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Peugeot's all-new 508 roars to market

By Roger St Pierre

It’s a sign of the times, I suppose – with sales stagnant and money for research and development tight, most supposed new car launches these days are anything but. It’s more a case of tweaks and upgrades than brave new world.

Peugeot’s new arrival, the sleek mid-size 508, is genuinely all-new, however – though it takes its styling cues from its brethren lower down what is now a truly comprehensive range.



“With elegance, strength and perfect balance, the style of the 508 suggest a vehicle sculpted from a single block,” might sound like PR waffle but this new contender in a hotly contested market sector does look as upmarket as vehicles close on twice its price



Available as a saloon or an SW estate, the 508 has a decidedly plush interior to match its elegant skin. The beautifully sculpted seats, wealth of storage spaces, four-zone air-con and independent programmable heating as spell comfort while the controls and dials are a masterpiece in ergonomic ease of use.



The SW version I drove came with an amazing almost full-length panoramic glass roof that made the interior light and roomy. For added comfort, there’s an electric shutter system, wit h five pre-set positions, controlled from an easy to use one-touch rotary switch.



The sense of spaciousness is not an illusion. Te load area in both versions is truly vast, that in the SW estate expanding from an already generous 6660 litres to a whopping 1,865 litres once the rear seat backs have been folded down.



The electric tailgate can be operated from the driver’s seat, by remote control or by a switch on the tailgate itself.



The 508 is laden with the little touches that make a difference/ A colour head-up display pops up from the dash top, there’s a parallel parking guide, a remote keyless entry and start system and standard sat-nav.



My car came with a six-speed manual gearbox and a smooth, quiet but potent two-litre diesel engine that gave it a 130 mph potential top speed and a 10.1 seconds 0-62 acceleration time. Fuel consumption was a frugal 56.4 mpg in the combined cycle and an astonishing 70.6 mpg when driven smoothly out on the open road.



With such features as leather-trimmed seats, metallic paintwork, Xenon directional headlights with smartbeam assistance, headlamp wash and LED daylight running lights, the 508 HDi 140SW is a whole lot of car for £24,325.



There are also smaller engines and a hot GT version of the car available. Peugeot’s rampant lion insignia sits proud on this worthy offering

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