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Other | 28 11 2012
Competition winner reviews the Peugeot 508 RXH

Following a recent competition with Glass's - the UK's leading motoring guide - winner Keith Thomson, who gets to road test a number of Peugeot models for the next year, has submitted his first review on the 508 RXH diesel hybrid.

Take a look at Keith's review below:

How would you like to be an "eco citizen"? You can if you buy one of Peugeot’s latest diesel hybrids, the 508 RXH. This is the French carmaker’s rival to the Audi All Road or Volvo Cross Country as it combines a two litre diesel engine with an electric motor for better fuel economy, helping salve your conscience and protect the environment.

Many would regard a diesel hybrid as a contradiction of terms, combining a traditional fossil fuel burner driving the front wheels with an electric motor driving the rear wheels when required. Is this the modern interpretation of carbon offset?  At least you can drive up to three miles on electric power alone or four wheel drive when conditions dictate. My car has just arrived in time for the Scottish winter, so no doubt it will be put to good use.

First impressions are that the RXH is well screwed together and made of good quality materials. The electric front seats aren't the usual ones more suited to a small Frenchman. Instead they offer support in all the right places for a typical Scots porridge oats model. Okay, I exaggerate – I admit I’m built for comfort not for speed, but Peugeot are trying to push the outdoors image with this car. It’s certainly ideal for motorway cruising in a relaxed and refined manner whilst generating lowly CO2 emissions of just 107mg - perfect for company car drivers and their associated benefit in kind tax bill.

The standard autobox has includes a manual option allowing gear changes to be made with paddles behind the steering wheel. The centre console also has the drive selector dial ranging from automatic (no brainpower required), zero emissions/electric power only (stealth mode), sport or four wheel drive. Other comforts include the usual climate control, CD/radio and iPod connection, Bluetooth for hands-free calls, sat nav, cruise control and all manner of  interior mood lighting. There’s also plenty of space for rear passengers who get their own air vents and electric charging points.

This is of course an estate car, so there's a decent sized boot with retractable cover. It is however smaller than the standard 508 SW due to the batteries being stored underneath the floor. This also means there is no spare tyre but instead some puncture repair contraption. Thankfully Peugeot do include AA Roadside Assistance in the warranty package.

From the outside, the car has more rugged appearance with side mouldings, macho alloys, a raised suspension and tinted windows. Three strips of LEDs on each side of the front bumper give a more aggressive appearance. All in all, it certainly has more road presence than the standard 508 estate. Although I have the standard model, there is also a limited edition which has more spec including keyless entry, an electric tailgate,  Xenon directional headlamps, JBL hi-fi kit and copper metallic paint with an on the road price of £36,000. This is considerably more expensive than the standard oil burner but it will attract company car drivers and eco warriors alike, providing they can afford the purchase price.

Over the next three months I'll be testing Peugeot’s latest eco wagon in all weather conditions on all types of roads. Better dress for the part, so I’ve dug out the wax jacket and green wellies. Still not convinced about the bobble hat though.

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