DRESSED to impress, inside and out, the 2021 Peugeot 508 Fastback will tantalise the automotive taste buds. There is a certain je ne sais quoi to it, and to the French auto maker we say oui oui!
External styling on this five door gem is tastefully done. The highlight would have to be the front end, with its sleek, staunch stance. It has a sports appeal to it, with contoured LED headlights chiselled into the curvature.
These meet beautifully with a centred, chequered grille. The 508 is proudly embossed just above it. The car is shaped like a sleek bullet, and you almost lose sight of the fact that it’s family car.
The theme carries through in the 19-inch diamond cut rims. The view from the side displays the low stance, and a continuation of its sporty look. To finish, the 508 has a sleek rear window, meeting a flared out rear end.
It has its curves in all the right places. Colour wise, it looks the part too, with selections including Hurricane Grey, Pearlescent White, Ultimate Red, Artense Grey, Platinum Grey, Amazonite Grey, Nera Black, Twilight Blue, and Celebes Blue.
We had the pleasure of taking the 2021 Peugeot 508 Fastback on a lovely road trip from Sydney to Newcastle. Hands down, this is one of the best cabins to have yourself in when it comes to longer drives.
To begin, you are nestled in lovely Nappa Mistral full grain leather seat trim with Aikinite double stitch detail. The stitching is just beautiful!
And once you’ve adjusted the 8-way electronic configuration of the driver and passenger seats, it’s just as comfortable. You can sit quite low too, giving you a real connection with the road.
About an hour into the journey, we found ourselves coming to a complete standstill due to a traffic incident. With nowhere to go, we began to feel tired, just sitting in traffic, but could not do anything about it.
This is where the Peugeot 508 Fastback came to our assistance, thanks to built-in multi point massagers in both the passenger and driver seats. You can even set the intensity of the massage.
Crank it up and you can feel the tiredness melt away. Once you have a taste for it, you’ll find yourself switching it on, every time you drive. This feature alone is a game changer when cruising.
Among the other stand-out features in the 508 Fastback is Peugeot’s unorthodox steering wheel. Unlike the traditional circular shape, the French car maker has opted for an ‘oval’ shaped steering in a landscape orientation.
It felt like a Formula 1 steering wheel, just less rectangular. The shape was perfect, as it allowed you to sit lower, and have your steering wheel where you need it, without diminishing your view of the cockpit console.
As an added plus when cornering or turning, you feel the rush of steering a performance machine. The 508 also sports Peugeot’s 12.3-inch i-Cockpit; an integrated digital instrument cluster and display panel in one.
It’s coupled with the centre console mounted 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which offers full support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We took advantage of that to plug-in and utilise Waze for our journey north.
CarPlay doesn’t fill the whole screen (which some may find annoying), but that does provide the opportunity to tinker with things like climate controls. Tucked behind the console is a cleverly placed wireless phone charger, and two USB ports.
Unfortunately, wireless Apple CarPlay isn’t available. That aside, the centre console is furnished with a mixture of stitched leather, piano black trim, and carbon effect styling. There’s ample storage in the glove box too.
You’ll also find a small storage compartment near the transmission shifter for holding a wallet or purse. The two cup holders are a little tight, but still usable, while there’s ample door storage as well, with adequate space for a water bottle.
The Focal 10 premium audio system, with a subwoofer and dedicated amp, is just what the doctor ordered for audiophiles. It came in handy when we were stuck in traffic, that’s for sure.
That trip to Newcastle was incredibly fuel efficient, thanks to the 1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine, and its delivery of 165kW of power and 300Nm of torque. Peugeot claims 6.3-litres/100km, while actual testing revealed 7.3-litres/100km.
Delivered through an 8-speed automatic transmission, it’s all a little underwhelming, with oddly sluggish acceleration, particularly from a standing start, and pronounced gear shifts. That’s particularly noticeable when the transmission is downshifting.
The abundance of technology is impressive though, and active cruise control is a standout, ensuring you spend less time with your feet on the pedals.
Active lane keep assist will keep you on the straight and narrow, although you do have to hold the wheel a little firmer than normal. It also handles the transition from old asphalt to new flawlessly (as we discovered on the M1 Pacific Motorway).
We were quite frustrated by the parking assist feature, which we couldn’t get to recognise a suitable spot correctly, and it would only notify after we had moved too far past the open parking spot.
It may be a ‘nice to have’ feature but it will need some practice before you can make proper use of it in the real world. Trying to make it work, and watching the infotainment screen to make sure the car was playing along, was very distracting.
The 2021 Peugeot 508 Fastback has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and there are a host of airbags, as well as ABS, stability control, autonomous emergency braking with support from both radar and video camera, active blind spot detection, and much more.
There’s plenty of back seat space, including two ISOFIX child seat anchors. It’s an absolute pleasure to travel in, has class and refinement, and looks sculpted and fierce. What it lacks in performance, it makes up in technology, driver assists and safety.
It comes with 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and you can pick one up for $63,142 drive away.
Our test vehicle was provided by Peugeot Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Peugeot 508, contact your local Peugeot dealer.