What's Hot: A stylish facelift that falls into the "it should have always looked this way" category.
What's Not: For now, the high price point of the current range. For 2015, we'll have to see...
X-FACTOR: The 508 has always been a good unit, and these new looks make it worth another look.
Vehicle style: Large sedan and wagon
Price: $TBA (currently between $36,990 - $58,490)
Engines: 121kW/240Nm 1.6 petrol, 130kW/400Nm 2.0 diesel, 150kW/450Nm 2.2 diesel
Transmissions: 6spd manual, 6spd auto (Australia likely to get auto only)
The nose and bum of Peugeot’s 508 sedan and 508 Touring have gone under the surgeon's knife, and, most would agree, to good effect - the 2015 Peugeot 508 looks better than ever.
Not a moment too soon (some might say); the 508 certainly needs something to kick sales along.
Year-to-date, Peugeot has sold fewer than 250 508s in Australia, placing it behind the equally unloved - and older - Skoda Superb.
Its cause is hindered by a higher sticker price than competitors like the Honda Accord and Skoda Superb. Likewise, a small dealer footprint.
But can this fresh-faced 508 update change Peugeot’s success in the segment? In search of an answer, we travelled to the Spanish island of Mallorca for our first taste of the 2015 model.
As updates go, the 2015 508 is more focused on mechanical and cosmetic tweaks rather than wholesale changes to the vehicle.
The front is almost entirely different, with a bolder face that brings the 508 more in-line with Peugeot’s latest range, as well as a lengthened rear bumper that rids the sedan of the 2014 car’s ‘flat-arsed’ appearance.
Inside there are changes to the centre console and button layout to reduce complexity, though it’s all largely familiar territory here.
The most notable feature additions are blind-spot monitoring, a colour touchscreen, head-up display and reversing camera.
The big news however is under the bonnet.
The old 1.6 litre turbo petrol range has been turfed in favour of a new family of THP 1.6s that comply with Euro VI emissions legislation.
Available in both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic for Europe, power and torque for the 1.6 THP engine comes in at 121kW and 240Nm - a 6kW increase over the current car’s output.
Both 2.0 and 2.2 litre HDi diesel engines remain available, though they too have been refined for the 2015 model.
When equipped with a six-speed auto (again likely to be the only option for Australia), power for the 2.0 HDi is a stout 130kW and torque peaks at 400Nm.
Compared to the 508 2.0 HDi currently on sale, it’s 10kW and a huge 60Nm stronger.
The 2.2 litre HDi engine in the flagship 508 GT carries over, with outputs unchanged at 150kW and 450Nm.
We spent the majority of our time in the range-topping 508 GT and the entry-level 1.6 THP, driving them on a varied selection of Mallorcan mountain roads, highways and rural back streets.
The 2.2 litre turbo diesel of the 508 may have undergone few changes, but it’s an agreeable unit with no shortage of torque.
Faced with steep hills, it barely flinches. With peak torque available from just 2000rpm, the 508 GT ascended Mallorca’s intimidatingly high peaks with ease.
Though it’s channelling 450Nm through the front wheels, the GT’s clever double-wishbone front suspension entirely nullifies torque steer.
Other models in the range make do with a much simpler MacPherson strut front suspension, while the rear-end on all models is a multi-link design.
Whether it’s a lumpy country backroad or a glass-smooth highway, the 508 GT makes mince-meat of long distances.
Even the 1.6 THP automatic is surprisingly perky.
While it lacks the grunt of the 2.2 diesel (the drive program didn’t allow us to sample the 2.0 HDi), the 1.6’s 121kW and 240Nm doesn’t struggle too much.
It’s only when trying to accelerate hard that you feel a shortage of thrust. In most other situations, the gearing and calibration of the newly-developed EAT6 automatic six-speed masks the 1.6’s relatively modest outputs.
On the whole though, the driving experience is familiar to the 508 that’s already on sale in Australia.
There are no changes to suspension settings or power steering calibration, so don’t expect a night-and-day difference when you get behind the wheel.
When can we expect to see the updated 508 range on Australian soil? Details have yet to be locked in, but the line-up is due to arrive in Australia in February next year.
Negotiations on which variants and which engines will make it here are still underway, so everything from pricing, specification levels and even the model structure has yet to be determined.
What we can expect, however, is for the flagship GT 2.2 diesel to remain, though it’s unclear whether it will continue to be offered as both sedan and wagon.
Preliminary indications on prices suggest that the 2015 508 range won’t see a reduction in sticker price.
But, with new equipment like blind-spot monitoring, touchscreen infotainment display and a reversing camera expected to be standard across the range, Peugeot Australia is likely to take a ‘value added’ approach rather than simply slashing prices.
Note: Tony O'Kane travelled to Spain as a guest of Peugeot.
MORE: Peugeot News and Reviews