Long Termers: Peugeot 508 Hybrid4 - Part 2
The Hybrid4 system works seamlessly. It quickly switches between electric drive to the rear axle and diesel drive to the front and will cut the diesel engine at every opportunity.
As we have previously discussed, it also flatters Peugeot's under performing (when compared with VW's DSG) EGS gearbox because the hybrid system is programmed to keep the torque flowing to the back wheels during gear shifts, making for smooth changes except under rapid acceleration, when it is more difficult to mask the delays.
The 508 is also an imposing presence. It looks good and also appears to be well assembled.
So to the frustrations then. Top of the list is fuel consumption, currently averaging 53mpg on the trip computer. Many modern diesels can match that without the cost and complexity of a hybrid. To counter that, drivers have 200hp on tap, so 53mpg viewed in that context isn't so bad.
The trouble is that Toyota wrote the hybrid rule book (eventually) - hybrid means impressive mpg, and talk of performance or 4x4 capability cuts little ice with customers. Particularly fleet managers, who think that a diesel hybrid should mean 70mpg.
Next is the feedback through the steering wheel. I wasn't spoiled by the Mondeo I was running before, it just set high standards. The dulled responses of the 508 by comparison are disappointing.
Similarly there's the wind noise reaching me through the driver's door seals. There's too much of it. And don't get me started on the sat nav system. It's behind the curve, slow and clunky to use.
That said, I look forward to driving the 508 because it works well, even though better fuel consumption would be welcome. But so far, it's a case of "Could do better."
21 Dec 2012 12:28