As is overall refinement. Helped by a standard fit acoustic windscreen and dampers on the front axle to reduce engine vibration, the 508's cabin is remarkably hushed, in terms of wind, road and engine noise. Other engines in the range, which include two 1.6-litre petrols, and several diesels including an e-HDi version with stop-start and emissions of 109g/km, may be more vocal, but this 2.2-litre is impressively quiet.
There is however no choice of gearbox with this engine, a six-speed automatic mandatory. Although this remains a conventional torque converter auto, it is not embarrassed by rivals' dual-clutch systems. While the shifts are not quite as instantaneous they're still quick enough, and for slow speed manoeuvres a torque converter is still superior.
In drive the gearbox relies on the engine's plentiful supply of torque (332lbft from 2000rm) to minimise interruptions, in Sport it is keener to slip down a gear or two, but still less frenetic than some alternatives. And in either mode the result is encouragingly rapid progress. Peugeot claim 0-62mph in 8.2sec, fast enough to elevate the 508 GT beyond the mainstream pack.
While the 508 GT works well as a comfortable quiet cruiser, it also rewards those who want press on. Although Peugeot's engineers considered fitting the 508 with a fully electric steering system, they judged the loss of feel not worth the efficiency gains. An increasingly unusual decision, but one, as enthusiasts, we should be thankful for.
Because although the 508 is a large car (longer than both Mondeo and Passat) it is an easy car to place, its steering quick but precise and intuitive. There's also decent grip from the standard 235/45R18 tyres (19” wheels are optional) and a better balance than most front drive rivals.
And although the GT is reasonably firmly sprung, and therefore quick to react to bumps (particularly at slow speeds), intrusions do not resonate far through the cabin.
Should I buy one?
Good though the 508 GT is, at £28,750 (and £29,975 for the estate) it is treading in dangerous territory; you can have a BMW 3-Series or Mercedes C-Class for similar money (albeit without such a generous specification). The 508 makes more sense further down the model range where prices are broadly in line with mainstream rivals. However what we don't know just yet, is to what extent the lower grade suspension and interior will affect the overall appeal. But if the talent trickle down is relatively undiluted, Peugeot will have a credible competitor on its hands.
Peugeot 508 GT
Price: £28,750; 0-62mph: 8.2sec; Max speed: 145mph; Economy: 49.6mpg; Co2: 150g/km; Kerbweight: 1736kg; Engine: 4cyls in line, 2179cc, turbodiesel; Installation: Front, transverse, front-wheel drive; Power: 201bhp at 3500rpm; Torque: 332lbft at 2000rpm; Power to weight: 116bhp/tonne; Specific output: 91bhp/litre; Compression ratio: 16.0:1; Gearbox: Six-speed automatic