Peugeot 508 GT 1.6L

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Peugeot 508, side static
Peugeot 508, rear static 2
Peugeot 508, front static
Peugeot 508, front static 2
Peugeot 508, rear static
Peugeot 508, dashboard
Peugeot 508, boot 2
Peugeot 508, boot 3
Peugeot 508, front seats
Peugeot 508, rear seats
Peugeot 508, boot 1

IF there was a beauty contest for mid-size saloons the big new Peugeot 508 would be blushing demurely as the winner's sash was passed over her head.

It really is that good looking; its tautly drawn lines giving the newcomer the confidence it needs to muscle in on the company car park.

And the good news continues inside, where Peugeot takes its current thinking to a new level, with tiny steering wheel, big instrument display screen and a row of piano-like keys for important functions.

The results, inside and out, is a car that gives Peugeot a foot in the door of a small corner of the car market it hasn't been able to attack before with honest conviction.

Here is a machine that can make a potential buyer put a 508 on the shopping list alongside a Ford Mondeo, VW Passat or Vauxhall Insignia, all of which cost less model for model.

The punchy pricing must indicate Peugeot's confidence in a car whose bottom line would also put you into an Audi Q4 or BMW 3 Series, albeit without some of the 508's kit count on board.

The Peugeot's prices start at £25,039 for an Active version with 1.5-litre diesel engine and peak at £37,439 for a First Edition with 2.0-litre diesel engine and an automatic gearbox. An equally handsome estate version is due early in 2019.

Most 508s will have a diesel doing the work - they'll mostly be put to work as company cars, after all, and the bottom line rules the roost here.

The few who take the petrol route are in for a pleasant surprise, though, when they scroll round their car's trip computer and spot the economy reading.

Which, for this car - with the most potent engine in the entire range - read 42.7mpg. And that's for a car with 155mph potential and an automatic gearbox taking the aggro out of city driving.

A restrained saunter to an airport hotel on mostly 50mph speed restricted motorway stretched that to 52mpg. And this using a fuel that the Chancellor doesn't hate, remember.

So it's good looking and doesn't drink fuel. What else is there to like about the new 508?

Well, it's big enough inside and in the boot to do the family hold-all job but not too big to make country lanes feel narrow. Some competitors are bigger, but feel it.

Even with the big 19ins alloy wheels that come with the GT badge the 508 rides rougher roads with conviction, helped with a comfort setting for the suspension when you don't want to be charging about.

A full kit list on the GT level test car included a fine sound system, leather upholstery, electric front seats adjustment with massage function, powered tailgate, auto headlights and a host of safety functions, from adaptive cruise control to lane keeping assist.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 508 GT 1.6L 225

Price: £36,014

Mechanical: 222bhp, 1,598cc, 4-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 8-spd automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 7.3secs

Combined MPG: 49.6

Insurance Group: 34

C02 emissions: 131g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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