Peugeot's comfortable and stylish 508 RXH is quality but comes at a price...
The French are better known for their fashion, food and fine wines, rather than their big cars, writes Geraldine Herbert
If you are looking for a smart and stylish car that can cater for an active family, then Peugeot reckons the 508 RXH may just be the car for you. The RXH is the bells-and-whistles version of Peugeot's big family car.
When it first when on sale, it was a diesel electric hybrid with a 4WD system, but the technology proved expensive and cumbersome and sales were poor. Instead, you now get a luxury specced 508 estate, with chunky body styling and a raised height.
The RXH's exterior, with handsome lines, is a blend of sleek yet rugged styling, with the streamlined body and roof rails giving this car real kerb appeal. It is distinguished by its grille and forward-facing badging, wheel arch and sill extensions, aluminium front and rear bumper scuff plates and a raised suspension setting.
Inside, it's the most luxurious in the range and demonstrates Peugeot's move upmarket. Plush, heated leather seats keep everyone happy on a long drive and standard items include a 7ins multi-function touch screen; satellite navigation; blind spot monitoring system; LED daytime running lights; cruise control; speed limiter; colour heads-up display; and front and rear parking aid with colour reverse camera.
There is a huge panoramic glass roof to ensure a light, airy feeling inside and excellent visibility.
Under the bonnet, the RXH offers just one engine, a very efficient Euro 6 2.0 BlueHDi diesel with 180bhp and 400Nms of torque. A Stop Start power unit matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox emits just 119g CO2, making it €200 for annual road tax (Band A4) and combined consumption is recorded at 4.6 litres/100km or 61.4mpg.
All 508s manage to offer a nice fusion of good comfort and an involving drive and the RXH is no different; it is beautifully smooth and ideal for long journeys.
You wouldn't call it agile on winding county lanes, but it is by no means tiring to drive and is nimble enough and easy to manoeuvre. so city driving and parking are a doddle.
Practicality and style are the hallmarks of Peugeot's 508 RXH, with a generously sized boot that can accommodate 512 litres. There is ample rear seat legroom to meet most people's needs and a decent level of storage options.
The RXH also comes complete with a comprehensive list of safety specifications, including anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist, electronic stability programme, traction control, numerous airbags and lots more.
When compared to rivals, the RXH is not cheap to buy and this is the real Achilles heel of this car. The 508 estate or SW range starts at €29,790 but our top-of-the-range RXH will set you back €41,595. At this price, this 508 is well into BMW 3-series Touring and Audi A4 Avant territory both of which start at €38,940 and €41,150 respectively.
With good driving dynamics, a host of safety features and an efficient engine, the striking Peugeot 508 RXH seems to have it all.
Inside, it has a genuinely premium feel, with heaps more equipment than rivals, but it is expensive and you can never escape the fact that it is still very much a Peugeot 508.
It's not going to suit everyone, but Peugeot has blended estate features, such as roominess and practicality, with premium quality to create an impressive alternative and one for your shopping list.