Peugeot 508 SW estate
"The Peugeot 508 SW is a stylish and practical estate car”
- Large boot
- Good to drive
- Stylish interior
- Slightly claustrophobic interior
- Limited choice of petrols
- Quite expensive
Considering the sleek shape and low roofline of the hatchback, you might think the Peugeot 508 SW estate is already off to a bad start in practicality terms. But a longer, taller roof and extended length mean space for people and luggage is actually pretty good.
It can't match the cavernous Skoda Superb Estate - nothing in this class can - but the 508 SW offers more luggage space than the Ford Mondeo Estate, Mazda6 Tourer and BMW 3 Series Touring. It also has a usefully wide opening and flat loading lip, with easy access available in the form of a powered tailgate.
A little of the 508 hatchback's styling is lost in the transition to the SW model, but it’s still a handsome car and back seat passengers won't be complaining about the increased headroom. In estate form, the 508 is more comfortable for tall passengers in the back, which is especially pleasing if you're giving an important client - or your boss - a lift to the annual conference.
Business users are expected to make up the majority of 508 SW customers, so Peugeot has gone to great lengths to make its engines as efficient as possible. The 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel excels, with CO2 emissions from 124g/km for reasonable Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) liability and fuel-efficiency of over 60mpg. There's also a brace of petrols that are smooth but thirsty, plus a 2.0-litre diesel that can tow up to 1,800kg, making it ideal for caravanners. Peugeot has now introduced a plug-in hybrid model that’ll be even more appealing for company-car drivers; BiK costs will be about two-thirds cheaper than the 1.5-litre diesel.
Despite big wheels (up to 19-inches on GT versions), there's a compliance to the 508's suspension that ensures it doesn't thunk over bumps but it still remains planted at higher speeds. A small steering wheel helps it feel agile too, even if it's not quite as precise as a 3 Series Touring overall.
At a more relaxed pace the 508 SW feels accomplished, and there's more time to enjoy its interior, which is a highlight. Fresh design for the class sees digital instruments fitted as standard, thanks to Peugeot's quirky I-Cockpit layout. A second central display tilts towards the driver and offers infotainment, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with the option of a high-end Focal stereo.
It all adds up to make the Peugeot 508 SW an exciting car in a struggling segment, largely deserted in favour of SUVs. It's not as big as a Skoda Superb, or quite as sharp as a Mazda6 Tourer, but the 508 SW isn't far off, has low running costs and arguably the most interesting interior in the class. In Allure trim, the 508 SW with a 1.5-litre diesel automatic offers a lot of flair and space for around £30,000.