The Peugeot 5 series has a long and distinguished history at the forefront of the Peugeot manufacturing stable. The 504 was released in late 1968 and was the European Car of the Year in 1969, winning acclaim for its distinctive styling, quality build, superior chassis, smooth ride, good visibility, strong engine, and overall feeling of quality. It remained in production and on sale in certain markets right through 2006, though it was withdrawn from the market some considerable time beforehand. Formats included a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, and two-door cabriolet, and later a five-door station wagon.
After the 504 and its successor, the 505 – which was introduced in the 1980s and available until 1993 – Peugeot withdrew the 5 Series from the market, instead focusing on the 4 Series and the 6 Series. The 405 and 605 were its initial replacements, later followed by the 406, 407, and 607 before the 5 Series made its triumphant return in the form of the 508. Based on the Citroen C5 platform, the 508 demonstrates typical Peugeot styling, with lots of pleasingly pointed curves and aerodynamic features that are as effective as they are easy on the eye.
The interior delivers space, comfort, and a feeling of quality. The overall feel is contemporary and classy, and it is a pleasure to travel in.
The original 504 came in the form of a four-door sedan with sunroof, running with a 1.8L petrol engine which delivered 72kW of power through its four-speed manual gearbox (with an optional automatic alternative). Various engines and generations followed before the 504 was superseded by the 505 and ultimately put aside in favour of the 4-Series and 6-Series models.
The 5 Series returned to market with the 508, replacing both the large/mid-size 407 and the flagship 607 model and becoming the largest Peugeot ever to be sold here. Initial models included the high-spec Allure sedan and Touring wagon and a high-performance GT. All ran on Peugeot’s celebrated diesel engines, the former using the 2.0L HDi giving 120kW of power and 340Nm of torque and the latter a 2.2L turbodiesel giving 150kW and 450Nm of torque. Standard transmission across the board was a 6-speed automatic, with paddle shifts on the GT model.
Those interested in a later 508 will find 2011 models including a 1.6L 4-cylinder petrol turbo engine giving 115kW of power and 240Nm of torque in Active (base) and Allure format. There is an even more economic diesel option in the form of the EGC Active, with a 1.6L e-HDi engine that delivers 82kW of power and 285Nm of torque. This model is one of the most economical cars of its size on the market.
All models boast fast and responsive steering and plenty of hold, and they are noted for their quiet interiors.
The 508 comes with plenty of kit as standard. Expect to find a hill-hold function, stability control, anti-lock brakes, emergency brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, cornering brake control, and hill hold. Other kit on the base Active model includes dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, partial leather seat trim, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connective, USB, and cruise control with a speed limiter. Further up the range, the Allure includes full leather trim, electronic front seat adjustment, front parking sensors, and keyless entry with push-button start. The GT sedan throws directional bi-Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, tyre-pressure monitoring, and an alarm system into the mix.
Also, 17-inch alloys come as standard with 18-inch options available – and these really do make something of a difference to the drive. If you are in the market for a used Peugeot 508, consider seeking them out.
The 508 comes with a five-star ENCAP safety rating, ensuring driver and passengers can travel with full peace of mind. Six airbags, anti-whiplash front seats, accident-efficient door handles, and a pedestrian-protective front bumper are amongst the 508’s impressive safety features.
Competition for the Peugeot 5 Series is as broad as the car’s history is long. Older 5-Series cars will be sought after in their own right for the classics they have become. Those in the market for a 508 will have a number of alternatives to choose from. Some may prefer to keep the price tag to a minimum and stick with an older 407 or 607. While the Hyundai i45, Holden Calais, VW Passat, and Ford Mondeo all give the 508 a run for its money, the 5 Series is very much at the front of the pack.