Peugeot 508 Hybrid 225 GT 2020 with splendid looks, low taxes and useful electric range.
What is it?
This is the plug-in hybrid version of the Peugeot 508. But final touches have been made since then, in time to reach UK driveways, near enough coinciding with new company car tax bands that will benefit PHEV and EV drivers.
The car is equipped with both gasoline and electric engines. It features a 178bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 108bhp electric motor on the front axle for a total system output of 222bhp. It’s part of Peugeot’s plan to offer electrified variants of every model by 2025.
Its fuel economy is quite unexpected. Officially, the 508 Hybrid is said to achieve between 166.2mpg and 235.4mpg. But you’ve more chance of the Peugeot badge sprouting wings, liberating itself from the bonnet and slapping you around the face. The car reached nearly 40mpg when testing on the road.
It will be lower still once the battery is depleted, and to recharge it takes two hours from a 7kW charger – but you’ll have to pay extra on any trim level to be able to charge at that rate. Stingy, right? Otherwise, it takes seven hours from a three-pin plug or four hours from a Type 2 charger with a Mode 3 cable. Rapid charging isn’t available. Power-only range, in 33-39 miles.
C02 emissions help it soothe the company’s car tax deities, at just 29g / km. Puffing out 29g/km will certainly appease the company car tax gods. The new benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bands kicking in on 6 April mean running a 508 Hybrid as a company car can cost you half as much as a 1.5-litre petrol (150g/km) Ford Mondeo.
What’s it like?
You can easily switch between electric and petrol modes. When the car is started, it will be in electric mode only. From that point on, you get the pleasant quietness and zippy acceleration you’d expect, until the battery runs out or you enthusiastically squeeze the throttle, at which point the engine kicks in. The transition between power sources isn’t jarring or irritating, even if it isn’t totally seamless.
It’s the gearbox that frustrates more when you’re asking for urgency. In relaxed circumstances, it shifts without fuss. But in kickdown, it can hunt around for a gear with all the certainty and precision of a drunk darts player.
The car accelerates very fast. It’s the joint-quickest in the 508 line-up, alongside the 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel, although its pace is progressive rather than dramatic.
The car moves smoothly through bends. Although when scanning through some bends, the added weight of the hybrid; It weighs nearly 300kg more than the lightest 508. It’s still pretty agile and happy to change direction quickly, with smooth and precise steering.
The equipment inside the cabin is fully equipped with good materials. There is also a useful place to store the charging cable under the boot floor.
Should I buy one?
Goodness is the list price punchy. The top-spec GT model weighs in at £40,000. The 508 Hybrid is a compelling company car choice compared with a petrol or diesel rival, then, but not so impressive against its immediate plug-in hybrid rivals.
- Price £40,630 On sale Now
- Engine 4cyls, 1598cc, turbo, petrol, plus electric motor
- Power 222bhp (combined)
- Torque 184lb ft engine, 249lb ft electric motor
- Gearbox 8-spd automatic
- Kerb weight 1720kg
- Top speed 155mph (84mph in electric-only mode) 0-62mph 8.3sec
- Fuel economy 235.4mpg