New bigger kid on the block

Set aside for a moment the MPVs that Peugeot makes and you’d be excused for thinking that their main market is smaller family transport such as the 107, 207 and the 307.

But now we have a new, bigger kid on the block – and it’s called the 508.

The success of the impressive 607 prompted Peugeot to deliver a larger saloon packed full of the latest technology.

The styling boffins have done a good job. It shouts class and at just under five metres long, is a lot of metal for your money.

It has a long wheelbase so I think it’s fair to say the French have gone for a better ride quality from the 508.

It has the large grille on the front with narrow yet penetrative headlights, sculptured wheel arches, extremely thin pillars both fore and aft and a rather cute, stylish rear end. It’s certainly a car that grabs attention.

On the engine front, you have a choice of either petrol or diesel. Petrol-wise you can plump for a 120bhp 1.6-litre or one with a turbo pumping out 160bhp. Go diesel and the choice broadens – you can have a 1.6-litre 1.6e-HDI which is the entry-level car, then through 140bhp unit, a 2.0-litre 163bhp version with all the particulate filters attached.

My test car was the 163bhp 2.0-litre, which was an absolute gem. It would cruise along all day and you could hardly hear it ticking over.

Top speed was 140mph, with 0-60mph taking 9.6 seconds.

On the emissions front it really is a green car - it emits only 129g/km, which is incredible for a car of its size and capability. Not only that, it returns 57.6mpg on the combined cycle, meaning fuel stations will be an infrequent delay.

Furthermore it will cost you only £90 a year to tax.

Inside there are a raft of pockets, cubbyholes and drawers in which to stash stuff.

The seats are large and comfortable and head and legroom were both impressive (particularly in the back seats). And the boot holds a tidy 470+ litres of luggage.

It is my opinion that the 508 with its fit and finish and ease of operation of all the switchgear and buttons has gone more upmarket; it feels bigger, more luxurious and smarter with it.

On the long list of standard equipment all the safety features are apparent and my test car also had the impressive Connect Navigation fitted, with a colour head-up-display and quad-zone automatic air conditioning with a rear window sunblind – adding around £1,300 to the price of £23,880.

You can pay as little as £18,450 for the 1.6-litre 508 with ‘Access’ specification.

It’s not BMW or Audi, but you won’t find a car in this class that’s as well suited and booted.