Over a period of several decades, every model in “50X” range has left an indelible imprint on the saloon segment. The most memorable “50X” models are the 504 and 505, two iconic saloons that have shaped the automotive segment in Africa and more specifically Kenya. Both the 504 and 505 were loved for their unique blend of style, road holding, versatility, and robustness. The two legendary lions now have a new successor called the 508, which continues the great “50X” legacy.
With the 508, which was introduced in 2011, Peugeot reaffirms its presence and its ambitions in one of its traditional strong suits, the mid-size saloon. The Peugeot 508 is a modern, forward-looking vehicle, perfectly attuned to the aspirations of customers looking for the old “50X” characteristics with a blend of efficiency and dynamic styling. So far, more than 370,000 units have found homes across the world.
For 2017, the 508 receives some much-needed tweaks. The previous styling of the 508 was already evocative of a robust vehicle with irreproachable build quality. Peugeot’s designers built on these qualities to produce a vehicle with even more technology and character.
The grille has been revised and is now vertical. The brands iconic lion logo moves from the bonnet and now rests at the middle of the new grill. The design of the grille is a clear nod to its illustrious predecessors in the “50X”. It also allows the 2017 508 to introduce a corporate style at the front that is more self-assured and endowing greater status, which will be deployed on the brand’s future models. The front of the vehicle is also characterised by the new LED front lamps.
The LED headlamps re complemented by the daytime running lamps built into the bumper. The bonnet has been redesigned to make it more horizontal improving the balance between front and rear design. The rear end is more structured, with a redesigned rear bumper, which is distinct from the boot while enhancing its protective function. The rear lamps have also been redesigned to make them more horizontal than previously, whether viewed from the side or from directly behind. The opalescent red handling of the three claws visual signature delivers a strongly identifying and technological effect.
Underneath the redesigned 2017 508 bonnet is a 1.6-litre unit with an output of 123 kW (165 hp) and 245 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The most powerful engine on offer is a 2.2-litre 150 kW (204 hp) unit with a torque output of 450 Nm. With double wishbone MacPherson front suspension and its multi-link rear suspension, the 2017 Peugeot 508 continues to offer a remarkable compromise between ride comfort and road holding.
All 508s come with latest-generation ESP which includes CDS (stability control), AFU (emergency brake assist) and REF (electronic brake force distribution). The ESP also includes Hill Assist and intelligent traction control. This improves the vehicle’s ability to move off and be driven on slippery road surfaces by authorising more or less wheel slip on each of the front wheels. The 2017 508 is equipped with efficient means of restraint: 2 front air bags, 2 side front air bags, 2 curtain air bags, 2 Isofix fixtures with 3-point attachments at the rear. The front seats have new “curved” head restraints with integral multi-position adjustment whose shape has been carefully studied to take into account the effects of rear collision (whiplash).
The interior has changed as well. The dashboard now includes a 7-inch touch screen grouping together in an intuitive way most of the vehicles functionalities. As a result, the central panel now has fewer buttons while the centre console includes a new closed storage box. Positioned in front of the driver is the instrument panel, which is inspired by precision watch making. It is backed up by the Head-Up Display of driving and navigation information in colour, viewed in a retractable smoked blade.
The quality of materials used, whether for finishers or trim cloth, the quality of the equipment and the care taken with finish immediately place the interior of the 2017 508 in a top of the range world that is modern and refined, while not ostentatious. Each passenger enjoys a privileged status, with generous space coupled with four-zone air conditioning and adjustable seat cushion for the driver and front passenger. Interior dimensions are on a par with those of the retired 607. As a result, two people well over six feet tall can be comfortably seated one behind the other.
The boot of the 2017 508 has a capacity of 545 litres. With the seat backs folded, divisible 40: 20:40 in one easy movement, the space created by this flat floor rises to 1,581 litres. These volumes include storage under the boot carpet, a space that receives the same quality finish as the rest of the boot. The boot on the opens by means of a self-actuating lever by pressing a button on the fascia or the “0” of the external badge of the 508.
The Peugeot 508 just like other “50X” series saloons, is a good-looking saloon that is very nicely finished inside, highly efficient, and well equipped for the money. There is plenty of space inside, while a huge boot and enough space in the rear for three adults means the 508 is pretty well suited to family life. It is one of the most relaxed and comfortable cars in its class too. While the lower-end models are more spartan and the higher-end ones are really rather pricey, the average Peugeot 508 is an astute purchase. The Peugeot brand is under the able hands of Urysia Limited, located along Bunyala Road in Nairobi.
Quote: The dashboard now includes a 7-inch touch screen grouping together in an intuitive way most of the vehicles functionalities.
What we like
- Spacious and stylish interior
- Advance tech
- Generous host of kits
What we dislike
- Spartan entry level model
- Limited engine choices
- Expensive optional extras