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Long-term review

Peugeot 508 PSE SW - long-term review

£55,795 OTR / £55,795 as tested / £830 pcm
Published: 20 Apr 2022
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    508 Peugeot Sport Engineered SW

  • ENGINE

    1598cc

  • BHP

    360bhp

  • 0-62

    5.2s

Goodbye Peugeot 508 PSE... with a one-man track day

Photography: Rowan Horncastle 

Our time with the 508 PSE, TG’s faithful resident estate car and video production mule, has come to an end…

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What better send-off than a day at the Top Gear test track in good company, and what’s the first thing you do when arriving at an open track? Flick it straight into sport mode and give it some welly, of course.

Doing so unleashes the full 360bhp, sharpens throttle response, stiffens the dampers and provides maximum regen to keep the batteries full of juice. It does feel remarkably punchy off the line with the instant torque from the electric motors but at higher speeds you notice the 1.6-litre engine working very hard to keep the momentum going.

That being said, sport mode is actually where the hybrid system feels most comfortable, no jolting between combustion and electric as you get at slower speeds around town. The 508 PSE is also reassuring through the corners. It's not exactly something you’d want to attack hairpins in, but it feels planted thanks to the wider front and rear tracks and adaptive dampers. Let’s be honest though, this is not a track car, but the way it flows down the right piece of road is fun and not something you associate with Peugeot's modern offerings.

Now, it’s time to get a little bit sentimental. I have to admit I do have a soft spot for Peugeots. My dad had a 104 and my brother a 205 GTI (1.9, I’m sure you were asking). I have extremely fond memories of those although, unfortunately, both ended up at the scrap heap.

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I’m happy to report our 508 PSE has not suffered a similar demise, but it did get me thinking about how we’ll look back on it in 10 or 20 years. At £55k, it’s hard to imagine it will sell in large numbers, so will it just be forgotten as a Peugeot that was punching above its weight? Or will it be remembered as an innovative French rarity that people will boast ‘was the most powerful production Peugeot ever made’?

For me, it’s the latter. How great is it to see Peugeot having a proper crack at a performance car again? Yes, it’s not perfect and we all would’ve loved to see Peugeot Sport Engineered get their hands on the 208, but this acts as a testbed for the future of the brand. It’s not just another cool-looking concept that will never see production like the E-Legend.

This is a 360hp estate with hybrid tech and unique styling that you can buy right now, and those that do will get a big thumbs up from me.

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