Peugeot released the 508 RXH with two things in mind, “Upmarket & without compromise”.
So how did they do?
Our test model was priced at £37,780, with numerous options to make it absolutely range topping. The base price of the RXH is a more reasonable £33,895.
With a total of 200 BHP and combined torque of 500 Nm it will cover the 0-62 sprint in 9.5 seconds, not at all bad for a nearly 2 tonne car.
Peugeot have really beefed up the look of the RXH, a 50mm jacked up ride height along a wider front and rear track are combined with rugged sill and arch extensions.
Up front the whole face has been redesigned over the normal 508 SW, a butch, more aggressive grille is flanked by claw style LED running lights (the first time Peugeot have used the claw lighting on the front of a car). Large 18 inch polished alloys finish off the rugged look, together with darkened rear windows.
Lower portions of the car carry a silver effect inlay, and against the dark skirts and white paintwork of our test model they make the whole car look very premium. A few added gloss black touches and Hybrid4 badges add to the specialness of this model.
It looks completely different to a 508 SW…and when you compare the two, the latter looks rather naked and unfinished.
A 2.0 litre diesel engine is mated with a 37 BHP electric motor coupled to the rear wheels, meaning this estate is fully four wheel drive.
It can be driven in 4 different modes, Auto, Sport, 4WD or ZEV.
Auto is for normal driving, and the recommended mode to leave it in, Sport mode couples the diesel and electric motor together, it also provides quicker gear changes and higher engine speeds. 4WD will continuously power the front and rear wheels.
Last but not least ZEV lets you travel for around 2 miles on 100% electric in silence, at speeds of up to 40 MPH.
We loved ZEV mode, for creeping along in traffic jams to popping down the local shop it’s great.
Whilst the range is limited it’s very cool to have the benefit of an electric car, but not the restriction on distance, as soon as the charge gets too low the diesel seamlessly kicks into life and you continue on your way.
At times you don’t even notice the diesel starting up, it’s that subtle.
Over the 400 miles we drove, the car was mainly in Auto, this is recommended in the handbook for best MPG.
However when in Auto mode the car holds on to the gears for what seems like forever, and pulling away from junctions is rather sluggish.
You put your foot about halfway down and get pushed ever so slowly into oncoming traffic…before the car decides it should actually go.
Most of the time it’s ok and you learn to compensate, but if you want to actually nip through a gap in traffic it’s best to select Sport. You are then allowed the full 200 BHP, and the RXH pulls away very well.
We also used the 4WD mode. Whilst on a grass hill coming out of Goodwood the front wheels started to spin under light acceleration, we selected 4WD, the RXH gripped, and we continued on our way up the hill. It worked perfectly.
Ride in the RXH is rather firm, you do feel every little lump in the road.
A car like this should be a great cruiser and glide sveltely over imperfections, but the RXH feels more like a hard, hot hatch.
Whilst it goes round corners very well, with immense grip, it has to suffer with a firm ride to keep all that weight and length in shape.
We were a little disappointed with the MPG of the RXH, over the 400 miles we sat in traffic, cruised at 70 on motorways, drove around town, and we only achieved 47 MPG.
Peugeot claim an Extra Urban figure of 67.3 MPG and a top end Urban figure of 70.6. We couldn’t get anywhere near that during every day normal driving conditions
Another optional extra on our car was the directional xenon headlights at £715.
They are a great feature, go round a corner and the lights turn round it with you, perfect for country lanes. Built in with this package is the High beam assist function, this automatically turns the high beams on and off when you are driving.
It’s the first time we have driven a car with this and it really makes a difference when driving at night on unlit roads.
Inside the large Peugeot there is an air of quality, everything is very premium; both look and feel.
Dash plastics are nicely textured and soft to the touch, the gloss black inserts are a smart addition and our model had a full leather interior with orange detail stitching.
The RXH benefits from a nearly full length panoramic roof, when the blind is opened it adds a lot of light to the interior and makes the car feel a lot more open.
Rear legroom isn’t a problem, there’s hectares of it; 4 adults can really travel in comfort and there’s still 423 litres of boot space available for luggage.
Instead of your normal RPM dial Peugeot have replaced it with a % power meter, it also contains an ‘eco’ and ‘charge’ section.
Lift off the throttle when you’re going along and the regenerative braking takes over, slowing you down gradually. If you time it right you don’t even have to use the brakes at all before corners.
If you’re a ballerina on the pedals you will be rewarded by the needle staying in the green ‘Eco’ section of the dial, even when cruising along at motorway speeds you can still be on the fringes of ‘Eco’.
One problem we do have with the interior trim is the gloss black, whilst it looks smart and premium it scratches very easily.
Our press car had 9000 miles on it and the state of it was pretty bad when you catch it in sunlight. If Peugeot could put a protective coating, or even a laminate film over it just to add a bit of protection.
We’d hate to think what it would look like in 4 years’ time!
Peugeot’s 508 RXH adds a level of individuality to a normal, bland looking estate car.
The RXH looks vastly different from its 508 SW estate brother, whereas Audi’s All road, or Volvos Cross Country are hard to tell apart from their road going next of kin.
With a BiK of 12%, 107g of CO2 it’s a company car winner for sure! Stand out from the crowd and get an RXH.
Peugeot 508 RXH – Different, premium, sluggish Hybrid4, great looks, spacious.