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Peugeot 508 diesel 2012 review

This latest generation Peugeot has a purity and balance more befitting the marque.

Peugeot's premium sedans and wagons have been to the cosmetic surgeons and look all the better for it. Gone are the gaping mouth and glitzy eyes of the previous 407. In their place are the more subtle and graceful lines of the 508. 

While the result is less distinctive, this latest generation Peugeot has a purity and balance more befitting the marque. Bigger all round than its predecessor, the 508 is 100mm longer, 42mm wider and a fraction taller. 

The interior is classy, well-appointed and thankfully free of gimmicks and complex controls. The dash layout is clean and uncluttered and mostly easy to master, although storage could be better. 

The front seats are supportive, with generous leg and shoulder room and plenty of adjustment, backed by a reach and tilt steering column. Rear seat legroom is the main beneficiary of the longer body, up by 53mm.


The 508 comes in five models - three sedans and two wagons. Entry level is the 1.6 turbo petrol Active at $36,990, then the 1.6 Allure at $39,490, the 1.6 Allure Touring at $42,490, the 2.0 diesel Allure at $42,990, the 2.0 Allure Touring at $45,990 and the 2.2 diesel GT at $52,990.

On test, the 2.0 Allure sedan had six airbags, stability control, quad-zone climate control, leather trim, cruise control, parking sensors, electric park brakes, engine stop/start button, trip computer, hill-start assist, heated and folding mirrors, single-CD eight-speaker audio with Bluetooth and USB connection, side and rear sun blinds, finger-touch locking and unlocking, auto-headlights and wipers, fog lights and day lights.

The wagon adds a glass roof and an electric tailgate. The 508 goes into bat against the Ford Mondeo, Renault Latitude and Volkswagen Passat.


Peugeot has been a leader in turbo diesels since the robust 504 GLD in 1978. The 2.0-litre HDi engine in the 508 remains punchy and frugal. Output is 120kW, up 20kW, and torque is up from 20Nm to 340Nm at 2000rpm. 

The six speed automatic transmission makes good use of the engine's flexibility. It steps off briskly, delivers ample mid-range and overtaking response and has a tall sixth gear ratio to cruise serenely at 1750rpm at 100km/h.


Noise levels are so low most passengers won't pick it for a diesel. Performance is deceptive enough to warrant an eagle eye on the speedometer around town. 

Acceleration times are much the same as the 407, but fuel consumption on the combined cycle drops to 5.7l/100km, down from 7.1l/100km. This, plus an increase in fuel tank capacity from 66 to 72 litres, extends the driving range to more than 1200km.

A longer wheelbase than the 407 produces a more stable footprint. Handling is secure and predictable, with accurate turn-in and minimum body roll. The suspension is firm and well-controlled on smooth surfaces but, while the big tyres grip like glue, they also produce some thump at low speeds on choppy secondary roads.


Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

Active 1.6 EHDi 1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $7,700 – 11,990 2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Active 1.6 EHDi Pricing and Specs
Active 1.6T 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $11,999 – 12,990 2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Active 1.6T Pricing and Specs
Allure 1.6T 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $8,990 – 9,890 2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Allure 1.6T Pricing and Specs
Allure HDi 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $9,800 – 15,995 2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Allure HDi Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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