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Peugeot 508 Allure Touring 2012 review

It is a quiet, long-distance machine well suited to highways but isn't a sharp handler when pushed.
EXPERT RATING
8

Two decades ago Peugeot started to lose the plot. Its armchair-soft ride and sense of toughness - both in feel and in its chunky styling - drifted into mainstream and suddenly the French car was easy prey for the Asian car makers.

Thanks to its 508, I think it's back to the old days. There is a return to that elegance yet strength of design, the comfortable chairs and a cockpit that appears simple yet is quietly comprehensive.

This is Peugeot for the masses, unlike some previous models that appealed only to Europhiles. The 508's contemporary styling, sensible cabin and dash and a sweet drivetrain make it a very attractive buy for a broad range of motorists.

VALUE

Very good. The Allure HDi (turbo-diesel) isn't the top-line version yet has an excellent equipment list including leather, four-zone airconditioning, Bluetooth with audio streaming, keyless start and entry, front and rear park sensors, cruise control with brake function, panoramic glass roof and a “parking assistant” that calculates if the car will fit a chosen parking bay.

Clearly, eyeballs are now redundant. It matches the endearing Volkswagen Passat wagon in price (but beats it on features) and is more expensive than the pragmatic Skoda and spacious Mondeo. These big-hitting rivals make it a close call. Peugeot's capped service plan (Ford also has one for six years but Volkswagen has none) helps it here.

DESIGN

You'll miss this on the road and probably never find it again in a shopping centre carpark because it has few distinguishing features. Bland is a word that springs to mind yet it still has appeal for its clean lines and simplicity.

The wagon shape is less boxy than most yet is remarkably spacious. But it's the cabin that gets more attention. It boasts a subtle blend of quality materials, upmarket design and comprehensive features.

But personal storage space, especially in the tiny centre console, is poor. Clever ideas are the puddle lamps that shine at night beneath the mirrors, soft orange cabin lighting and backlit controls on the steering wheel. There's some discreet chrome edging trim to piano black highlights and quality carpets for the cabin and boot floor. The rear windows get sunshades to protect occupants, which is great for children.

TECHNOLOGY

There's a lot of clever stuff hidden beneath that simple, aerodynamic exterior. The bonnet is aluminium, the 508 is 85 per cent recyclable and materials from sustainable sources make up 14 per cent of the car's 230kg of green polymers. These green materials are used in 30 car parts.

The 120kW/340Nm turbo-diesel has a particulate filter (called FAP which reduces hydrocarbons) mated to a six-speed auto with paddle shifters. The 508 Allure gets MacPherson front suspension yet, oddly, the more expensive 508 GT has double wishbones.

SAFETY

There are six airbags, a five-star crash rating, high pedestrian safety, automatic headlights and wipers and even a full-size spare on an alloy wheel. The Allure also gets cruise control with sensors to brake the car automatically.

DRIVING

Everything points to a great drive but though the 508 wagon is very capable, there are a lot of soft corners. The engine is strong and well mated to the six-speed auto. This box tickles the engine's capabilities best by using the paddle shifters and the only downer is the typical turbo-lag at low revs and a gearshift pattern that changes up too quickly.

It is a quiet, long-distance machine well suited to highways but isn't a sharp handler when pushed. The electric-assist steering is too vague to relay much information to the driver and though the car grips well through the bends, becomes a bit uncomfortable as the compliant suspension leads to bodyroll. Peugeot's switchgear has come a long way in the past few decades and now equates to the Asians in terms of ease of use and simplicity. The driver's seat could do with more padding or support.

VERDICT

Put this on your shopping list.

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 $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
EXPERT RATING
8
Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$10,505

Lowest price, based on 4 car listings in the last 6 months

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