Peugeot joined the battle of hybrids and presented its new 508 RXH hybrid at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The new vehicle represents Peugeot’s next step into the world of green technologies and continues the road opened by its predecessors.

The 508 RHX is based on the 508 touring and is equipped with a hybrid system which consists of a 2.0 liter HDi engine paired with a 38 hp electric motor, offering a total output of 200 hp.

The car is pretty hard to be put in a distinct category as is basically a hybrid estate with the abilities of an SUV which puts it on the same line with models like the Audi A4 Allroad or Volkswagen Passat Alltrack.

The new Peugeot 508 RXH was designed for those who search for a green vehicle but aren’t ready to sacrifice space, comfort and utility.

Hit the jump for more information on the Lit Motor C-1.

  • 2012 Peugeot 508 RXH
  • Year:
    2012
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    163 @ 3850
  • Torque @ RPM:
    300 @ 1750
  • Top Speed:
    132 mph
  • 0-100 time:
    9.5 sec.
  • Price:
    43700
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Design

2012 Peugeot 508 RXH High Resolution Exterior
- image 477008

Compared to the 508 touring, the RHX comes with a 40 mm wider track and 50 mm, taller height. Thanks to these two modifications, the vehicle features a totally different stance than the base model. However, Peugeot continued the makeup with a series of additional elements to further enhance the unique character of the THX.

While the side profile keeps the same elegant line found at its brother, the front end design looks slightly different thanks to the reshaped grille the new bumper which now features three vertical bars mounted in each lower-side air intake. These bars are fitted with LEDs which are used as daytime running lights, adding a dose of aggressivity to the entire car.

To underline the purposeful stance of the vehicle, Peugeot added tough looking mouldings around the wheel arches and along the sills. Talking about wheel arches, they house a set of big 18 inch wheels which add the finishing touch to the pumped up look.

Interior

2012 Peugeot 508 RXH High Resolution Exterior
- image 477010

The modern exterior lines are carried over to the inside as well. The entire dashboard features a pretty attractive style which is also build with practicality in mind as every control is placed intuitively and is easy to reach. The center stack seems a bit too cluttered for our tastes, but you’ll probably get used to it pretty fast, so we won’t complain too much about it.

We don’t have any complains about the materials and plastics either, as they are part of the first class. Thanks to first class build quality and the functional design, the entire cabin feels almost as good as a German one and it’s certainly a class above most of the Japanese brands.

Despite the rugged character of the RXH, Peugeot decided to keep the panoramic glass roof found at the standard model which gives the entire cabin a nice, airy feel. Apart from the modern design and the good materials, the cabin is also spacious, as you would expect of a large wagon.

However, while the head and leg room are fairly generous, boot space had to be compromised, due to the electric motor mounted underneath it. As a result, you’ll need to deal with a compact luggage space of less than 89 liters.

Fortunately the rear seats weren’t affected by the hybrid drive train, so passengers found in the back can travel in full comfort. The front seats are also pretty comfortable for both short and long journeys, as they come with multiple adjustments, helping you to find the favorite driving position in no time.

After you’ll get cozy behind the steering wheel, you’ll notice that the estate’s rev counter has been replaced with a gauge that displays the current power output of the electric motor, or if the battery is being charged by either the regenerative braking or directly from the engine. Furthermore, a power-flow diagram is mounted in the central screen and shows you how the wheels are being driven at any time.

The vehicle is offered with only one trim, so you won’t need to pay extra money for options as all of them are already inside. Among the most important features you’ll find a seven inch screen, satellite navigation, head-up display, JBL hi-fi system, electric park brake, xenon headlamps and partial leather seats.

Engines and performance

2012 Peugeot 508 RXH High Resolution Exterior
- image 477014

The RHX’s hybrid system is the same used by the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 and Citroen DS5. It consists of a 163 hp 2.0 liter diesel engine combined with a 37 hp electric motor. Both units send power to the rear wheels by means of Peugeot’s "automated-manual" gearbox which was designed to combine the efficiency of a simple manual with the smoothness of an automatic transmission. Though, the transmission feels a bit jerky, despite the fact that the electric unit tries to improve the gear changes by filling up the gap of torque produced when you push the right pedal.

A significant advantage offered by the electric motor is that permits you to drive the car in zero emission mode for up to two miles, without using the diesel engine.

The interaction between the engine and electric motor can be controlled by means of four driving modes. The Sport mode helps to maximize the vehicle’s performances letting you make full use of all the 200 hp. In the 4WD mode the torque is split 60:40 front-rear, while the ZEV mode puts the car in the zero-emission mode. There is also an Auto mode which makes automatic adjustments to increase the fuel efficiency.

As it was expected in the Auto and 4WD modes you’ll need to deal with a sluggish acceleration, but the Sport mode does its job great.

Peugeot 508 RXH Specifications

Engine 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel, 37bhp electric motor
Power 200bhp
Torque 450Nm
0-62mph 9.5 seconds
Top speed 132mph
Economy 68.9mpg
CO2 107g/km

Ride and handling

2012 Peugeot 508 RXH High Resolution Exterior
- image 477015

Compared to the base model, the Peugeot 508 RXH has received a different suspension setup, which affected the plush ride quality, making it slightly stiffer. The handling isn’t’ something to rave about either, as the car comes with a pretty pronounced body roll caused by the taller stance.

The car’s heft and size are also obvious, but thanks to the accurate steering you can control it pretty easy around the city.

However, despite its mixed personality the Peugeot 508 RXH manages to deal reasonably with off road driving, as long as you won’t send it after a Land Rover.

Verdict

2012 Peugeot 508 RXH High Resolution Exterior
- image 477019

The Peugeot 508 RXH is a pretty capable Hybrid and it’s also a fairly practical vehicle. The car is well built, comes with a luxurious interior and it’s also efficient. Moreover you can also enjoy occasionally off-road driving without getting stuck or needing to spend a tone of money on fuel.

What do you think?
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