What is it?
Well, it’s not a compact crossover or an SUV (shock, horror), and it isn’t a dinky little supermini, either. No, this rakish new Peugeot 508 is, in fact, a large saloon (remember those?) and this is the first time we’ve been able to have a go in one on UK roads.
Of course, we’ve driven the 508 before. That was on its international launch in France, where Matt Prior summed it up as being a car that didn’t have any obvious issues that’d dissuade you from buying it, but also didn’t really offer any distinct reasons why you’d want to buy one over and above its rivals. It was good, then, but not outstanding.
The variant we tested in France was the range-topping GT model, with a 174bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine under the bonnet. This time around, we’re driving the model that Peugeot expects will be the most popular with us Brits: the 1.6-litre, 178bhp PureTech petrol in GT Line specification.
In this guise, the 508 is a £31,200 car before options, which, in the case of our test car, resulted in a price rise to a figure just shy of £37,000. To provide a bit of context, an Audi A4 S-Line with a 2.0-litre, 187bhp petrol engine starts at £34,615 and a 182bhp BMW 320i M Sport will cost you £32,300. Both of those cars are nearing the end of their model life cycles now, but you can see Peugeot isn’t necessarily being subtle about which manufacturers it intends to take on with the new 508.