MAINSTREAM car makers frequently profess to have stepped-up a gear and delivered a premium product that can rival the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
I've almost lost count of the number of times I've heard such claims over the years.
To be fair it is not something Peugeot have been shouting about when it comes to the 508 saloon - but perhaps they should be.
The 508 scores highly in the looks department with its classy and sleek lines.
Peugeot have called it a fastback rather than a saloon and its easy to see why.
Its coupe infused styling works wonderfully and it has the added bonus of hatchback practicality.
It's certainly a car that exudes desirability from every pore and as a consequence should age well.
Step inside and the 508 also scores highly, with a distinctly premium feel to the interior and an air of modernity.
There are trademark Peugeot features like the small steering wheel (something I have grown to rather like), a large instrument display screen behind it and piano style keys to control many of the vehicle's functions.
Overall the French car maker has really upped its game with the 508 and deserves due credit for doing so.
As such it is a very worthy competitor against mainstream rivals like the Vauxhall Insignia or Ford Mondeo and for anyone who is prepared to overcome their badge snobbery actually worth a look against the likes of an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class.
It is certainly way cheaper and though it might fall short in some respects it has a pretty good go and those good looks really do carry it a long way.
The range is competitively priced at the bottom end, starting at just over £25,000 for an Active manual model with a 1.5-litre diesel engine.
This high spec GT model with the higher powered of two 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines under the bonnet would set you back considerably more at more than £36,000 but for that you do get a lot.
The equipment list includes leather upholstery, electric front seats adjustment with massage function, an upgraded and impressive sound system, powered tailgate, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control and a veritable raft of safety functions and driver aids.
The GT, and all Allure spec and above models, get a 10in infotainment screen as opposed to an 8in one.
Other engine options include a 1.5-litre diesel with two power variants and a 2.0-litre diesel but the 1.6-litre petrol fitted to this car is in many ways the pick of the bunch.
It's a super smooth and refined unit that feels sprightly, yet also manages to deliver impressive economy.
With diesel increasingly being out of favour it definitely represents a very tempting option.
Another point in the 508's favour is thoroughly decent handling.
It sticks to the road like glue through the corners and has a distinct fun factor overall.
The ride quality is firm-ish, no doubt exacerbated by the big 19in alloy wheels that form part of the GT package, but never jarring or unpleasant.
It is aided by the adaptive suspension on higher specced models - ranging from eco to sport - which enables the driver to enhance characteristics according to what you're doing. The other settings are comfort and normal.