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Peugeot 508 1.6L THP 165: Sporting, stylish and sensible

By Ghaith Madadha - Feb 13,2024 - Last updated at Feb 13,2024

Photos courtesy of Peugeot


Distant successor to the ruggedly capable, comfortably refined and spacious long-running Peugeot 504 and 505 that were popular in the developing markets in their heyday, the second generation 508 was launched in 2018 as a distinctly more upmarket and stylishly sporty mid-size car.

Adopting a decidedly dramatic and assertive low-slung fastback style reminiscent of fashionable so-called “four-door coupes”, Peugeot also opted to use a more practical functional lift-back design to provide substantially better boot access and versatility than the 508’s mostly traditional three-box saloon rivals.

Sleek and sporty with its low and flowing arced roofline and short rear deck, the Peugeot 508’s aesthetic is aggressive in demeanor from front view.

Shark-like with deeply set and slim headlights and chequered grille, the 508 emanates an urgent momentum and aggressive hunger, accentuated by a subtly scalloped bonnet design and fang-like vertical running lights. Its side creases meanwhile taper towards the rear, where the 508 features a jutting built-in spoiler and slim rear light clusters with claw like lighting element motifs.


Proven performance


Offered in two turbocharged 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engines, both Middle East spec versions of the 508 are slightly less powerful than Euro spec cars, with the range-topping GT model producing 214BHP.

However, the entry-level regional version retains the previous generation 508’s THP 165 engine and a 6-speed automatic gearbox, in place of the GT’s and Euro versions’ 8-speed.

Probably chosen for more proven reliability and to keep purchase cost competitive with Asian alternatives, the Middle East 508 develops 163BHP at 6,000rpm and 177lb torque at just 1,400rpm.

Responsive from idling with its quick-spooling turbo, the 508 delivers a generously rich and broad mid-range peak torque sweet spot for confident overtaking and performance on inclines.

Subtly muscular and eager revving through to peak power and top-end with progressive pace, the 508 however operates best when riding its ample mid-range torque band, and is refined, flexible and efficient on motorways, winding country lanes and inclines.

Sufficiently brisk, if not outright quick, the 508 accelerates through 0-100km/h in an estimated 9-seconds or less and onto around 210km/h. 



Sporting and settled


Driving the front wheels through a slick and concise shifting six-speed automatic gearbox, the 508 accelerates with control and little by way of torque steer at heavy throttle load.

Riding on MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension, the 508’ handling prowess is meanwhile well reconciled with its sportily low-slung style.

Turning into corner crisply and with good front grip, the 508’ directional changes are similarly tidy and resilient to early understeer, but with front-biased weighting, a tendency for some reasonable understeer is expected if pushed too hard through tight corners.

Well controlling its estimated 1.5-tonne mass through corners, the 508’s tendency for body lean is low for its class. Its ride quality can meanwhile be slightly on the firm side over sudden jagged bumps and potholes — especially with larger alloys and low profile tyres — but is otherwise comfortable, smooth and forgiving.

The 508’s ride feels settled and buttoned down in its vertical control over crests and dips. Steering is well-weighted and damped, but is quick and nuanced enough to provide a sporty feel though switchbacks.


Smooth and sophisticated


Smooth and stable as a highway cruiser, the 508’s cabin is refined, with good noise suppression despite its use of a sporty frameless window design.

More premium in character than its predecessor, the 508 is stylishly sophisticated and futuristic, if somewhat quirky inside, with its digital “i-cockpit” instrument cluster, which is unorthodoxly viewed from above a thick and flattened steering wheel.

Divided by a broad centre console with a high-set gear lever close to hand from the steering wheel, the 508’s cabin ambiance is modern and hunkered down.

With supportive, comfortable and well-adjustable front seat the 508 provides good front visibility over it low-set steering wheel and high-set instrument panel. Spacious in front, the 508’s rear seats are reasonably spaced and comfortable for most, but its rakishly low roofline reduces rear headroom for tall passengers.

Luggage space is generous at 487-litres, which expands to 1,537-litres, with rear seats folded down. Well-equipped with comfort, convenience and infotainment features, the 508’s driver assistance suite includes an extensive list of standard and optional high tech systems.

Peugeot 508 1.6L

THP 165

  • Engine: 1.6-litre, turbocharged, transverse 4-cylinders
  • Bore x stroke: 77 x 85.8mm
  • Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection
  • Gearbox: 6-speed auto, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100km/h: 9-seconds (estimate)
  • Maximum speed: 210km/h (estimate)
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 163 (165) [121] @6,000rpm
  • Specific power: 102BHP/litre
  • Power-to-weight: 108BHP/tonne (estimate)
  • Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 177 (240) @1,400rpm
  • Specific torque: 150.2Nm/litre
  • Torque-to-weight: 160Nm/tonne (estimate)
  • Fuel consumption, combined: 6.2-litres/100km (estimate)
  • Length: 4,750mm
  • Width: 1,859mm
  • Height: 1,403mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,793mm
  • Track, F/R: 1,601 / 1,597mm
  • Overhang, F/R: 908 / 1,009mm
  • Boot capacity, min / max: 487- / 1,537-litres
  • Headroom, F/R: 881 / 843mm
  • Shoulder room, F/R: 1,455 / 1,413mm
  • Kerb weight: 1,500kg (estimate)
  • Steering: Electric-assisted rack and pinion
  • Turning circle: 10.8-metres
  • Suspension, F/R: MacPherson strut/multilink
  • Tyres: 235/45R18
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