Nearly all new cars in this sector are company purchases, making it a fiercely competitive market segment, so you’ll be utterly unsurprised to learn that the Peugeot 508 is pitched right at the level of every decent car in this class.

See the 508 against Mondeo and Passat and you’ll note that the purchase price of the Ford is cheaper and the Volkswagen more expensive, with the latter countering with superior residual values. Lengthy (20,000-mile) service intervals fall in the Peugeot’s favour; more expensive insurance counts against it. Ultimately, the differences are likely to be felt only to the extent of a few quid each month.

The Peugeot is pitched right at the level of every decent car in this class

Economy might show a greater disparity. Having a conventional torque converter auto rather than the theoretically more efficient dual-clutch unit of the VW and Mondeo could place the Peugeot at a slight disadvantage. Certainly, our touring economy test result (in a 2.0 HDi 178 auto), which replicates a typical motorway cruise, of 45.5mpg was nothing to write home about; neither was our overall test figure of 38.8mpg barely better than average. At least the manuals could be expected to be slightly more impressive.

As intimated earlier, Peugeot’s 1.6-litre eHDi powertrain is the company’s fillip for fleet users looking to minimise their monthly tax bill. In the 508, it produces CO2 emissions of 109g/km and impressive claimed economy of 67mpg, which positions the Peugeot directly alongside the likes of the Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion on tax rate, and one rung lower than the most economical Ford Mondeo. 

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The downside is that you have to accept Peugeot’s dim-witted automated manual gearbox in the eHDi; other low-emissions models offer you a preferable manual transmission.

The situation is similar with the diesel-electric hybrid 508 RXH. In theory it offers a huge tax advantage to company users thanks to its CO2 emissions; a similarly-powerful Ford Mondeo would cost more than twice as much to tax as a company car. But its expensive £33,695 asking price and frustrating automated gearbox limit its appeal and relevance.

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