The new Peugeot 508 fascinated us with a whole new form of grand tour coupe, so we took the opportunity and connected it to over 3,000 miles a long way.
With this French coupe sedan, we toured the Croatian seashore at the height of the season, taking motorways through Slovenia and Italy, as well as visiting some of the most beautiful areas in northern Italy, covered with vineyards and even better driving roads. In the end, another few hundred kilometers on BiH roads and a summer tour with the new 508 left us with gigabytes of snapshots and photos and even more fond memories.
At a time when a comfortable family car has become synonymous almost exclusively with an SUV, it’s refreshing to see that there is an attractive sedan that flirts with the sporty atmosphere. When such a sedan comes from a Peugeot that currently has a phenomenal supply of SUVs that are being sold “like crazy,” then they really need to acknowledge their bravery.
Not too long ago for a quick and enjoyable trip there was an ideal recipe called a GT car. GT (grandtour) cars used to make more sense, and with cheap flights it seems less and less appreciated for the experience and the pleasure of long rides and journeys. The new Peugeot 508 has become a sedan coupe with this generation and just as if it wanted to be reminded that a comfortable car does not have to be tall and boxy, and that it calls for a grandtour. We answered that call and connected it to a summer trip of over 3,000 kilometers.
Although it has been on the market for over a year, the new Peugeot 508 is still a very rare occurrence on the roads in Europe, and especially here. The low and wide silhouette of the aggressive LED canines on the way through Herzegovina to the Adriatic coast has been awe-inspiring, even more of those drivers in large and featureless SUVs.
The combination of highway, highway and mountain passes at the very beginning of the road announced that the Peugeot 508 was born a long-distance carrier. The cabin is quiet and comfortable, and even at high speeds there is no increased wind noise. Peugeot has obviously really tried to make the door frame without windows glass and well-made and even better soundproofed.
For the final descent to the coast, we chose a narrow road through the Cetina River Canyon to pull the 508 out of its comfortable zone of wide and flowing roads. Still, the rough and bumpy asphalt with countless turns has revealed to us that the new Peugeot 508 has little in common with its predecessor. The low roofline and low center of gravity, along with a wide track of the wheels, have turned the 508 into a very dynamic sedan, so although it is primarily a comfortable sedan, the 508 is also playful when you see a snake-shaped road on the large navigation screen.
That perfect golden hour before sunset, we were already by the sea and perhaps too often stood by the side of the road to enjoy the view. To the left is a coupe-shaped roof and muscular 508 mudguards beneath which the polished arms of the 19-inch rims gave sunshine, and to the right, the shattered Adriatic coast and endless blue. And we asked you which look you like more on Klix Auto Instagram , and in the end it was pretty even.
A few days by the sea and the smell of salt in the air pleased everyone, and we used the evening outings to try another of the many novelties of the 508. The Night Vision infrared camera and i-Cockpit system is a great help on unlit roads, and the pedestrian and animal recognition system along the road is a great help to the driver even when he is resting.
The continuation of the highway through Dalmatia did not start very well, so we quickly realized the “magic” of traveling in the peak season. More than an hour in a column in the middle of a Dalmatian rock and at plus 43 degrees Celsius due to a deadlock is hardly the ideal start to the journey. However, in a comfortably cooled cabin and with a good audio system, time passes faster.
The road to Slovenia and Italy, but also the monotony of the highway, is interrupted again in search of winding roads. The descent to Senj and the name Vratnik on the map sounded promising. The award came very soon after exiting the highway, spectacular views, excellent winding road with good asphalt wake the boy and in the camper drivers. Fortunately, there were not many of them, so we could enjoy a fun downhill. Indeed, it seems to us that the greatest advantage of the highways is that they have made such good driving roads unburdened and free to enjoy.
Another stage and a ride by the sea and we cross Istria on the way to Slovenia and Italy, hoping that entering Italy and the highway will accelerate the pace of the trip a little. Still, the yellow triangles on the map meant the exact opposite. More than 70 percent of the highway to the Verona region, despite the height of the tourist season, is in the works, and instead of some 110 km / h, we drove mostly 50 km / h and often stopped. It seems that we still have a lot in common with the Italians and their organizational skills.
At an exhaustingly slow pace, we finally reach Soave, a small town between Vicenza and Verona whose medieval fortress and center is nestled in fairy-tale rolling hills covered with vineyards. Wine lovers are known by the name Soave for their premium white wine, which is named after this city and region. So we took the unique opportunity to bring a pair of Soave Classic bottles back to BiH. Truth is, we forgot that the boot of the 508 was already full “up to the plug”, and once again we forgive the designers that the low coupe line stole at least an extra 50 liters in the boot.
A few days in the vicinity of Lake Garda served as a real eye-break. The Italian charm and sense of aesthetics along with the phenomenal scenery and turquoise blue of the lake have shown us why tourists are all year round. The 508 was a great fit in this environment as well, with its coupe lines posing perfectly even with expensive supersport cars that came here on some of their “joyride”.
The winding roads through the vineyards and around the lake were replaced one day by an inevitable march to Venice, where the Peugeot 508 remained hidden in one of the cramped garages. One day in Venice is enough for just one superficial walk and sightseeing, but in high summer temperatures it can be too much. High prices and lack of cleanliness are some of the tourist attractions and I guess that’s part of the charm of this unique city.
The journey back to BiH through the continental part was, indeed, much less interesting, and with a few setbacks, equally slow. However, the ability to “swallow” the 508 miles has just come to the fore, and a powerful turbo diesel with, finally, a high-end 8-speed automatic transmission makes it much easier for the driver to work on these stages. On boring sections, driver fatigue is also greatly reduced by excellent assistance systems that keep your distance from other cars very comfortable and keep the 508 safe inside the lane. Indeed, at good speed, this kind of driving is minimally tedious in 508 drivers. In the end, we just wanted a slightly more generous front seat with a longer seat.
After more than three thousand kilometers on truly diverse roads and a completely varied driving pace, we completed the tour with an average consumption of 6.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. For a powerful 180hp HDI and a powerful 400Nm of torque that drives the always fully loaded 508, and with a climate that worked overtime, that’s more than a modest average.
At the end of the long socializing with the 508, we are left with countless beautiful scenes in our heads as well as in the photos, but also the satisfaction that there are still new cars that appreciate the classic shape but manage to make it functional and desirable. We don’t hate SUVs (much), but we don’t love it when there is no alternative to them. So, bravo Peugeot!