that means it raises the bar in every department.

But first, to the elephant in the room. The 508 PSE costs in excess of £50k – that’s a price-tag usually reserved for the premium marques not one displayed on the French carmaker’s models. But as we said, this isn’t any old Peugeot in any way, shape or form.

If you want a teaser into its performance, the 0-62mph sprint time is just 5.2 seconds which is pretty quick for a five-door coupe-styled family car weighing in at just shy of two tonnes.

While we are concentrating on the high-performance 508 Fastback Peugeot Sport Engineered model, customers can also choose from slightly more sedate 508 Fastback or SW body styles with more respectable asking prices. There are also a range of powertrains to select from, including plug-in hybrid technology, diesel or PureTech petrol.

Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE

The Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE is a five-door, five-seater that’s very easy on the eye thanks to its sleek coupe styling and aerodynamic curves and streamlining.

It’s certainly guaranteed to turn heads and one onlooker told me it was by far the best-looking Peugeot they had ever seen. And I would have to agree. Eye-catching features include a front grille with Nera black features such as floating blades and gloss black extensions that leads into new signature Matrix three-claw LED headlights.

There is a gloss black rear cluster connecting strip with PEUGEOT lettering, gloss black B and C pillars, a sunroof, Nera black mirror shells, small winglets that protrude from the front and rear and help with the aerodynamics and you would be hard pressed not to spot the special PSE emblem which is three bright green lines that Peugeot calls vibrant Kryptonite claws. Stunning 20-inch alloy wheels complete the look.

Moving inside, the first thing you will notice is Peugeot’s trademark i-Cockpit with its tiny steering wheel that, for some is ideal, whereby others claim it blocks out the dials and you end up like a nodding dog as you drive along.

The cabin oozes class with plenty of sporty carbon fibre trimmings, along with high-end full grain Mistral leather seats that are powered, can be heated and offer a massage function.

The main focal point is a 10-inch touchscreen with navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, a pitch perfect Focal sound system, DAB radio and voice recognition.

All the vital driving data is clearly displayed on a 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel and there is an E-toggle gear selector, along with plenty of those Kryptonite claw emblems to be found.

On The Road

Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE

Handling & Performance

Powering the 508 PSE is a four-cylinder, 1.6-litre petrol engine that works with dual motors to deliver all-wheel drive. With 360hp and 520Nm of torque, this Peugeot can reach 62mph from a standing start in just 5.2 seconds and maxes out at 155mph (86mph in electric-only mode).

With a 12.4kWh battery, the electric-only driving range is just 34.2 miles, but the plug-in hybrid system works well to maximise the range and the regenerative braking helps to boost the battery levels too.

The acceleration through the eight-speed automatic transmission is beautifully smooth but for added excitement and more control over the gear changing, there are steering wheel-mounted paddles.

In addition, you can flick through drive modes called Electric, Comfort, Hybrid, Sport and 4WD to alter the handling and performance of the car. Sport is certainly the most engaging.

It does feel quite heavy around town weighing in at 1,886kg and that bulk is also noticeable when fizzing through country lanes with lots of twists and turns. Yes, it’s very well grounded, but the exhilaration of the performance doesn’t quite match the sporty styling.

But the 508 PSE is a very comfortable motorway cruiser and will sit hour after hour at 70mph eating away at those miles.

The suspension sits slightly lower on the 508 PSE compared to its siblings and it is also stiffer so you will feel the force of any unexpected bumps or dips in the roads.

Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE

Space & Practicality

The 508 PSE Fastback stretches 4,750mm in length, is 2,079m wide (including mirrors) and 1,403mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,793mm.

Up front there is bundles of space for six-foot-plus occupants to sit comfortably with ample leg, head and elbow room. But it’s not quite so forgiving in the back, especially if those front seats are pushed well back. Tall passengers will soon be complaining that their knees are being squashed and the sloping roof design of the car impacts on rear headroom too. It’s a case of dynamic styling compromising back seat comfort. However, there is an SW (estate) version if extra room is needed.

The boot on the 508 PSE Fastback is accessed via a powered tailgate and has a 487-litre capacity which is increased to a generous 1,537 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats lowered. And elsewhere throughout the cabin are numerous storage compartments. These include a split-level glovebox, door bins with space for bottles, two front and two rear cup holders, a deep central cubby with USB-C ports, seat back nets, a wireless charging pad and some trays.

Talking of charging, the car’s 12.4kWh battery can be boosted to 100 per cent via a 7.4kW home wallbox in 1 hour, 40 minutes or in 5 hours, 30 minutes if using a 3-pin plug.

Ownership

Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE

Running Costs

A single glance in the direction of the Peugeot 508 PSE Fastback and you will instantly know it’s not going to be cheap. And you would be spot on as this high-performance model costs £53,975 to buy.

According to official figures under WLTP testing, the vehicle could deliver a combined 158mpg, but as with all PHEV models that sort of figure would only be possible if the car’s battery was kept topped up and the EV-only range used to the max. 

However, the low carbon emissions figure of 40g/km will bring with it numerous financial rewards, especially for business drivers with favourable rates for PHEV drivers. The Benefit in Kind tax rating is a very attractive 14 per cent.

Owners will face a first-year road tax bill (VED) of £10 and that will increase to the fee for PHEVs of £170 after 12 months. However, there is added factors to take into account because of the car’s hefty price tag. Vehicles costing more than £40k are subject to a luxury car tax which adds £390 to the bill for five years starting from year two.

Verdict

Peugeot 508 Fastback PSE

The Peugeot 508 PSE certainly has plenty of plus points. It looks amazing, is very well equipped, boasts blistering pace and is even quite practical. The big question will be the price and whether people will pay that sort of cash for a Peugeot rather than the more traditional German marques.

Sometimes it’s nice to stand out from the crowd and this Peugeot certainly does that, but it’s more likely to appeal to a business market rather than private investors as they will reap the financial benefits of running a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

By Maxine Ashford
Apr 08, 2024

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