back to article Peugeot 508 RXH estate car review

If there is a problem with Peugeot’s HYbrid4 tech, then it’s that being modular and compact it can end up in cars that are frankly just a bit dull. After a day spent tootling around in a HYbrid4 3008 the underlying technology left me quite impressed but the 3008 isn’t a car that gets my pulse racing. Peugeot 508 RXH hybrid …

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  1. Candy

    Here's a question...

    Can it tow? And if so, how much?

    1. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: Here's a question...

      Good question. Yes, loads up to 1,100Kg

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's a question...

      Here's another question:

      How much?!?!?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peugeots + electrics =

    pain

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Peugeots + electrics =

      hehe, not wrong. But then I'm basing that on older models that we have deliberately chosen for having the more reliable engines- mostly that near immortal 1.9 diesel unit before they became high pressure injection. We've gone through a fair few Berlingo vans and a 306 (before they have met their fate under the wheels of tractors etc), and whilst the engines have all been as good as gold, the electrics have often been eccentric. When my friends fell about laughing at the noises my central locking made in a spirited but unsuccessful attempt to work, I would just say "It's a French car, the electrics are supposed to be like that!"

      On one occasion, an engineer couldn't get his brand-new diagnostic tablet to talk to my 306 to reprogramme the ignition key... after an hour of head scratching and swearing, he changed tack and addressed my car as a Partner van, and it worked. To be fair, it was his box of tricks that was at fault, not the vehicle. "I'm never getting version two-point-ZERO of anything ever again!" he declared.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peugeots + electrics =

        Ahh, the old 1.9 diesel that was so tough that you could apparently run it on old chip fat!

        1. tmTM

          Re: Peugeots + electrics =

          You can run it off chip fat, or engine oil, gearbox oil or any oil of siliar consistancy.

          All with the correct Bosch fuel system of course, and only legally chip fat/biofuel can be used on the road.

        2. Stuart johnson
          Thumb Up

          Re: Peugeots + electrics =

          Yes, you could. You still can...

          Would have one of these if I got another job with a company car...

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Peugeots + electrics =

            >the correct Bosch fuel system

            Something to do with alkalinity of the chip fat rotting lesser fuel lines, IIRC.

            1. miknik

              Re: Peugeots + electrics =

              No, the Lucas fuel pumps don't have a strong enough drive and as vegetable oil is generally thicker than diesel then if you run it anything more than about 50/50 the drive will break off the fuel pump.

              Bosch pumps are bullet proof and will cope with 100% WVO no problem, even in a cold English winter. My 306 did about 30k on veg before I retired it, used quite a few fuel filters but apart from that it was sweet. Cheap motoring!

              1. Robredz
                Unhappy

                Re: Peugeots + electrics =

                A 306 would vbe fine and dandy, but newer common rail systems cannot handle bio, VAG group motors, and newer Mercedes Sprinters don't like more than 10% biofuel in the blend, so that rules out chip fat.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peugeots + electrics =

        I'll back that up! I've just traded in my 407 for a boring but reliable Astra as I was tired of the electrics playing silly buggers sometimes (warning lights on/off, simply wouldn't start for 10 minutes, tyre pressure sensors needing replacing, battery draining...). I miss the car, but not the lottery of what would fail next!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Powerful 4WD estate cars are extremely useful vehicles. But this one is 5 grand more than an Audi A6 and 10 grand more than a Subaru Legacy. And French cars are not exactly known for their long term reliability unlike the German and Japanese.

    You would have to really really want the hydrid technology gimmick to buy this.

    1. FartingHippo
      Meh

      "French cars are not exactly known for their long term reliability"

      Peugeot are by far the best of the big three frog car manufacturers, to be fair. Even Citreon have made great strides, but I'd rather have a rusty Daewoo than a Renault.

      1. FartingHippo
        Facepalm

        Doh!

        Citroen, obviously, not Citreon. The latter sounds like a lemon-based ointment. "Ooo, me farmers are giving me some gip, I'll just rub in some of this Citreon cream."

        Try and spell Peugeot and Citroen without looking them up, I dare you.

      2. John Miles

        Re: "Even Citreon have made great strides,"

        hardly surprising - as Citroen is owned by Peugeot and share large amounts of platform and components.

        Vast majority of problems I had with Citroens were garage competence issues not car related

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: "Even Citreon have made great strides,"

          "Vast majority of problems I had with Citroens were garage competence issues not car related"

          S/Citroens/Any Brand/

          Stealerships leave the simple jobs to the apprentice - who may - or may not - refit the sump plug after changing the oil.

          1. thesykes

            Re: "Even Citreon have made great strides,"

            True... last time I took a car into a dealer (gearbox replacement under warranty) it came out sporting an engine management warning, that it never had before they got their hands on it.

            Also recall a colleague taking his car in for a routine service, needed quite an expensive rebuild after the work experience filled the oil to the brim.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Even Citreon have made great strides,"

            Buy a car from a garage which has a customer viewing area. At ours I can work on my laptop while watching the thing being serviced. The only mistake I once made was not turning off BT on my phone and having the phone ring in the car while it was being serviced.

      3. MGJ

        Re: "French cars are not exactly known for their long term reliability"

        Well, my 39 year old DS seems pretty reliable, but of modern hire cars I loved the 306 Estate I drove in the spanish mountains 12 years ago

        1. MrT

          Re: "French cars are not exactly known for their long term reliability"

          Love the DS - if I get a chance (and a few quid) I'd have a DS23. But then my dad used to run a Citroen service dealership and if truth be told and money no object I'd have an SM ... and I'm now really wishing I hadn't sold my Firenza 20 years ago either :-\

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "French cars are not exactly known for their long term reliability"

        Last I looked Peugeot and Citroën were two brands of the same company. The former bought the latter ages ago (in the 70s IIRC?)

    2. Piro

      Sadly, you seem to be right

      If you have the prices right, there's no doubt you have a solid point. It seems they've added a little too much cost to the beast to make it a sensible choice.

    3. JohnG Silver badge

      You would have to really really want the hydrid technology gimmick to buy this.

      Yes - Hybrid tech apparently adds so much to the price of a car that you need the benefit of not paying congestion charges for 5 days a week or something of a similar order to make it worthwhile. As this car emits more than 100g/Km, it won't be free of the London congestion charge.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You would have to really really want the hydrid technology gimmick to buy this.

        Buy second hand. Depreciation makes a lot of difference to the price differential, because the second hand market isn't really familiar with them, and because hybrids are much kinder to their running gear and engines you know the previous owner hasn't abused them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmm, I thought that was why German cars depreciate faster the bigger or more complex they are, plus I had a friend who had the classic Passat/A4 thing of all the front suspension links failing and needing replaced, think there were 8 of them :P

    5. Stuart johnson
      Linux

      The equivalent A6 is MUCH more expensive. Its more than the A4, but then its not a 308!

      And as for long term reliability?

      My 306 is due for retirement next year, when it will roll 300000 miles, original engine and gearbox at 296000, one clutch, one electrical fault, and rear suspension rebuild. How many other manufacturers can do that?!

      And its still fun to drive.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    How much?

    Sorry £34k for a pug no, chance.

    Even if they've got their act together and the car isn't made from elastic bands and stale brie what is it going to be worth in 3yr Vs a similar Audi. I would guess the depreciation is going to be vastly more than any saving in fuel.

    And from what I've heard French manufacturers have not improved reliability a great deal. If anything the Germans / Japs have gotten worse which might close the gap but doesn't make the Frog car a better choice.

  6. stu 4

    tiny battery

    1.1KWh ? is that right ?

    My leccy bicycle is 11Ah, 44V = 484Wh.

    Or around 1/2 of what this car has ?

    seems tiny. I suppose it's just a buffer (hence using Nimh too), but hardly seems worth it.

    1. David Given
      Go

      Re: tiny battery

      Yup. This isn't really a hybrid by any useful meaning of the word; it's a diesel-powered 4WD with electric transmission. Which is no bad thing --- the electric transmission is lightweight and gives lots of useful torque down at the bottom end. (I'm personally waiting for a front-wheel-drive econobox with electric transmission from a diesel engine.)

      But yeah, in real life you're always intended to be running the engine when you're using the electric motor.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. stu 4
        Meh

        Re: tiny battery

        ok, but it is a diesel - renouned for their torque.. at the bottom end.

        :-/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: tiny battery

      It does seem wrong. A Prius has a battery of about that size and mine has a realistic battery range of about 400M. In motorway jams, though, I've known the engine not come on for an hour of crawling, so presumably the range is rather better at 2-3mph.

  7. MrT

    Slightly different...

    ... to the system in the Citroen DS5 - that's got a bit more power in the leccy motor and loses a bit more boot space. Still, the trade off for the 508 is more useful in this case. But the looks and the cabin of the Citroen are imo better - looked at it and thought it was paying homage to Gerry Anderson and UFO...

  8. GeorgeTuk

    Whats with the colour?

    Bleurgh

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Joke

      Re: Whats with the colour?

      That's brune, not bleurgh.

      And your spelling is merde.

      ;o)

  9. Tanuki
    FAIL

    Big, French, Expensive...

    Selling into the £35K+ sector most buyers expect a prestige brand: Volvo, Audi, Mercedes, BMW. Even a Land-Rover Freelander looks a better option.

    Recent UK history of 'big expensive and French' makes me think this one's not going to do any better than the Citroen C6, the Renault Avantime/Vel Satis or the Peugeot 607 - all vehicles with cliff-edge depreciation and spectacular unsuccess in the executive market.

    Hell, Renault are even pulling out of selling the Laguna - their Mondeo-equivalent - in the UK because buyers in the small-family-car sector prefer Ford to French.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big, French, Expensive...

      Freelander? Prestige? It's basically a van with an expensive badge.

  10. Barno
    Thumb Down

    Pug electrics

    I have a 55-plate 407 and it has been the most unreliable car ever. The 508 is its replacement and there is no way that I would touch one of these. The engine is superb but the electrics are appalling. This is not helped at all by the dealerships being totally inept. Last year my car went in to the dealers AT LEAST 25 times which was less than 1000 miles before problems. Failures on my car include

    Tyre pressure sensors (valves made of softest metal that corrodes away to nothing).

    Parking sensor ECU replaced.

    Parking sensor x2 (me and my son had to diagnose those as dealer couldn't)

    Locking wheel nut sheared off (garage had to get wheel off)

    Central locking failed twice no fault or reason found!

    A brand new key from Peugeot was faulty (took 3 trips to get the key programmed to the car)

    Windscreen washer jets knackered.

    Wacky wiper fault that destroys the blades (needs 2 new wiper motors as transient suppression diodes buggered). Open the door and the wipers activate smashing into each other.

    Then you have the centreless wheels that take forever to fit new tyres. NEVER AGAIN haing a French car.

  11. N2 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sorry

    None of this makes sense, Peugot used to make some very reliable 205 & 306's but the later ones seem to have too many faults as described in other posts, all our three Pugs did 150,000 + miles. I just cant get my head around paying more than an Audi A6 for a Peugot & one thats full of very new technology yet to be tried & tested for which I see large bills ahead.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couple of questions

    The article mentions the gear shifting being a bit weird. Was it a "proper" DSG, or one of those "assisted gearbox" contraptions, which is essentially a normal, single-clutch, single-axle gearbox that the car will operate for you with a few actuators here and there. I drove 508s with those and it was just fucking horrible for overtaking (I live in the Alps down those dodgy mountain roads where overtaking is not for the faint of heart or the mentally stable).

    Another question, the article only makes a passing mention of the start/stop system, but Peugeot's (again, same 508s as above) are the best I have experienced (the others being VW's on their various brands: Audi, VW, Seat, Škoda, etc.) It seems to do something with the engine so that cranking it back up seems to take only minimal use of the starter motor--if I hadn't driven a Diesel version with the same system, I would have sworn that they had done something with the spark timing and didn't use the starter at all. Any idea how they do it?

    1. miknik

      Re: Couple of questions

      >didn't use the starter at all. Any idea how they do it?

      Don't know about VW but Smart use the alternator and an industrial width poly belt, believe it or not...

    2. Cupboard
      Boffin

      Re: Couple of questions

      I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that they park the engine with the cylinders in just the right place to make starting easy.

      One thing I notice about a lot of the stuff at work (telehandlers and tractors) is how quickly they start in comparison to a car, and I've no idea how or why. Every car I've every driven, even with a battery in top shape always has a definite whuh-whuh-whuh-brum about the start (my current one has four wuhs and it seems to do that whether it's warm and just been on a long journey or frozen and been sat around for a fortnight, it just varies the sluggishness of the wuhs). Work's stuff all seems to start with a wuh-brum unless something's wrong and that's always a much bigger engine still with a 12V starter.

      1. Chris_Maresca

        Re: Couple of questions

        It's because cars typically have much higher compression ratios than industrial equipment. Industrial equipment is probably 8 to 1 and most cars are 10 to 1 or more.

        Takes a lot more power to compress the fuel for starting....

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