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First Drive

First Drive: Peugeot 508 SW

Peugeot 508 SW
The story: Peugeot will add an estate version to the all-new 508 in the second quarter of 2019. Like the new 508 hatchback, the estate majors on elegant design, both inside and out and is powered by some of the most efficient engines in the class.
Category:Upper medium
Key rival:Vauxhall Insignia
On sale:Mid-2019

Being big just isn’t what the Peugeot 508 SW is about any more. Today, the 508 estate model is all about looking good and offering premium levels of quality with low emissions.

Like the hatchback on which it’s based, the 508 SW is an immediate attention-grabber thanks to the striking daytime running lights and sleek front end. Peugeot has also managed to keep the hatchback’s full-width rear light panel.

First Drive - January 2019 - Peugeot 508 SW - image 9The cabin, too, carries over the wrap-around iCockpit design from the saloon with the same infotainment screen and switchgear.

Where things start to change is in the rear seats. Headroom is now much improved over the hatch which means that even taller adults will be able to sit upright without their heads touching the rooflining. However, there is still only just enough legroom for adults, and only if you have smaller shoes on will your feet fit under the front seat.

However, it’s the boot proportions that are probably more important to a 508 SW buyer. The basic figures are at the lower end of the class with just 530 litres available beneath the load cover. While this is more than the Ford Mondeo, rivals such as the Hyundai i40, Skoda Superb, and Volkswagen Passat all have more. Even the Peugeot 308, in the class below, has 660 litres available in ‘seats-up mode’. With the rear seats folded to produce ‘van mode’, the 508 SW load space rises to 1780 litres, a figure much more in line with its rivals’. Better still, when the seats are folded the load floor is almost completely flat, making sliding in longer luggage easy.

First Drive - January 2019 - Peugeot 508 SW - image 2

The 508 SW has been set up to be comfortable over long distances for fleet drivers. The seats are supportive and the ride at motorway speeds is first rate, with the car feeling stable and relaxing.

Around town the ride comfort suffers from a small amount of jiggle over smaller bumps although the suspension deals well with larger imperfections such as potholes. It’s quiet while doing so, too.

The majority of 508s will be sold with an automatic gearbox which again is fine at a motorway cruise but at lower speeds can be hesitant, particularly when setting off.

And while we’re talking about lower speeds, the view out of the rear window when reversing isn’t exactly generous, although this is offset on cars from Allure trim upward, because they come with a reversing camera; only the entry-level Active cars miss out.

Where the 508 SW really wins company car praise is with the engine range and the low CO2 figures that come with it. For example, the 1.5 HDI manages a low 100g/km with the auto gearbox.

Both the 130hp 1.5-litre diesel and the 180hp petrol engines are impressively refined either under acceleration or at a steady cruise. The two lower power units also offer plenty of power for day to day work. Only if you’re regularly carrying heavier loads or towing is the 160hp 2.0-litre diesel a better bet. However, this is less refined and noisier than the 1.5 HDI.



Tristan young

The verdict

For those that don’t need the biggest boot in their estate the Peugeot 508 SW is an attractive proposition and also one that makes excellent tax sense for company car users.