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Peugeot 508

Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Peugeot 508


On the inside

Layout, finish and space

Peugeot’s ‘i-Cockpit’ driving position divides opinion. The instruments are high-mounted and viewed over the top of a small steering wheel rim, rather than through the wheel itself. So to get clear sight of them, you need to raise your head by winding the seatback upright, and lower your hands by dropping the wheel. That’s how some of us drive all cars, and we find it just fine here. But if it isn’t your usual way of sitting then you’ll either take time to adapt or forever curse Peugeot’s crazy rearrangement of the natural order of things.

The seats are big and plush with plenty of room up front. In the rear, that fastback limits comfy headroom for anyone above average height. Legroom back there is perfectly OK, with the usual proviso that the driver’s seat needs to be lifted a notch or two to make foot space beneath.

That high-set instrument pod carries a TFT panel, so you can swap between skins that emphasise speed/revs, or navigation, or driver assist. Even night vision, on the top spec.

The central screen is an eight-incher on base spec. Most have a HD widescreen ten-inch, which gives space for some permanent cabin-temperature sliders at either side of the screen. All have connected TomTom-based navigation, which works quickly and has accurate traffic info. Well-integrated phone mirroring for Apple and Android is also standard.

A row of seven harpsichord-style shortcut keys below the screen help the ergonomics and the style, and their cold-touch aluminium surfaces and clicky action give a strong impression of quality. Which is mostly reinforced by the rest of the cabin furniture and materials.

Rather excellently, the screen is mounted at middle altitude, so that the face-level vents sit above it. We prefer face-level to the nipple-level arrangement too many cars now have.

The high sweeping console has space beneath for a phone, a wodge of paperwork or sneaky pasty. There’s another small lidded box alongside the transmission lever, two rim-lit cupholders and an armrest box aft of that. In the back there are USBs and vents and reading lights.

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