Peugeot 508 SW
Brandon Turkus, Managing Editor
Among the vehicles least likely to come to the US are PSA’s line of station wagons. It’s fine, I get it. That doesn’t change the fact that the car I most want to see cross the pond is the new Peugeot 508 SW, a long-roof version of the 508 sedan that competes in the mid-size segment. I mean, look at the thing – it’s gorgeous.
The 508 is the latest take on Peugeot’s increasingly attractive exterior design, taking a few of the good parts of the 3008 and 5008 crossovers and applying them to an inherently more attractive type of vehicle. The cabin is just as handsome as the exterior, with a sculptured, driver-oriented design that’s dominated by high digital instrument cluster and a clean looking infotainment screen with clean physical controls below it.
The engine lineup won’t be great for the U.S. market – the 508 features a pair of 1.6-liter gas engines and a broader lineup of diesels. There’s also a plug-in-hybrid model that returns 39 miles of electric range on the WLTP scale. That said, we’re pretty sure the minds at SRT could cram a Hellcat under the 508’s handsome hood. One can only hope.
Chris Bruce, Contributing Writer
From the 2CV to the DS and the SM, Citroën has a legacy of building usable yet quirky vehicles. Sadly, the brand's lineup today looks bland to me, but there's one major exception – the e-Mehari. This electric crossover wears a boxy body that evokes the 1960s but without being so retro that it looks kitschy. Buyers can select between a version without a roof or side glass, but Ohio's long winters would probably force me to get the hardtop version.
If I'm honest, I'm dubious about any existing PSA products coming to the United States. They were never engineered for this country, and the investment to federalize them would probably be too expensive to be worthwhile. Still, I'd be happy if Citroën proves me wrong, and I can put this weird EV in my garage.
Anthony Karr, Contributing Writer
The Rifter debuted in February last year to replace the aging Partner Tepee as Peugeot’s entry into the van segment on the European market. It doesn’t have anything in common with the vans we know from this side of the pond as it is basically a more civilian and comfortable version of a compact cargo van the brand is selling on the Old Continent. The transformation from a workhorse to a small but agile people mover is done smartly though, allowing the Rifter to offer enough room for five passengers, a massive 775-liter (27.36-cubic feet) cargo area, and a dozen of hidden storage compartments in the cabin. Did I say 775 liters? Well, that’s when all five seats are in place but if you fold them down, the Rifter can swallow up to 4,000 liters (141.25 cubic feet) in the extended variant.
True, the engine range is not really suitable for the U.S. market as the largest available motor is a 1.5-liter diesel with 130 hp (97 kW). However, this four-cylinder compression-ignition unit is punchy and provides a decent amount of torque for your everyday needs. You can buy it with either a six-speed manual or an optional eight-speed automatic, and there’s also a 1.2-liter turbo gas engine with up to 130 hp (97 kW). Go for the range-topping GT Line trim, and you’ll get goodies such as 17-inch wheels, a fully digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, and a wide range of electronic safety and assist systems. Simply put, with a mix of a spacious cabin, efficient engines, and a low price, the Rifter won’t have a direct rival in America.
Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer
Christopher Smith, Contributing Writer
Who wouldn’t want to drive a vehicle called the SpaceTourer? Citroen has long been forbidden fruit in the U.S. and that means we’ve never had the fortune of experiencing the proper madness that often surfaces from this storied brand. Yes, the SpaceTourer is a minivan, or is it? The shape is right, but instead of sliding side doors we have four normal access points like a crossover. Does that make the SpaceTourer a different kind of crossover? Who cares … it’s called the freaking SpaceTourer.
Minivan or crossover, this seven-passenger people mover is a sharp machine both inside and out. Given the slim minivan market and ultra-crowded crossover segment in North America, the SpaceTourer would really stand out in terms of style and that would give Citroen a legitimate leg up on the competition. It’s packed with tech including the latest driver assists, and it has a digital cockpit befitting its SpaceTourer name. All the seats except for the driver (yes, that also means the front passenger seat) can fold for cargo space, and did we mention the name? The only change necessary for the U.S. market would be something a bit more powerful than its frugal three-cylinder diesel. But with FCA now in the mix, surely there’s a turbo-four ready to slot beneath the SpaceTourer’s smooth lines. Or even better – the SpaceTourer Hellcat. Yes, it’s a mad idea but it’s Citroen, so it makes complete sense.
Anthony Alaniz, Contributing Writer
Earlier this year, Peugeot gave the 208 a complete redesign inside and out. The styling borrows cues from the larger 508 sedan and wagon, giving the hatchback a ton of character. Peugeot's tiger claw motif looks stunning, especially when paired with full-LED headlights available on higher trims. Inside, the 208 puts its competitors to shame with a minimalistic yet modern interior. The infotainment touchscreen is available in 5-, 7- and 10-inch sizes, if you like variety. The infotainment system also houses many of the vehicle's controls, which keeps physical buttons and switches to a minimum.
Power comes from either a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine or a 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available, too. However, I'd get the fully electric version – the e-208. It makes 136 horsepower (100 kilowatts) and 192 pound-feet (260 Newton-meters) of torque, propelling the hatch from zero to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 8.1 seconds. It has a WLTP-rated range of 211 miles, which is plenty for someone like me. The 208 isn't a sports car or even a hot-hatch. Instead, it's a well-appointed car that can meet my needs, and the needs of others, without spending money on unnecessary luxuries.
Peugeot 308 GTI
Jeff Perez, Senior Editor
If you don't count the ancient Fiat 500 Abarth, FCA doesn't have any hatchbacks in its American lineup. Alfa Romeo, at least, offers the Giulietta abroad. But Peugeot could fill that niche in America with the hot new 308 GTi. With a turbocharged 1.6-liter and 270 horsepower, the Peugeot hatch would (theoretically) take on hot five-doors like the Volkswagen Golf R, Honda Civic Type R, and Hyundai Veloster N, among others here in the States.
That said, the current 308 has been around since 2013. It received a facelift in 2017, which added a new front and new LED running lights, but we expect an all-new version next year. Assuming that happens, now with the FCA partnership in mind, maybe the two companies should consider a platform suitable for both France and the U.S. – but only if the current GTi's performance carries over.
DS 3 Crossback
Greg Fink, Senior Editor
I’m perfectly content leaving the lot of PSA’s vehicles across the pond. Not a single one truly pulls at my heartstrings.
If push comes to shove, though, then I guess I’d like to see the little DS 3 Crossback make its way to our shores. I mean, look at the thing: it’s decidedly elegant, yet unabashedly French.
I love the bodywork that rises like a wave at the B-pillar, the exterior handles that sit flush with the doors, and the rhombus-heavy interior pieces, which includes the climate controls and vents on the dashboard and door panels. Will Americans take to the DS 3 Crossback? I doubt it. I fear the DS 3 Crossback is just a little too weird for the typically conservative tastes of U.S. consumers.
Peugeot 508 Fastback
Clint Simone, Associate Editor, Video Producer
I’d like to double down on what Greg said and confirm that there isn’t a car in the PSA Group that gets me out of bed in the morning. Furthermore, I don’t know much about these cars to begin with. So with that context I choose the Peugeot 508, for no other reason than I once rode in one as an Uber car and it was just fine. It looks pretty good, the interior seems pretty well-screwed together and there is plenty of space in the rear seats.
Strangely, I actually prefer the fastback over the wagon design here (sorry, Brandon). I’m getting very faint Audi A7 vibes with the sloped-roof version and that is a very good thing. Especially from the side profile the 508 looks...actually pretty good. The hybrid powertrain version puts out a combined 225 horsepower, which is underwhelming. But, who knows? Maybe a smokin’ hot version could be in the works once it comes stateside.
The reality is that it would likely sell in fairly small numbers here. So the logical choice would be to pick something like the 2008 crossover because it has the highest potential for success. But where’s the fun in that?
10 / 10