back to article Peugeot 508 Active e-HDI micro-hybrid

Peugeot has been criticised for losing the plot with its small and medium cars over the last decade, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that it has made some fine D-segment motors in the same period, including the 406 and 407. Peugeot 508 Active e-HDI The 508 Active e-HDI: Peugeot’s latest micro-hybrid stop-start system on …


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  1. andy gibson

    "Peugeot has been criticised...."

    "...for losing the plot with its small and medium cars over the last decade"

    Really? By whom? The 206 and 307 are ubiquitous. And get the right model diesel and you're laughing with low service costs. I know of 307 owners with 250,000 miles on the clocks of their cars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The mid rangers were popular indeed. However the 307 has some reliability issues and is generally considered not as good as the 306 it replaced.

      The 207 and 308 look like blobfishes.

      The 206 is fairly rugged due to the simplicity of the engines used.

      There is some consensus within the Peugeot community that the x06 range were the last of the great Peugeots.

      The 406 I owned was quite a good car, but from what I heard the 407 (especially the smaller engined 1.6HDis which were popular in fleets due to low tax band) are to be avoided.

      Hopefully the 508 has them back on form and was properly QAd!

      64.2mpg is excellent from a large saloon car, and makes you wonder what all this hybrid fuss is about!

      Like the article said though, don't expect the sheep to flock to Pug dealers, as it doesn't have (the now terribly common) propeller nor 4 interlocking rings.

      Might do well in mid-range fleets though (as was the 406s stomping ground).

      1. Steve X


        "64.2mpg is excellent from a large saloon car, and makes you wonder what all this hybrid fuss is about!"

        I assume that's what they get on the (wholly artificial) EU "cycle" that manufacturers have to tune for these days to get lowst CO2 figures.

        My money's on more like 45-50 in real driving, less when the car is fully loaded.

    2. johnnytruant

      I had a 206 diesel

      and it was bloody awful. cost me a fortune to MOT every year, and was horrible to drive.

      Last good Peugeot I drove was a 205.

  2. Peter Townsend
    Thumb Up

    Not bad

    That's a pretty good write up. I'm not a car nut by any stretch but the Reg's auto reviews are a nice break from the domestic tech and are mercifully free of petrol head stupidity and bombast. Keep it up.

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  4. Danny 14 Silver badge


    i've always been a bit sussed about lubrication on the start-stop engines. Especially diesel ones. I'll wait a bit.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    big mouth?

    There are some fugly cars around these days, but that's the first time I've seen one with an overbite!

  6. DuncanL

    "with your foot on the break"

    Quality manufacturing?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Main problem?


    Not had much luck with French cars (Renault's mainly), so tend to avoid them. For the moment finding nothing to compete with my 02 plate Honda Civic, now on 165k miles, and still giving 35-40mph on its still completely quiet 1.6l petrol engine.

    Anon, 'cos my boss is French.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DIY start-stop system / Peugeot nempimania

    Recent Peugeot cars are quite amenable to start-stop style driving. Driving a Peugeot Partner Tepee with the 90 hp hdi engine, I can often coast for rather long distances with the clutch pressed / engine shut off / ignition turned back on. The engine will come right back when the clutch is released gently (called bump start, but this is very smooth with some practice). I always shut off the engine at traffic lights, turn back on when traffic 2 cars ahead starts moving again. Warning: Coasting with the engine off is only safe in a car with electric power steering ! Let the engine run occasionally to restore vacuum to the brake booster !

    About the lubrication: The stopping phases at stoplights etc. are usually not that long, which means that the engine will stay sufficiently lubricated. No complaints from my engine so far.

    To get the best mileage out of these cars, the pulse & glide technique also makes a rather big difference. Accelerate to target speed, press the clutch in and coast in idle, rinse and repeat. This minimizes the total number of engine revs.

    The fuel economy display on the Peugeot trip computer could use some improvements, e.g. doesn't display anything below 30 km/h.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You will shortly enjoy changing your CAT

      The problem with doing what you are doing is that if the engine is not designed for it the catalyst goes to hell on short order.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Dieselly cats

          Yep, a cat in a diesel.

          As anyone who has ever had dodgy HDi engine mounts on a 406 will testify, the inevitable flexi-rip usually means cat replacement.

          Helps with the carbons innit?

    2. tath

      Coasting in neutral, bad idea...

      You obviously don't know how modern engine control units work then. The injectors don't open when the throttle isn't pressed and the revs are above idle, it's only the fact the engine is connected to a moving car that keeps the engine turning.

      When you dip the clutch as soon as the revs reach about 1000rpm it has to start fuelling the engine again to stop it stalling, so you're actually using more fuel if you coast.

      Re the oiling, the big ends and mains need about a bar to float safely, it isn't just about having oil in the right place, it needs to be at pressure.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Face from...

    baywatch...body from crimewatch.

    Oh, and the HUD? Crap. I want topgun, on-the-glass HUD, complete with missile status and theme music!

  10. HP Cynic


    My previous car was a Peugeot 306 TD; before I bought it various Peugeot owners said "Yeah they are fine don't believe the stories" so I took the plunge.

    When I reported the very bad leak in the passenger door those SAME owners said "Well yeah they leak..." and "Yeah leaks are common"

    That put me off Peugeot and their owners for life :P

    Also the increased cost of the Diesel engine, shorter service intervals and far-less-frugal-than-claimed MPG meant it was costing me overall than a petrol car.

    The leak never got fixed and when I traded it in the garage said "We don't want to know about faults".....

    Anyway I'm way off-topic and behind the times but like to rant about my old Pug every now and then :)

  11. Si 1
    Thumb Up

    Nice to see a positive Peugeot review for once

    If Clarkson and co are to be believed Peugeot's are up there with Skodas and Ladas from the '90s.

  12. captain veg

    A pillar

    "One issue I do have with the styling, though, is the extraordinary thickness of the B-pillars. They are massive. I’m sure if you rolled it, or dropped an elephant on the roof, you’d be thankful, but trying to peer around them when pulling out of junctions is a constant niggle."

    You must have your seat set a really long way back, then. And amazingly long arms. The B pillar is the one between the front and rear doors.


  13. Al Taylor

    A pillar

    Indeed it is, and in the 508 it's so thick it obscures visibility quite badly between the 90 and 120 degree mark (give or take a 1960s female singing trio) looking left of right.

    It makes changing lanes and pulling out of junctions that curve back away from you - like the one I have to navigate daily - more of a challenge then it should be.

  14. Alan Dougherty

    French cars

    I've been given many french cars, of various makes, to drive since the mid 90's.

    Every single one has come a cropper with bad electrical systems.. no expections.. one even went on fire.

    Every family member that has had a French car, since about the the same time, has had multiple eletrical issues, ranging from, battery draining overnight (cause found to be a short in the interior lighting loom), power steering failure (common fault in Peugeots, generally a bad connection in steering wheel), shorts in the horn system (caused by a common fault in an electrical ring around the driver airbag) etc etc...

    I run a fleet of vans, and I just cannot justify buying anything French, due to the crap I've had to deal with, with their cars..

    This may well be well trimmed and economical.. but after 4-5 years, I'll bet you'll have a hard time selling them on, when you need, or people know you need, expensive electric work.

  15. FreeTard
    Thumb Up

    Really tempted to buy one

    Now another two years of soul searching before I eventually take the plunge.... been looking for 2.5 years already, and our current car is 11 years old...

    love the car reviews el reg, keep it up.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    OK for a minicab perhaps

    It's ugly and massively underpowered. 1.6L is not enough engine for a car of that size and weight. It may be fuel efficient, but the performance is poor even by the standards of twenty years ago. Peugeot 508 drivers will spend most of their time in the slow lane being overtaken by lorries. I can't imagine why anybody would spend 24 grand on such a miserable contraption. Utter Merde.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      Bit overly negative there - I suspect performance will be adequate for the average pug driver, and the general traffic conditions of today. My eco-box does 12.5secs 0-60 (slower than this pug), and it's not lacking for speed/acceleration in normal traffic.

      You're right in some regards - it won't cut it at 85 in the outer lane of the M25, but everywhere else it'll be fine - the torque are power figures are far better than most stuff from the late 80's, especially when you consider the emmissions (Though I suspect NOx will not be much improved).

      Given typical modern pug drivers are mostly old duffers with dodgy eye-sight, the looks won't matter much either.

  17. . 3

    Wait, what..?

    So it has a regular starter motor, a starter/generator and super caps? Why the redundancy? And all duct taped together with legendary French electrics. Hmm.. think I'll pass on that one.

  18. Jonathan White


    "As well as guaranteeing low-temperature performance down to -5°C"

    It was considerably colder than -5°C for about a month last winter in the UK (and where I am isn't particularly that far north in it either). Same for large chunks of mainland Europe. Is that really the best it can do?


  19. TeeCee Gold badge

    "i-StARS (Starter-Alternator Reversible System)"

    Or a "Dynastart" as it used to be called when it was common on pre-war vehicles.

    Next week: Peugeot announce their new breakthrough in circular, rotating, friction reduction devices to run cars on.

    @Those saying good things about Peugeot: Get thee to a car tech forum and follow the interminable tales of Peugeot electrical woes. The only thing that stops them being the kings of crap in this area is Renault.

  20. Eponymous Cowherd

    If its a question of economy.....

    and "saving the Earth" isn't a major priority, then you are better off buying an 8-10 year old car for a couple of grand, and running it into the ground.

    You can get a really nice, comfortable, well appointed car for that price, and you can buy one hell of a lot of petrol / diesel for £17,000.

    Running a big old car has other advantages. You don't feel the need to burst into tears when it gets dinged in a car park, you don't feel the need to get out of the way of overly aggressive Audi drivers, its no big deal when the kids spill coke all over the seats and, when it finally dies, its no great loss, you just buy another one.

    Buying new cars, its a mugs game.

  21. Jock in a Frock
    Thumb Up

    407 2.0 HDi 136 owner here

    I bought my 407 2.0 HDi 3 years ago when it was 1 year old, so far I have 47K on the clock and it's been enjoyable. Servicing costs are reasonable, performance is good, and I still enjoy the styling of it.

    The 508 is a nice looking alternative to a Passat or a BM, and I know owners of those marques who have reported dodgy electrics, poor economy amongst other problems.

    I expect I will be in the market for a second-hand 508 next year once the depreciation brings them into my budget.

  22. Al Taylor


    Below -5 the start/stop system leaves things alone until the engine compartment temperature has risen to above that.

  23. Alan Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Not bad

    That's got the same CO2 emissions as my 1.4 TDCi Fiesta. My old 307 had effectively the same engine and emissions of 129.

    On cold-starts - last winter, the Fiesta was sat outside covered in snow for two weeks. The temperature had crept up to -8 in the afternoon after being -12 the previous night when I thought I'd better see if it still worked. I was amazed, it started first time.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I I the only 1 thinking that mpg is less than impressive? My 2 litre 09, Audi A4 will happily get 56-58ish mpg in the real world and thats and good mix of environments.

    I'm waiting for the new generation of super efficient engines to actually deliver me to the promised land but so far, seriously unimpressed.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Had a 405, two 607s, and currently a 407.

    The 405 was fab, but run into the ground (259k miles when it died!). The 607s were big boats, with surprisingly bad rides for such 'limos'. The 407 has been largely reliable (140k miles so far), but in common with the 607s has problems with the electronics: in particular, the centre console screens!

    If they've sorted that, I'd be tempted... but I have to agree with the earlier comment about running older used cars rather than new ones, especially the part about not crying when they get dinged! :-)

  26. milla03
    Thumb Up

    Pugs? Love 'em

    As a long term Peugeot driver (I've had a 405, two 306s, a 307, 307SW and now a 407), I *love* the 508. Recent Peugeots have had some styling issues with the gaping mouth, but the 508 looks the business. And to those trashing Pugs, yes there are probably bad ones out there, but in the 13 years I've had them (out of the 16 years I've been driving), the most I've had go wrong has been an incorrectly fitted headlamp and a sticking CD-player. Don't believe the anti-hype - if you look after them well, they reward you with reliability and comfort. I just wish I could afford a 508....

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