Car brands reposition themselves in the market with varying degrees of success.
If Peugeot’s new 508 RXH is anything to go by, then it’s a thumbs-up for the French maker’s ambitions to move upmarket.
This latest model oozes style, quality and precision build. It’s handsomely luxurious interior makes most Mercs and Beemers seem like council flats by comparison.
What’s also on offer is a raft of technological innovation and all at very competitive prices – from £33,695.
You get a hybrid diesel/electric power train, four-wheel drive, good performance and frugal fuel consumption – along with all the driver and passenger creature comforts you could ask for, short of a built-in chauffeur.
Launched in spring 2011, the sister 508 saloon and estate models won instant acclaim for their elegant styling, on the road presence, high build quality levels and meticulous attention to detail.
Now the 508 RXH elevates the Peugeot brand image even further, showcasing the company’s fast growing technological and environmental prowess.
In a world of lookalikes this one stands out from the competition with a singularly strong visual identity, highlighted by its distinctive LED daylight running lights, which give an impression of three vertical lion’s claws on each side of a seemingly floating grill.
The interior is of truly premium character, with distinctive colourways and super materials.
Standard kit includes half-leather trim, electric front seats, a useful head-up digital speedometer display, a panoramic glass roof, dark-tinted and laminated side windows and a latest generation audio unit and satellite navigation set-up. Comfort and refinement levels are exemplary.
The interior trim and décor have been created harmoniously, evoking elegance without ostentation, brushed aluminium and shaded lacquers giving the dashboard a distinctive air of luxury. The use of light-coloured alcantara leather paired with an innovative laser-printed fabric works well while full-leather is an option.
With an impressive maximum power output of 300 bhp, the hybrid drive chain combines lo noise levels with super smooth running and a frugal 68.9 mpg fuel consumption figure.
Out on the road there’s a sure-footedness about proceedings – handling and roadholding and handling rivalling the best, thanks to that four-wheel drive and well sorted suspension.
It’s not the fastest of cars but a 132 mph top speed and a 9/5 second 0-62 mph acceleration figure are good enough