good enough to break the German saloon hegemony?

THE FACTS

Peugeot 508 BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT8

TESTED 1,598cc four-cylinder turbo petrol, eight-speed automatic gearbox, front-wheel drive

PRICE/ON SALE range £25,000 to £37,400 (as tested £36,975)/July for delivery in October

POWER/TORQUE 177bhp @ 6,000rpm, 184lb ft @ 1,750rpm

TOP SPEED 143mph

ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 7.9sec

FUEL ECONOMY 52.3mpg/39.8mpgEU Combined/Urban. On test 35.3mpg

CO2 EMISSIONS 123g/km

VED £165 first year, then £140

VERDICT Trying to sell non-premium saloons in badge-obsessed Britain is a thankless task and you shouldn’t bet the farm on the 508’s prospects. But in some ways the company is approaching this the right way, not discounting, protecting buyers’ investment, and there is rather a lot to like about this great looking car, particularly the sporting handling and lovely interior. The forthcoming estate might be a better all-round bet, however.

TELEGRAPH RATING Four out of five stars

THE RIVALS

Volkswagen Arteon, from £31,100

Super-finessed and refined replacement for the Passat CC. Nicely done, very elegant, quiet, economical and relaxing to drive but, dare we say it, a tiny bit dull.

Audi A5, from £33,845

A good-looking car much liked by those bored to tears by the ubiquitous A4, but Audi has had this market to its own for too long; the A5 doesn’t drive as well as it should and it’s too expensive.

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