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Long-term review

Peugeot 508 PSE SW - long-term review

£55,795 OTR / £55,795 as tested / £830 pcm
Published: 13 Jan 2022
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    508 Peugeot Sport Engineered SW

  • ENGINE

    1598cc

  • BHP

    360bhp

  • 0-62

    5.2s

A £56k (!) super-Peugeot hybrid has joined the TG test fleet

Here we are then, the first high-performance Peugeot in over five years, and the first to feature those three letters in its name: PSE. What do they stand for, I hear you ask? Peugeot Sport Engineered, the brand’s new performance division, and with Peugeot’s upcoming return to Le Mans, the PSE division has a promising future ahead of it.

Our particular model comes in 'SW' estate guise, which is just as well because it will spend the coming months with myself, TG’s fresh-faced video chief, lugging cameras around.

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Peugeot 508 Top Gear

Although it will spend a lot of the time behind the lens being chased down by all manner of metal, this Peugeot certainly has no reason to be camera-shy. I’m not sure of the last time Peugeot produced a production car that could generate so much rubbernecking. At a glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it came out of Germany, not France.

The 20” two tone diamond cut alloys filling the arches, the ostentatious winglets placed along the sills and those large, 380mm brake disks with contrasting yellow callipers are a departure from what we’re used to from Peugeot’s design department.

However, despite its likeness to its German counterparts, you won’t find a heavy chested engine under the bonnet, and that’s where the 508 PSE appears to fill an interesting niche. Instead, there’s a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with a familiar 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine up front and a pair of electric motors on each axle.

All that adds up to a power output of 355bhp (the most powerful production Peugeot ever, they’ll have you know), which is good for 0 to 62mph in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. No slouch, but possibly not the mind-blowing performance you’d expect from a halo car.

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But what about the driving? First impressions on a long motorway drive down to South Wales were good. The ride comfort was superb and adaptive cruise control with active lane keeping assistance just worked. Combine that with a premium feeling cabin jam-packed with creature-comforts and there’s little to complain about.

Peugeot 508 Top Gear

To my delight there’s even massaging seats, essential after a day of filming cars if you ask me. They come as standard, by the way.

In fact, the 508 PSE comes fully-loaded for it’s £55,795 starting price with the only optional extras being Nera Black (£575) or Pearlescent White paint (£725), a panoramic roof (£870) and a 7.4KW monophase on board charger (£300), none of which are present on our model.

If that price has you wincing, you could of course save yourself a couple of grand by buying the fastback variant, which comes in at £53,995. Wince or not though, the grown-up Pug is here to stay. Let’s see if it can justify its massive price tag.

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