The 508: absolutely purrfect

The 508: absolutely purrfect

Paramedics know about burns, broken bones and stuff like that. Not always so much about cars. So when the paramedic on the Peugeot 508 launch tried to explain to me how to open the car’s boot – “You press the ‘0’ in the 508 badge” – I grinned and suggested he stick to applying plasters.

Big mistake. The man with the medicine badge was quite right. And I should have known better than to doubt him, because that boot opening device pretty much epitomises what the Peugeot brand is all about: it’s quirky. Something different. It has real panache.

The same can be said of the utterly magnificent 508. This is an executive car above all else – as can be seen by its striking design. We’re especially lustful of the flagship 508 GT model, with its piercing directional bi-Xenon headlights with distinctive LED tubes and twin exhaust nozzles. And we just adore the tail light clusters, featuring three red “claws” that mask three rows of six LEDs to give the 508 a unique after-dark signature.

Then there’s the interior. Think about a first-class seat in an aircraft (sans the snoring neighbour) and you have the 508 – it blends luxury with beauty like never before on a Peugeot model.

There are four models: the 508 Active 1.6 THP Manual, the 508 2.0 HDi Manual, the 508 Allure 1.6 THP Auto, and the flagship 508 GT 2.2 HDi Auto. The 1,6-litre motor churns out 115 kW of power while the 2,0 and 2,2 litre offer 120 and 150 kW respectively.

Priced between R289 900 and R418 900, the 508 ticks all the emotive boxes, there are two sensible reasons for acquiring one too. The first is safety – the 508 boasts the latest-generation Bosch 8.1 stability and traction control, emergency brake assist (EBA) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD). The second is peace of mind; it comes with a five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan, which means no expensive trips to the dealer.

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