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[Behind the Wheel] New Peugeot 508 offers French chic to Korean drivers

France’s Peugeot may be less ubiquitous on the streets of South Korea compared to other rival imported brands from Germany or Japan. But the new Peugeot 508’s stylish look and premium feel are gaining popularity among drivers who want a less common and sleek design that can grab attention on roads filled with large SUVs. 

New Peugeot 506 (Peugeot)
New Peugeot 506 (Peugeot)

During a two-hour drive on Hallasan in Jeju, the new Peugeot 508 proved itself to be an adventurous sedan with urban French chicness. 

The vehicle was smooth in cornering when climbing up hills and on the descent, highlighting its front-wheel drive. In high-speed areas above 150 kilometers per hour, it sped up fast like a sports car, but with little noise. 

The new model has made a comeback after eight years. The most impressive change was its exterior. The car transformed from an average sedan to a five-door fastback inspired by a coupe. Its signature light-emitting diode taillamps that look like claws added sleekness to the car.

New Peugeot 506 (Peugeot)
New Peugeot 506 (Peugeot)

The car features a powertrain consisting of 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter BlueHDI diesel engines. Both use the new EAT8 8 automatic manual transmission system, which uses 7 percent less fuel and weighs 6 kilograms less compared to the previous EAT6 system. The car has maximum output of 177 horsepower and maximum torque of 40.8 kilogram-force meters. 

Despite its competitiveness, the new Peugeot 508’s front window view felt a little narrow from the driver’s seat. Due to its coupe-style frame, the back seat also felt cramped. In addition, the car’s cockpit-inspired front seat is positioned quite low from the steering wheel while the dashboard is located above the wheel, which might be uncomfortable for some drivers. 

New Peugeot 506 (Peugeot)
New Peugeot 506 (Peugeot)

Meanwhile, the steering wheel was very compact, thin and easy to grab -- even for drivers with small hands.

The new Peugeot 508 may be after Volkswagen’s customers, and it is definitely a more affordable alternative to Volkswagen’s latest sedan Arteon, launched a month earlier, with similar specifications. 

The new Peugeot 508 comes in three trims: Allure, GT Line and GT. Prices start from 43 million won ($3,827), 47 million won and 51 million won, respectively, including VAT. The 1.5-liter BlueHDI diesel model begins from 39 million won. 

By Kim Da-sol (

The Korea Herald ratings

Design: 4 stars
Safety: 3 stars
Fuel economy: 3 stars
Price: 4 stars
Overall: 14/20