People love the appearance of coupes but aren’t as keen on getting in and out of them. Who looks graceful trying to wriggle behind a tipped-forward front seat to get into the back?
Hence the increasing popularity of saloons and hatches with a coupe-like silhouette. The latest is this, the Peugeot 508 GT, a striking car that combines coupe looks with hatchback practicality.
A swooping, streamlined exterior makes a powerful statement. That’s just as well, as Peugeot are pushing upmarket with the 508 GT and are hoping to steal sales from the BMW 3 Series GT and Audi A4 as well as from more usual rivals such as Volkswagen, Ford and Vauxhall.
The interior isn’t overshadowed by the dramatic exterior either. The dashboard design swoops and curves, a 12.3in touchscreen operates the main controls, and there’s another screen behind the steering wheel.
The flat bottomed wheel is smaller than in most cars, which helps make the steering more nimble and sporty.
That low slung shape brings some sacrifices. Headroom in the front is fine but rear passengers have less space above their craniums than those in an Audi A4, for example. The 487 litre boot is a good size, though, and the hatchback opening makes it more practical than in saloons such as the BMW 3 Series.
The leather-clad front seats in my test car were particularly special, pulling off the neat trick of holding me in place during hard cornering but being cushioned and comfortable on a long journey.
Three petrol and two diesel engines are on offer, with a plug-in hybrid model due later this year. My car was fitted with a 2.0 litre turbodiesel developing 177bhp.
Its 8.3 second 0-62mph time is only average, and some rivals will beat it handily in a straight line sprint, but it never feels underpowered and economy is the right side of 50mpg.
On the country lanes around Auchterhouse and Tealing, the Peugeot felt quick and agile, gripping well through corners. Indeed, it probably handles as well as anything in its class that doesn’t have a BMW badge on it.
Peugeot 508 GT ownership starts around £25,000 and my car sat near the upper end of the range, with a price tag of £36,645.
At that price range, people tend to be badge snobs, but it’s well worth trying the 508 GT for yourself if you’re used to always buying BMW or Audi.