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Peugeot 508 GT HDi 2012 review

The 508 is based on the 2.0-litre diesel Allure, but there are no badges to give the game away, only the alloy wheel design.

What's in name? Not a lot if it's the GT version of Peugeot's suave 508 - or is there? The term "GT'', or gran turismo, is usually reserved for high-performance sports models, a definition that doesn't really apply to the 508 GT, even though this diesel-powered sedan is no slouch. 

In this case the GT tag stands for 'gran tourer', and if you dig deeper you'll find the GT tag is steeped in Peugeot's history, firstly with the 505 GTi in the late 1970s to early 1980s and then in a long line of hot hatches - GTi versions of the 205, the 206 and the 207.

So does the 508 deserve the GT tag? Yes, if your priority is serene open-road cruising where the engine's effortless and elastic performance shines.

DESIGN

Visually the GT is hard to pick from the other sedans in the 508 stable. It is based on the 2.0-litre diesel Allure, but there are no badges to give the game away, only the alloy wheel design.

The dash layout is clean and uncluttered and mostly easy to master. Full marks to the head-up display, which pops out of the dash top on start up and displays road speed - a bonus around town given the ease with which it gains momentum.

However oddment storage, which is not great in the normal 508, is even tighter in the GT. The sat nav and heated seat controls take up the space aft of the gearshift, relegating the key to the ashtray or the cramped centre box. Almost everything else has to go in the door bins.

TECHNOLOGY

It gets a bigger engine, a 2.2-litre turbo diesel that pumps out an impressive 150kW at 3500rpm and 450Nm of torque from 2000rpm, or 30kW and 150Nm than the 2.0-litre diesel in the other 508s. 

And it doesn't use any more fuel than a 2.0-litre, both scoring 5.7l/100km on the combined cycle. On test it returned 6.3l/100km With a 72-litre fuel tank, the GT has a generous touring range in excess of 1200km.

VALUE

At $52,990, the GT is $10,000 more than the 2.0-litre diesel Allure sedan. The extra outlay adds the bigger engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, a head-up display screen, directional xenon headlights with washers and adaptive main beam, an alarm and tyre-pressure sensors, but a space-saver spare instead of a full-size steel wheel. 

This is in addition to the Allure's 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.

Options include satellite navigation, Nappa leather seats and a power driver's seat with memory. Like the Allure, the interior is warm and inviting, well-appointed and thankfully free of gimmicks and complex controls.

DRIVING

It is not so rewarding in the twisty bits where the front-drive layout shows its shortcomings lacking the fine cornering balance and steering agility of a true GT.

While the double wishbone aluminium front suspension delivers superior grip and a more disciplined ride than the MacPherson strut layout of the normal 508, there is still some scrabble and thump from the front inside wheel on lumpy corners and rough edges. The result is more muscular acceleration and lustier mid-range response.

From rest, not much happens until 1700rpm, then the GT erupts with strong and fluid shove without any hesitation from the smooth and decisive six-speed automatic transmission. A tall sixth gear has it cruising serenely at 1750rpm at 100km/h. Noise levels are so low most passengers won't pick it for a diesel. 

Overall, the GT forte is serene long-distance touring and is well equipped for the price, which coincidentally is the same as a Subaru Liberty GT.

Pricing guides

$12,495
Based on 28 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$8,990
Highest Price
$15,995

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
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 $7,600 – 11,770 2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Active 1.6T Pricing and Specs
Allure 1.6T 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $8,200 – 12,650 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

$9,999

Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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