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With challengers in the form of the new Ford Modneo and Volkswagen Passat looming on the horizon, Peugeot has taken steps to defend its upper medium competitor with a significant upgrade to the 508.
New engines, noticeable front and rear refreshes and upgrades to the interior and equipment, the 508's is more hefty a mid-life revision than some cars get.
The smarter nose is a classier treatment than the previous wide grille, moving the car to what Peugeot says is the look that will go across all its models going forward. Increased front and rear overhangs mean the car is 38mm longer, and on all but the base Allure spec, the front light clusters employ a total of 44 LEDs. At the rear of the saloon, the lights have been revised, supposedly in the shape of three claws, using another 36 LEDs.
The interior has received a hefty revamp with the introduction of a seven-inch touchscreen removing a cluster of control buttons from between the front seats. Pleasingly and unlike the new 308 which could be said goes to far in uncluttering the dashboard, there are still climate and audio controls available without going through the touchscreen system.
Four of the engines are unchanged in terms of power and efficiency and still comply with Euro5 emissions legislation, while there are two new Euro6 compliant units to the line-up - the 180hp 2.0-litre with a new EAT6 automatic transmission - and the 150hp BlueHDi diesel driven here.
Coming with the six-speed manual gearbox, the 150hp model has an emissions figure of 109g/km in the saloon and just one gram higher for the SW estate that unfortunately tips it into a higher BIK band. Peugeot is a bit cheeky in claiming class-leading emissions figures at this power bracket, given that the 140hp Vauxhall Insignia is just 10hp down on the 508 and beats it by a full 11g/km, while the Mazda 6 matches the 508 for power and is 5g/km more efficient.
The new unit offers plenty of performance and though not the quietest offers a gruff and inoffensive soundtrack rather than traditional diesel clatter. Though obviously a big car, it handles tidily enough without any sporting pretentions, is comfortable and ticks all the boxes required for a car at home as a high-mileage cruiser.
New technology coming with the facelift encompasses a reversing camera and blind spot detection system using a little light in the wing mirror to warn of cars hovering to either side of the 508. Both come in from Allure spec level, and equipment levels are good across the range, with every car getting satnav, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors. All 508s bar the hybrid get DAB digital radio as standard too.
But, Peugeot's old Achilles heel, its residual values, still rears its head with the 508. Kwik Carcost predicts a pretty dire 23.2% retained after three years for this Allure-spec 150hp diesel, and that's on a car that's more expensive than most of its rivals already, though better equipped.
That RV deficit means the 508 is behind all its major rivals for cost. And that's without factoring in the two major players arriving by the end of the year, in the form of the long-delayed new Mondeo, joined by a new Passat, the Peuegot's business case means it'll not be an easy sell in a segment where all but the premium players are struggling to maintain their position.