A FAMILY sized car that's good enough to take on anything the Germans can offer is on the way from Peugeot in the shape of the new 508.
With some racy styling, plenty of performance and a good amount of practicality the latest iteration of the 508 has a lot going for it.
It has also been tipped to retain more of its value after three years and 60,000 miles than the likes of the Audi A4, the Mercedes C-Class and the Jaguar XE.
That stacks up well on both the retail and fleet sides of the market where so-called residual values are becoming so important.
What Peugeot has to do now is prove that its new five-door fastback flagship is up to the task and with prices starting from £25,000 the new 508 is certainly on the money.
The 14 model line up currently tops out at £37,400 for a two-litre diesel automatic in high specification First Edition trim or £36,925 for a version powered by a 1.6-litre PureTech petrol engine developing a healthy 225bhp.
In the middle of the range are sporty GT Line versions the cheapest of which is available from Â£28,050 for a model powered by Peugeot's new 1.5-litre diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual box or Â£29,650 for one with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
That's the version we have just tried out and it's an impressive car in every aspect.
All new 508s have smart design features such as frameless windows and a low slung profile and look sleek but GT Line trim ups the ante with additions including Peugeot's studded grille design at the front, claw-effect LED lights at the rear and self-levelling LED headlamps.
There are also twin chrome exhaust pipes, stainless steel door sill kick plates and black door mirror covers as well as 18-inch alloy wheels.
However, it's the powertrain which is the revelation - even in these times of the near demonisation of diesel.
The engine is boosted to deliver 130bhp with a good amount of torque resulting in a 0 to 60 acceleration of 10 seconds and a top speed of 129mph.
It is brisk through the gears and the car is fitted with paddle shifters and a multi-mode drive system to enhance its sporty credentials.
Ride and handling is equally impressive but it is on economy where the new 1.5-litre 508 comes into its own.
With the auto box Peugeot rates it at 76.3mpg with emissions of 101g/km and that is two miles per gallon more than the manual.
On the road we saw an average of close on 59mpg and that is impressive - one of the best real world figures we have seen for a car of this class and a great blend of performance and economy.
The new 508 GT Line also has a refreshing take on interior fixtures and fittings. Not only does it feature the latest generation of Peugeot's i-Cockpit with its multi-mode instrument panel, touchscreen dominated controls and all backed up with a bank of seven piano keys below the display.
The one we tried even had massaging front leather seats - a Â£1,550 extra and one of a number of options which took the cost of the car up to Â£33,465.
A night vision system is also available at £1,300 and that is a first in this class.
Even though it has pronounced coupe style, head room in the back is fine and the 508 will seat four with ease. Three adults in the rear is a slight squeeze but no more than that you will experience in other cars of this ilk.
Boot space ranges from 487 litres with the rear seats upright to 1,537 with them folded - and that is a significant increase on the previous model. It's also the biggest among its rivals and access to the boot is aided by car having a tailgate rather than a lid.
As mid-range executive cum family cars go the new 508 is different enough to make an impression.
Not only is it stylish, performs admirably and comes with the latest in technology but it also has a predicted 35 per cent residual value after three years and 60,000 miles - some two per cent more than an Audi A4 and almost five per cent more than a Jaguar XE.
That alone may be enough to tempt many towards the new 508, a car which is further proof of Peugeot's move upmarket.