Peugeot 508 2018 review
Peugeot's new fastback has a convincing mix of decent driving dynamics, space and quality
They used to be a really big deal, cars such as the Peugeot 508 and its sort — the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia, Renault Laguna. You know the type: big D-segment saloons and wagons, doyennes of company car fleets, discounted and flogged out to the sales reps. Nostalgic for those days? Suit jacket in the back window? Sales samples in the boot? Thirty-thousand motorway miles a year? Jumpers for goalposts?
Anyway, that was then, and this is now. And know this: Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato doesn’t care. Doesn’t care, in fact, if you buy a 508 at all. Seriously, he literally just told me as much: “The 508 will not affect my profit and loss,” he said. “60% of profit is SUVs [and another 30% is in commercial vehicles], so I don’t need 50% of revenue from fleets; it’s not important. I don’t care. If I’m killing the pricing, then I’m killing the residual value.”
Presumably, he does care a bit. This D-segment — conservative saloons — is, worldwide, still one of the three most important market sectors. They love a boring big saloon in China, and even though we’ve gone off them in Europe, people still buy 1.5 million of them a year here. What Imparato means is: he’s not going to beg you to buy a 508 by discounting it heavily through fleets. You want one? You buy one. You don’t? Fine, we’re not going to beg.