2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV (car review)

The 2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid (or PHEV for short) offers those of us who don’t want an SUV, an alternative, in the form of a family wagon that can do it all, and still look super cool in the process.

While the number of people who would still prefer a wagon seems to be diminishing every day, it is good to know that there are some options out there for those who like their cars with a lower centre of gravity.

Peugeot offer plenty of SUVs, but the 508 delivers something different, with the current version being an update of the model first launched in 2018. With distinctive cat-like DRL’s at the front and a low and sleek side profile, it looks fast, even when standing still.

- Advertisement -
Suzuki V-STROM 1050

Just like the exterior, the inside of the 508 is a beautiful place to be. The heated front seats are finished in black leather, with nice patterning throughout. You slide into, rather than sit in these pews, and they feel like when you put on a familiar, comfortable shoe.

Find the massage button and those long drives disappear. The low seating position is emphasised by the dash layout, raised centre console and low set steering wheel, which is common in modern Peugeot vehicles.

2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV
2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV

A digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen are both angled towards the driver, with a series of piano keys providing access to functions on the latter. It’s a quirky setup, that requires you to flip through screens to make changes.

It’s simply not as intuitive as you might expect, and really would benefit from physical buttons. The native maps are pretty good, but once you plug your phone in, using Android Auto and Google Maps offers a much more familiar interface.

The location of the front USB points and phone charging pad lie underneath the centre console, which keeps everything out of sight, except when you need to be plugged in for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. You also need to be in the right port for it to work.

The 10-speaker Focal audio system proved more than up to the task and was a joy to listen to. Connectivity with phone devices can be intermittent and the varying volume levels between radio and Android Auto can be startling if the latter fails to connect.

The reversing camera feels like it came from a Nokia camera phone from the early 2000’s with its pixelated graininess, and there’s no handy way of activating the cameras on the go. That aside, the instrument cluster is crisp and clear.

2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV
2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV

We really enjoyed changing the interface, as it’s fun to try them out. A quick reference navigation screen is handy too. If you’re not aware of i-cockpit, Peugeot essentially places a rather small steering wheel in your lap.

While that initially seems strange, you become really comfortable with it after a while, to the point that when this writer jumped back in his own car, he had to lower the steering wheel to try and replicate the feeling.

The second row features heated outer seats, separate air conditioning controls, a USB port and a power socket, as well as ISOFIX points for child seats. The low roof line can be troublesome for buckling in little ones, and taller occupants.

Frameless doors help in some small way for getting in and out though. The boot capacity is 530-litres, with loading rails and tie down points. Drop the rear seats and you’ll have 1,780-litres of storage.

Under the hood, the 508 pairs a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a hybrid system for a combined output of 165kW, delivered to the front wheels. It’ll do 55km in EV only mode and has a claimed fuel economy of 1.5-litres/100km.

dash
Inside the 2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV

Real world testing was more like 50km and 4.5-litres, which is still impressive. Acceleration is smooth with the combustion engine only letting its presence known in more spirited driving. It doesn’t offer a particularly sporting engine note, nor is it intrusive.

Cruise control can slow the car down to a stop and get going again, but you have to be able to find it first. For the first day or so we almost thought the car wasn’t equipped with the feature, until we realised the steering wheel blocks the stalk and controls.

It’s not a system you can use on the go without examining how the buttons and switches operate first. Once you have familiarised yourself with it though, it actually works really well. Like many things in the 508, it’s just different.

Charging the 508 Sportswagon PHEV through a standard power socket took about 5.5 hours from empty. Public chargers were either incompatible with the 508’s Mode 2 plug, or unavailable for maintenance reasons. The latter is something we’ve called out a few times.

Given the size of the 508 Sportswagon, it drives like a much smaller car, and feels nimble around town. Power delivery is impressive, even more so when you venture out to find some twisty roads. It does a good job of hiding the fact it’s a front-wheel drive car.

boot
Inside the 2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV

If you want some added fun, use of the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, which are very responsive. Peugeot offer a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assist, as well as 8-year or 160,000km battery warranty and long service intervals.

The 2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV reminds us of a time before the onslaught of SUVs, when we loved a wagon and its practicalities as a family car. It’s undeniably French but an absolute beauty to look at and drive.

While the base model is currently on offer for $64,990 drive away, the PHEV version starts from an eye-watering $89,318. Our test vehicle came in Pearl White, but you can opt for Elixir Red, Ink Blue, Artense Grey, Nera Black and Platinum Grey.

You can find out more from the Peugeot Australia website, or by talking to your local dealership. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by Peugeot Australia for review purposes.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
8
Exterior styling
9
Interior look and feel
8
Technology and connectivity
6
Family friendliness
7
Value for money
7

SUMMARY

Pros - beautiful looking car; fun to drive; comfortable interior; massage seats.
Cons - expensive in PHEV form; controls aren't intuitive; missing some convenience tech competitors have.
Daniel Collins
Daniel Collins
Daniel has had a keen interest in cars since getting his first Matchbox toy as a young kid. If he's not car spotting while out on the roads, he'll be plane spotting watching the sky, or diving into one of his many favourite sci-fi universes.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Social Media

5,142FansLike
839FollowersFollow
55FollowersFollow
267FollowersFollow
798SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisment -
HJC RPHA 12

Hottest Reviews

- Advertisment -
Ducati DRE Academy

Trending Now

- Advertisment -
BMW S 1000 RR Launch

DON’T MISS A STORY

Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest car and motorbike news and reviews, in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

- Advertisment -
Honda CB750 Hornet
- Advertisment -
OnlyCars
Advertisement
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
<strong>Pros -</strong> beautiful looking car; fun to drive; comfortable interior; massage seats.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> expensive in PHEV form; controls aren't intuitive; missing some convenience tech competitors have.2023 Peugeot 508 Sportswagon PHEV (car review)