To our eyes, there have been a series of great-looking estate cars and fine-looking Peugeots recently. So no surprise that, even in the white that fails to show body curves as well as a bolder, more reflective metallic shade, it cuts quite a dash.

At 4.78m long and 1.86m wide, this shallowly sloping elegant car hits all the dimensions you’d expect of a largely family saloon and estate range. It runs on a PSA Group large vehicle platform called EMP2. You’ll find the same underneath the Peugeot 3008, Citroën’s C5 Aircross, the DS 7 and the Vauxhall Grandland X even before the former GM outlet joined the group.

Shallow window depth means that the rear-view mirror shows what’s outside through a relatively narrow hole – not disconcerting, but limiting and unusual.

The basics of this mean that it’s a conventional, mostly steel monocoque with a MacPherson strut front suspension arrangement and multi-link at the rear. What differentiates it from other car makers’ platforms, and demarks it from PSA’s small car platform, is the method by which it can be electrified. Small Peugeots will be internally combusted or fully battery-electric. The EMP2 structure is internally combusted or plug-in hybrid.

This is the latter, as suggested by its extravagantly long name – the 508 SW Hybrid 225 e-EAT8 S&S Allure. What that means is that in the front there’s a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mounted transversely and driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

It makes 178bhp and 184lb ft on its own but is also augmented by a 109bhp electric motor, integrated between engine and gearbox, to provide a nominal total of 222bhp through the front wheels and an unspecified maximum torque owing to the two peaks not arriving at the same time.

On Peugeot’s SUVs, and the upcoming fast Peugeot Sport Engineered variant, there’s an extra electric motor at the back providing four-wheel drive and more vigorous acceleration than is on offer here.

This car, though, is meant to provide a better all-electric range – some 31 miles, thanks to an 11.8kWh battery mounted rearward under the floor.

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