What is it?
The new Peugeot 508 has already shown itself to be a car of some class in a crowded segment dominated by mainstream, big-name talent, but the real battle for mid-sized saloon buyers is fought at entry level into the fleet market, where low emissions, standard equipment and economy score volume sales.
Arguably the firm’s range champion is the 1.6 e-HDi version, which utilises a micro-hybrid stop-start system aligned with an automatic six-speed, electronically controlled gearbox to return 109g/km. Unfortunately, experience has taught us that the EGC transmission is as ponderous as a change in seasons and probably best avoided.
Consequently, this model, which replaces the EGC with a five-speed manual and retains PSA’s familiar 1.6-litre diesel engine (although it loses stop-start), should earn its own admirers.
What’s it like?
Even without its magic ‘e’, the downsized HDi unit still manages to dredge 60mpg from the saloon’s not inconsiderable bulk while emitting 124g/km of CO2.
While the 508 has certainly benefitted from a substantial leg-up in general refinement over its predecessor, this model in particular cannot quite isolate the scratchy rumble of its vocal powerplant.