Stunning French fastback is a breath of fresh air in an SUV-dominated market

“Stunning French fastback is a breath of fresh air in an SUV-dominated market


Peugeot Ireland officially welcomed their much-awaited 508 this week along with the funky new Rifter MPV and new generation Partner van. The brand, which enjoyed strong growth last year on the back of their hugely successful SUV range now plan to reignite the dwindling saloon segment with the striking 508 ‘fastback’ and expand their market share even further with this new product offensive.

Now in its second generation, the stunning new 508 has already been voted ‘Most Beautiful Car of 2018’ at the International Automobile Festival and doesn’t fail to disappoint in the metal. The sleek, sexy outline of this latest model is sure to have even the most hard-core crossover fans pondering whether they need that big old SUV.

The stunning redesign continues inside the cabin with an interior that gives its premium rivals a run for their money in the style stakes. Top quality materials adorn a well-appointed dashboard that has been fitted with all the latest in automotive technology including the impressive i-Cockpit, which proves that it’s not just the Germans who can do a digital instrument cluster well. Unlike the Germans, it’s also a standard feature across the range – as are an impressive range of driver-assisting safety features like Active Safety Brake, Collision Risk Alert and Active Lane and Roadside Departure Alert with Steering Assist.

The range starts at €32,400 with the entry level Active model. Standard equipment is generous from the ground up and includes 16 inch alloy wheels, AGR approved seats for back health, an eight inch touchscreen display complete with a reversing camera, parking sensors, cruise control, and an electrochromic rear view mirror to prevent being dazzled by the lights of ensuing traffic.

The mid-spec Allure model comes even more laden with tech including an upgraded 10 inch display with SatNav, some exterior styling upgrades like 17 inch wheels and privacy glass, lumbar support for front seat passengers, and further improvements to safety equipment including high beam assist, road sign recognition and driver attention alert. The price walk from the Active to Allure is €2,500.

The GT-line ups the ante in the style stakes with a beautiful set of 18 inch ‘Hirone’ alloys and GT-line body kit, full LED headlights, more striking 3D ‘claw’ effect LEDs around the back, and a GT-line interior pack. Functional upgrades include adaptive cruise control, wireless phone charging, i-Cockpit amplify, and electic lumbar support. The GT-line starts at €38,170.

The halo of the range will be the full GT model. Starting at €49,120, it comes paired with a 1.5l 225hp turbo charged petrol engine and a long list of goodies including a bespoke set of 18 inch alloy wheels, 10 speaker Focal sound system, Active suspension control, an electric tailgate and full Nappa leather AGR seats with a massage function for the driver.

There’s a choice of two petrol and four diesel engines to choose from, depending on the choice of trim. While there are plans for a plug-in Hybrid before the end of the year, and indeed further electrification of the entire range in the not too distant future, Peugeot emphasised their commitment to diesel and spoke of a market where ‘the customer will decide’ the right fuel type for them in the short to medium term.

They also emphasised the clean and efficient nature of their current diesel engines, which will be offered in the 508 in the form of the 1.5l BlueHDi 130 (manual and automatic) as well as a punchier 2.0l available in power outputs of either 160 or 180 hp (automatic only). Petrol buyers can choose between the 1.6l Puretech 180, or the high performance 225hp version exclusive to the GT.

The Rifter takes over from the TeePee as the brand’s great value, no nonsense choice of people carrier. With a new longer wheelbase option, the Rifter is available in both five and seven seat versions and can now cater to more space and motability needs than ever before. Sharing a chassis with the Partner van, the vast cabin and highly configurable seating offers some of the best value on the market in terms of square footage per Euro.

It also comes very generously equipped, with an impressive range of high-tech features across the range and a starting price of just €23,740. Standard features include an eight inch touchscreen display, air-conditioning and the ADAS safety kit with lane keep assist and speed limit information. Further luxuries are available further up the range including parking sensors, alloy wheels and automatic lights and wipers on the Allure/Active+ (from €25,570) or the Allure+/GT-line which adds keyless go, high beam assist, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning and a reversing camera as well as some slick exterior styling such as 17 inch wheels and privacy glass.

The Rifter will come with a choice of diesel and petrol engines in varying power outputs and is available in both manual and automatic.

Stay tuned for full video reviews and test drives of these exciting new models coming soon to CarsIreland.ie

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