Our cars: Peugeot 508 SW - October
Week ending October 28
Driven this week: 415 miles
Minor gripes department: the cupholders in a Peugeot 508 just take a standard 330ml drinks can, but can't cope with a travel mug. It shouldn’t matter really, and it simply means that on Saturday morning trips to my son’s football matches, he ends up being the cupholder, because there is nowhere else to store one. If you’re on your own, though, there is no easy way to keep it upright.
When I do use a cupholder, I favour the passenger side, because anything in the driver’s cupholder obscures the main screen in the centre console.
Week ending October 21
Driven this week: 485 miles
This week I tried What Car?’s class-leading family estate – the Ford Mondeo. I spent a day in a 1.6-litre TDCi model in Titanium X specification.
Compared with my 508 it struggles to match the panache of the Peugeot’s interior, but on the road it’s clearly a better car. A calmer low-speed ride and beautifully judged steering are the headlines. I was also surprised at the guts and refinement of the engine, which are really impressive for a comparatively small displacement.
Mind you, even in a high spec, the Mondeo feels like a cheaper class of car than the 508. If you’re asking which is most desirable, it all comes down to where you place your priorities first.
Week ending October 14
Driven this week: 521 miles
Powered boot lids: a gimmick, or genuinely useful? To begin with I thought it was a bit unnecessary, but I’m beginning to think differently now. When approaching the car with armfuls of gear, it’s great to reach the car and find the boot already open. On the downside, it can sometimes feel like closing the boot could be done much quicker yourself, and overriding the electric operation is not very easy.
It’s not just the 508’s boot that takes a hi-tech approach to getting in the car. The keyless entry and push button start (you just need the fob on your person) makes the 508 a very easy car to get into and drive.
Week ending October 7
Driven this week: 495
Are we ever given in-car information too often in modern cars? I’m asking that question because the 508’s combination of central screen, in-dash graphics and head-up display means that, on occasion, the same piece of advice is shown three times.
The real answer is that two of the three can be configured by the driver (only the head-up display has a fixed output), and I find myself using any number of combinations depending upon the situation. The only thing to remember is that flicking between screens should not distract from the real job at hand – driving the car…
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