Over the past number of years, the popularity of family estate cars has increased at a great speed. Coupled with the increased popularity of new SUV models which are available from almost every brand on the market, the idea of estate cars with 4×4 looks seems to be becoming more and more appealing. The Peugeot RXH which was originally launched as a combination of a diesel and electrical four-wheel drive estate never really took off as Peugeot would have hoped. In theory, this should have worked and been popular but the desire within the market for such a combination just wasn’t there. In light of this, Peugeot released the 508 RXH in front wheel drive only powered by a 2.0 litre Hdi diesel engine.
The Peugeot 508 in the standard saloon guise is a nice car. When you get it in the SW estate model, you get a car that has a level of maturity about it with an abundance of space inside. The 508 RXH takes that, increases the ride height by 5 centimetres along with wheel arch and sill extensions and aluminium scuff plates on the front and rear bumpers which creates a rugged, solid, sporty estate car that has the potential to compete with its competitors.
Sitting into the 508 RXH you will be greeted by an abundance of space throughout the cabin. Front and rear seat passengers alike benefit from generous leg and headroom throughout. There is also a panoramic glass roof as standard which adds to the feeling of additional interior space and brightens everything up. The standard of the finish within the interior is to a very high spec and it appears that Peugeot have packed the 508 RXH with an array of extras as standard. Located in front of the steering wheel, way up on the dash towards the lower end of the windscreen you will find the standard fit head up display. I’ll be the first to admit that getting in and out of various test cars every week, I tend not to go about reading the owners manual and it took me almost a day to figure out where the adjustment was for the display so that I could see it properly from my driving position. For those of you like me who by pass the manuals, it is located in the pocket in front of your right knee!
Also standard in the 508 RXH are the signature Claw effect LED daytime running lights as well as full LED headlamps along with Peugeots smartbeam assistance and auto headlamps and wipers. One niggle which I would have with the 508 RXH is the amount of buttons on the dash. So many brands, including Peugeot in other models have managed to scale this back but it all just becomes a bit confusing. The 7 inch multifunction touchscreen is very easy to operate and allows you immediate access to all of your relevant infotainment, Bluetooth and vehicle information. Standard seating in the 508 RXH is full leather with an alternative choice of half leather and half alcantara. Boot space is also impressive offering 550 litres up to the parcel shelf with the rear seats in place and this expands to 1,598 litres from floor to roof height with the rear seats folded down.
The Peugeot 508 RXH is now powered by a 2.0 litre Hdi diesel engine which has a power output of 180 bhp and is paired with an automatic transmission. The automatic gearbox also allows you to select between sport and winter modes along with the standard mode for everyday use. There are also gear change paddles located behind the steering wheel. On the road the 508 RXH handles very well given that it sits 5 centimetres higher than the standard estate model and rolls along on 18 inch alloys as standard. The steering is well weighted and ensures that you know exactly what is going on at the wheels. The 508 RXH is not the type of car that you are going to be pushing to the limit through every bend but it does manage to hold its own if and when it is required to do so. When it comes to fuel economy, the 508 RXH will return a respectable 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres. This is slightly higher that what is within the specifications but is still reasonable none the less given the overall size of the 508 RXH. All models within the 508 range also come with a 72 litre fuel tank so while it may cost you a little bit more to fill from empty it offers a massive driving range, especially if your right foot is not as heavy as mine!
All in all, the front wheel drive Peugeot 508 RXH ticks all of the boxes which are set out for vehicles within this segment. It offers the rugged looks of an off-road estate but none of the associated heavy running gear. Maybe an addition of the Peugeot grip control might make it more capable on less than solid ground but that is something for the engineers to consider! What does make the 508 RXH really stand out from the crowd is the level of standard spec available for the money that it will cost you.
Engine Size – 2.0 Hdi
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 180 bhp
Torque – 295 Nm
Acceleration (0 – 100km/h) – 8.9 seconds
Top Speed – 220 km/hour
Consumption (Combined) – 5.2 litres/ 100 kilometres
CO2 emissions – 119g / km
Road Tax – €200
Price as per model tested – €41,595 (plus delivery)