Our Fleet Test Drive: Peugeot 508 SW - Final Report
26 July 2012
Author: Tristan Young
After nine months and 12,000 miles, the Peugeot 508 SW 2.0 HDI has ended its time on the BusinessCar fleet.
It's had what can only be described as an 'interesting' stay.
On top of the 'normal' testing - in other words, being regularly driven long distances around the UK and acting as a typical business car - it's also tested winter tyres, acted as a van for trips to the tip or garden centre , and become a nest for a mouse .
Apart from the rodent episode, which is hardly the fault of the 508, the car has done everything that was asked of it with ease.
We set out to see if this low-cost, high-value car could cut it in a market dominated by prestige brands. It didn't disappoint.
First and foremost it rode more comfortably and was more roomy than most prestige cars in this sector, and although there was a technical problem with creaky suspension, it was fixed swiftly under warranty.
The standard equipment levels were also impressive, and in a prestige car would have added thousands of pounds to the purchase (and P11D) cost.
The car connected well to my iPhone both through Bluetooth for conversation and by cable for music. The standard cruise control and speed limiter was great on the motorway.
The satnav colour screen  was good and the routing fine if you had a full address, but didn't offer full postcode entry - a small annoyance.
If there was a problem with the specification it was the lack of rear parking sensors. The main problem was that to avoid reversing into anything, I tended to end up with the nose of the car sticking further out of a parking space than was necessary. If I were a fleet manager, sensors would be an option I'd insist on.
While the 508 SW wasn't a dedicated eco model, the 2.0-litre HDI engine still returned an impressive 48.6mpg. That may be 10mpg down on the official figure, but given the large number of short trips the car also made this is a good result. And when operating on a motorway diet the Peugeot saw fuel figures much nearer 60mpg with no real eco effort.
But possibly best of all, the 508 costs just £22,220, which (thanks to a low-ish 19% BIK tax bracket) means a 20% tax payer will be shelling out £70 a month in payments to HMRC. Contrast this with a typical prestige car that may have a fractionally lower tax band, but a much higherlist price - you're looking at more than £30,000 for a spec-comparable car - and the tax payments are almost at £100. All this means the Peugeot's an attractive proposition for businesses and drivers alike, and it's probably why I'm seeing a lot of them on our roads.
|Peugeot 508 SW 2.0 HDI SR |
|Claimed combined |
|Our average |
|Model price range||£19,475-£30,275|
|CO2 (tax) ||125g/km (19%)|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£70/£141|
|Boot space (min/max)||512/1598 litres|
|Why we’re running it||To find out if this key |
fleet model can offer a
high-value, lower cost,
alternative to the
|Positive||Possibly most comfortable |
car in its class
|Negative||Satnav not accurate, |
boot lid design
Finding a 508 that fits
Over 12,000 miles and nine months, our now-departed long-term 508 returned an average of 48.6mpg from the fleet-staple 2.0-litre HDI engine against an official 58.9mpg.
But this got us thinking: had we picked the most efficient car in the 508 range for our type of driving - a mix of long motorway trips and short local journeys?
A glance at the model line-up shows two versions that are, on paper, more efficient: the 1.6 e-HDI with an official fuel figure of 67.2mpg, and the RXH Hybrid4 at 68.9mpg. So we spent a week with each and found that while the e-HDI was better on the short journeys, achieving just over 50mpg compared with around 45mpg for the 2.0, it refused to pass 60mpg on the motorway on a steady 70mph run, something the 2.0-litre did with ease.
The diesel-electric hybrid, however, easily surpassed 60mpg on short local journeys but refused to go above 50mpg on the motorway. What tops these figures though, is that over the week the cars were on test, the real-world, fuel figure was just under 50mpg for both and near identical to our 508 2.0 HDI.