We had a pretty good summer in 2016, so motoring in the UK was a brighter pastime than it was in the last couple of years. However, as autumn fades to winter the light reduces, and the interior of a car can look rather sad, especially those that for the most part are coloured black. In our 508 there’s no such problem, because almost all the SW (estate) versions of the car are fitted with Peugeot’s Panoramic Cielo Glass Roof. The base Active model offers it as a £500 option, but it’s standard fitment on all the others, including our GT Line trimmed car.
The Cielo roof is a giant piece of glass measuring 165 by 102 centimetres, which is virtually the whole roof of this large car. Such is its size that even in the dimmest of winter evenings the level of light in the cabin is sufficient to lift your spirits. If on those rare sunny winter days itís too bright, then the electric roller blind, which is part of the panoramic roof fitment, can be adjusted by use of a roof mounted rotary control, and you can stop the blind in any one of five pre-set positions. The only time weíve used this blind was back in July when heat, rather than light, was getting too much for comfort. Itís a robust screening, with the roller blind made of thick fabric, built to last, and coloured to match the rest of the interior scheme.
The roof is a great piece of design, and it leaves me wondering why another aspect of the car seemingly hasnít had the same amount of care lavished upon it. Itís not a problem peculiar to Peugeot, but this car has a fuel gauge thatís confusing, and initially worrying, in its lack of accuracy. Fill the tank, and the gauge shows it like it is. Cruise down the road for five miles or so, and youíre distressed to see the gauge has made a noticeable anti-clockwise move. After twenty more miles itís gone further, and before long the thingís registering just three-quarters full. Suddenly it puts the brakes on, and in the next four hundred and more miles slowly makes its way to the one-quarter position, at which point it accelerates like a long-distance runner heading for the tape, and soon will be alarmingly near the zero mark. Iím tempted to say that design of an accurate gauge surely doesnít require rocket science, and I would have thought that modern techniques could produce an accurate device that costs no more than an old-fashioned float in the middle of the tank. But what do I know? I do know that Iíve seen better gauges on much cheaper cars, so perhaps Peugeot engineers should look around at some of the opposition for inspiration.
Date arrived: 14th June 2016
Mileage to date: 3,064
Fuel consumption: 67.3mpg (combined) 50.3mpg (on test)
The huge glass roof makes for a brighter interior.
Fuel gauge movement isn’t linear.