Clearly Peugeot have failed to follow in Audi’s footsteps by making their cars look unbelievable.
Why? Because they didn’t have to bother with the Peugeot 508 ST GT.
An Audi press car appears stunning because they’ve added tens of thousands of pounds of extras to it.
One Audi I drove actually came with £80,000 worth of extras that almost doubled its list price.
You’d be quicker reading the Old Testament than wading your way through an Audi extras list but, hell, when money’s no limit you may as well get the lot.
The 508 ST GT I’ve just been testing was so fantastic, in terms of luxury, looks and performance that you’d have sworn it had undergone a giant Audi-style dollop of over indulgence.
In fact, it came with just £3,645-worth of extras. They were Metallic Paint (£575), Visio Park 3 (£600), Night Vision (£1,300), Panoramic opening glass roof (£870) and Nappa Red leather (£300), rather than black leather.
Two of these are utterly unnecessary. Night vision, far from aiding the driver, is actually attention distracting, while an opening sunroof just burns your head and can lead to skin cancer.
If I was lucky enough to be able to afford a Peugeot 508 ST GT (the ST stands for Sports Tourer, which means an estate in normal language far removed from the total tosh used by car companies), I would have picked metallic paint, Visio Park 3 and its stunning red leather interior because they make the car easier to sell second hand.
That also applies to Visio Park 3 but I’d also have chosen that because it includes a 360 degree all round camera, making it far less likely to damage the car.
So, my extras bill would have come to £1,475 which, if you’re in a position where you can afford to buy a car that costs £38,020, accounts for about 4% of the total bill before you’ve hammered out the actual price your local dealer would accept.
Just opening the driver’s door to the 508 ST GT that I drove draws an astonishing reaction from people who see what lies before them.
Its blush red (look it up) white stitched and padded seats, along with similarly trimmed centre console and armrests suit it perfectly, without being over-powering. They make the car smart, rather than loud and flash.
It’s all swathed with soft-touch carbon effect trim on a mottled black background with silver switches that add to the effect of understated, cultured, good looks. It’s genius, no doubt about it.
On a practical side its centre console, topped with twin opening lids on each side, is 20cm (8in) deep, and wide enough for two small bottles and contains an aux-in connection.
Twin USB points can be found in the front and back of the car, as can twin cup holders near its standard auto-box gear lever and in its fold-down rear armrest.
Staying with the practicality theme, its huge 102cm (3ft 4in) boot is big enough for most everyday needs, including a giant monthly shop, but it does extend to a totally flat 188cm (6ft 2in) cave fit for a trip to Calais Vins, the best wine shop I’ve ever been to.
So that sums up the functional features of this 4,778mm (15ft 8in) giant-sized beauty, but how does it perform?
Well, with its 1.6-litre turbo producing 225hp and 300Nm (221lb of torque) in a car weighing 1,584kg its not going to be slow, is it.
Top speed is 153mph and 0-62mph comes up in 7.4s so it’s only 2mph and 0.1s slower than the saloon.
Considering its size it handles quite brilliantly, while even in central London’s traffic calming, sleeping policeman riddled, back breaking mess of clogged up streets it took it all in style, making a one hour journey to travel 15 miles almost bearable.
So why hasn’t it knocked the 508 GT off its top spot as my Car of the Year (so far)?
For me, personally, it would, because it’s got so much space.
Trouble is, estate cars still carry the reputation of being made for sales reps or caravaners’ bore-mobiles.
The 508 ST GT is the exact opposite of that.
It’s brilliant, simple as that.
Peugeot 508 SW GT.
REAR MIRROR MONSTER: Long, low and laid back, with twin LED headlights set each side of a tiny checked grille and a giant, roaring, Peugeot lion badge. Definitely scary.
BACKSIDE BEAUTY: The fact that I actually washed it after going out to make my notes says all you need to know. It’s a cracker.
PLAYTIME PLEASER: Touchscreen 11-inch sat nav with speed limit display, twin zone climate control, adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors with rear view camera, trip computer, leather seats, electric and heated at front with memory for driver, keyless start and entry, auto folding door mirrors, auto wipers and lights, phone charging tray, 18-inch diamond cut alloys, DAB stereo with twin USB, Bluetooth, Mirror Screen with Apple car play and Android auto.
NAUGHTY NIGGLES: Skinny rear door pockets are too narrow to hold a bottle of wine and the glovebox is not big enough for that crucial job either.
TASTY TOUCHES: Electric tailgate can be shut as well as opened by the key. Space saver spare wheel is standard.
FAST OR LAST: Be careful. It’s so fast and quiet, with a huge top speed, that you’ll be shocked to discover how quickly you’re going.
WONGA WONDA: It’s not cheap, but it’s a class act of looks, speed, beauty and space. Great value.
WOULD CHANTELLE LIKE IT? It ain’t happening. Chantelle won’t be ready for an estate car until she wants a caravan.
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