Peugeot 508 SW GT

Line BlueHDi 120

Peugeot 508 SW, front static 2
Peugeot 508 SW, side static
Peugeot 508 SW, front static
Peugeot 508 SW, rear static
Peugeot 508 SW, dashboard
Peugeot 508 SW, boot
Peugeot 508 SW, boot 2
Peugeot 508 SW, front seats
Peugeot 508 SW, rear seats

THERE'S an easy conclusion to draw with a car range that doesn't feature a single petrol-engined model - they're all heading for the company car park.

Where, despite the current downer on diesels, the smelly fuel looks likely to rule the roost for some years to come.

For drivers who do interstellar mileages in pursuit of the next deal, diesel still makes compelling sense, even if the neighbours turn up their noses at the very thought.

And with the latest tech on board (including a tank of AdBlue urea to inject into the exhaust) a modern diesel does pretty well in the pollution stakes.

A pity that they still carry the can for all those smoky old unserviced ones that rattle round our town centres, but perception and reality are often parted.

And so to the Peugeot 508, now a venerable member of the company line up and introduced with a flourish some years ago as the car to take on the Germans at their own game; namely producing desirable company cars.

To attempt this feat there was almost no trace of what made French cars stand out - think soft ride and quirky looks, inside especially.

Instead we got a car that looked handsome enough in a sober sort of way and with an interior that might almost have been lifted from... a BMW.

It was a formula that actually worked pretty well on paper and on the road, except that you'll still look hard to spot a 508 among a sea of 3 Series BMWs and Audi A4 saloons.

The 508 comes in two shapes, saloon and SW estate, with the latter adding £1,525 to the bill but increasing load space to generous proportions (512 litres with the rear seats up, 1,598 litres with them folded).

That makes it roomier than a 3 Series Touring estate but a tiny bit less generous than a more realistic competitor in the recently laundered shape of the Ford Mondeo.

The 508 range kicks of at £25,045 for a car with the same 120 horsepower diesel found in the rather dearer estate and tops out at an eyewatering £39,350 for a version with 2.0-litre diesel and electric motor which gives you two miles travel on voltage alone before the engine kicks in and recharges the battery.

The diesel only version showed 53mpg on the dash after more than 500 miles and a tank of the smelly stuff ought to last an easy 700 miles. In the long distance world of company cars, that's a significant advantage.

The ride was fine on the motorway but a touch too unyielding on some bumpy side roads, where the firmness was scarcely rewarded with a sporty drive; this car is no race track refugee and shouldn't pretend to be one, in a half-hearted sort of way.

It is well equipped, especially in GT Line trim and includes upholstery that mixes leather with red stitching and fabric and is called, rather wondrously, Marston Tramontane (no, me neither). Anyway, the seats are comfy enough for prolonged stints on the motorway where a 508 is going to spend a lot of its time.

GT Line also brings 18-inch alloys, twin exhaust tailpipe - and those red stitched luxury carpet mats. Oh, and there's a DAB radio, sat nav, Bluetooth, cruise control and electric lumbar adjustment for the driver.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 120

Price: £30,690

Mechanical: 118bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 123mph

0-62mph: 11.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 67.3

Insurance Group: 22

C02 emissions: 108g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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