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Peugeot 508 SW
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  • Manufacturer Peugeot
  • Model508 SW
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By Line

Peugeot's stylish medium range estate model now offers a much more appealing proposition. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

A significant number of Peugeot 508 customers choose the SW estate version - and you can see why. It's sensibly practical, yet very good looking. And of course it also benefits from all the technology that's revitalised the four-door second generation 508 model's proposition in the ever more competitive medium range market.

Background

The humble station wagon. No longer quite so humble these days. In fact, estates have become something of a fashion statement in recent years. You'd choose one over the ordinary saloon model even if you didn't necessarily need the extra carrying space. Most Peugeot 508 buyers do. Here's the 508 SW model, here rejuvenated to take on a raft of tough rivals including estate versions of models like the Ford Mondeo, the Vauxhall Insignia and the Volkswagen Passat. So, today, what does a potential 508 SW buyer now really want? Experience in the market suggests three things: style, class and technology. In response, Peugeot has put a lot more thought into this car. It looks more up-market - and we're promised that it will feel that way when you take a seat behind the wheel. There's extra hi-tech equipment too, with things you'd have to pay extra for on some rivals. So, has the French brand got this recipe right? Let's find out....

Driving Experience

As you'd expect, this SW variant drives just as its saloon stablemate does. The hardware certainly looks promising here. There's a proper multi-link rear suspension set-up and a strong crop of engines from which buyers can choose. The previous generation 508 was launched here with an all-diesel line-up, but a lot's changed since then and today, a car in this class needs strong petrol provision too - which it gets in this case courtesy of a couple of 1.6-litre turbo petrol units, developing either 179bhp or 221bhp. There's also a 129bhp 1.5-litre diesel and 161bhp and 174bhp 2.0 diesels. Only the 1.5 diesel gets a six-speed manual gearbox; the others must be ordered with an eight-speed automatic. For the future, Peugeot's promising part-electrification, but that's apparently some way off. At the wheel, you're positioned in front of a further improved version of Peugeot's i-Cockpit dashboard layout, which as usual, sees you looking over the rim of the steering wheel at the instrument dials, rather than conventionally through it. And as usual, the leather-stitched tiller in question is a small, grippy thing which gives you the illusion of greater interaction with the car. Or maybe it won't be an illusion. Higher-spec models are fitted out with adaptive damping. And all variants get the usual drive modes system, which adapts steering, throttle and gear change timings to the way you want to drive.

Design and Build

The idea with this estate model was to bring the radical styling traits of the 508 saloon to station wagon customers. At just 1.42m in height and 4.78m long, the 508 SW's proportions give it quite a dynamic body shape, stylised by smooth, flowing lines and a sleek, low roof. The look is further enhanced further by exterior details, including frameless doors - a unique estate car feature for a mainstream carmaker. Plus there are full-LED headlights and opalescent LED daytime running lights with a vertical visual signature. The unusual exterior looks are mirrored by an original interior, highlighted, as mentioned in our drive section, by the usual Peugeot i-Cockpit dashboard design, plus there's a large 10-inch capacitive touchscreen angled towards the driver and a 12.3-inch head-up digital instrument panel. The cabin also features i-Cockpit Amplify, which enables the driver to choose between two levels of ambience - 'Boost' and 'Relax'. As for practicality, there's a hands-free, powered tailgate, a 530-litre boot and a 'Magic Flat' function for the rear bench seat which retracts to reveal a total load space capacity of 1780-litres.

Market and Model

When the full range of 508 SW models is available, prices will start at well under £30,000. Top 'First Edition' models get signature GT styling and exclusive exterior design, with chrome chequered and black gloss grille surround and 19" Augusta two-tone diamond-finish alloy wheels with dark tinted varnish finish. There are two paint choices - 'Twilight Blue' or 'Ultimate Red'. Enginewise, 'First Edition' buyers choose between the 225-hp PureTech petrol unit or the 180-hp BlueHDi diesel. Equipment runs to just about everything Peugeot could think of, including a superb 'FOCAL' surround sound Hi-Fi system, night vision, fully automated parking assistance and of course full navigation on the 10-inch central-dash HD touchscreen. There's also a 360?? colour camera system and a wireless smartphone charging plate to keep your mobile's battery topped up during long drives. The wrap-around seats offer five multi-point massage programmes, there's a range of premium and sophisticated trim and upholstery materials and you get a panoramic opening glass roof.

Cost of Ownership

Peugeot usually specialises in extremely efficient running cost returns and this 508 SW is no different in that regard. There's are plug-in petrol/electric options you can ask you dealer about but if you stick to a conventional powertrain, the figures are still competitive. The 1.6 PureTech 225 petrol unit with its EAT8 auto transmission manages around 50mpg on the combined cycle and just over 130g/km of CO2. The 2.0 BlueHDi diesel 180 EAT8 variant manages just under 60mpg and around 125g/km. All of this will help Peugeot dealers when it comes to offering competitive leasing rates on this car. If that's what you're after, it's likely you'll be offered two basic options. The first of these is a straightforward deal where you pay a deposit and monthly sum as you would with any other leasing contract. Or, you could choose the French brand's popular 'Just Add Fuel' package that wraps up insurance, servicing and tax into regular payments so all you have to do is fill up the tank. Of course running costs are about a lot more than just fuel economy and CO2 readings, so what else are you going to need to know? Well, there's the usual unremarkable three year/60,000-mile warranty. And if you are paying for maintenance work, you can budget ahead for it by taking up Peugeot's 'Service Plan' that for a fixed monthly fee, can cover you for up to 50,000 miles of motoring over either three or five years.

Summary

This second generation 508 SW is smarter, cleverer and better equipped. In other words, we're talking about a very complete package. Would you really want the kind of stripped-out, basic BMW 3 Series Touring or Audi A4 Avant you'd have to pay more for in preference to one of these? More pertinently perhaps, would you rather have a more ordinary-feeling Vauxhall Insignia Sport Tourer or Ford Mondeo estate? These are key questions if you're in the market for a conventional spacious station wagon of this sort. Try a 508 SW and you might well find that answering them is a little easier.

Scoring: Peugeot 508 SW

Category: Medium Estates

Performance
70
Handling
70
Comfort
80
Space
60
Styling
90
Build
80
Value
60
Equipment
80
Economy
80
Depreciation
70
Insurance
70
Total
74