Peugeot 508 1.6 THP 156
Saturday 16 July 2011
Top speed: 126mph
0-62mph: 8.6 seconds
CO2 emissions: 149g/km
Best for: Returning former Peugeot fans
Also worth considering? Citroën C5, Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia
With the arguable exception of Mercedes, Peugeot has the oldest and simplest system of model designations in the motor industry. This is how it has worked for more than 80 years. The first of three digits gives a rough indication of the size of a car – a one or a two at the beginning means a small car, five or six means a big one – while the final digit indicates model generation changes; the 305 was the direct replacement for the 304, for example. The middle digit is always a zero, or at least it was until a system of double zeroes was introduced for people carriers, such as the 3008, and 4x4s.
Not all of the number combinations get used. There was no 501, 502 or 503, for example, but Peugeot more than made up for that with the wonderful 504, introduced in 1968 and produced in the millions in saloon, estate, pick-up, coupé and convertible forms. Its unusual trapezoidal headlamps gave it a distinctive face that influenced the Peugeot look for the next 30 years. The 505 enjoyed similar popularity.
But Peugeot never made a 506 or a 507 to follow up on that success. Now the company has put that right with the introduction of the new 508 – the five tells us it's a big car, while the eight tells us it's a member of Peugeot's latest generation of models. But things have changed since Peugeot's Famous Fives ruled the roads, so despite its size, the 508 is offered mainly with small engines.
Don't worry, though, they're up to the job; the 1.6-litre THP petrol engine, for example, turns out 156 horsepower, which is only a little less than than the most powerful 505, fitted with a 2.9-litre V6, had in the Nineties.
The 508's space, comfort and dynamic qualities live up to the high standard set by its illustrious predecessors, and it's a handsome machine as well.
Little touches suggest that Peugeot has reconnected with some of the things that made it great in the past. Some, such as the tail-lights recalling those of the 504 Coupé, are superficial, while others are more fundamental; the fastest 2.2-litre diesel version has a different front suspension system to other 508s, an echo of the four different rear suspension layouts used in various versions of the 504, when Peugeot's near-legendary reputation for ride and handling was at its height.
Five, zero and eight may add up to unlucky 13 – but, for Peugeot, I think they spell success.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
Life & Style blogs
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
The Fappening: After the third wave of leaked celebrity photos, why can't we stop it?
Stoptober: How I stopped smoking for good
Wild ram head-butts drone out the sky, waits for pilot to turn up then head-butts him too
Olive oil could help to reverse heart failure, scientists claim
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- < Previous
- Next >
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...