In-depth reviews

Peugeot 508 SW estate - Engines, drive & performance

The Peugeot 508 SW is smooth and feels balanced

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

Despite its sporty looks - and the 19-inch wheels fitted to top versions - the 508 SW rides with the comfort French cars are known for, without feeling too soft in corners. It might not be as sharp as a BMW 3 Series Touring, but the Peugeot feels balanced and makes an easy, relaxing car to drive.

A small steering wheel provides a feeling of agility missing from the old Peugeot 508, even if the steering itself is a bit light and short on feel. We also wish versions with gearshift paddles had them attached to the steering wheel because those on the column can easily end up out of reach.

Peugeot 508 SW diesel engines

Peugeot's 1.5-litre diesel offers 129bhp and is equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard. The combination gets the car from 0-62mph in 10 seconds and is a good match, resulting in smooth power delivery and slick gear changes that make long-distance drives more relaxed.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine was discontinued in 2021. When it was available, it was offered with 161 or 175bhp with an automatic gearbox as standard.

Petrol engines

Just one 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine is now available, producing 129bhp. Like the diesel, it also comes with an automatic gearbox as standard and manages 0-62mph in 10 seconds.

A 1.6-litre PureTech petrol engine was available in 179 and 218bhp guises, with both now discontinued. The more powerful of the two was restricted to expensive, range-topping trim levels and improved the 0-62mph time from eight seconds to 7.4. Both engines were matched with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

Hybrid engines

The regular hybrid version of the 508 SW pairs the 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 222bhp. Again, an eight-speed auto is standard. Besides managing a respectable number of miles on electric power alone, the hybrid is also pretty brisk, hitting 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. You can travel at up to 84mph in electric mode or 155mph when the two power sources are working together.

The 508 SW Peugeot Sport Engineered occupies its own slot in the range. It has a pair of electric motors that boost power to a considerable 355bhp. This makes it the quickest model in the range by some margin, going from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, but it’s still capable of pure-electric running at slower speeds.

The PSE’s talents go beyond its statistics, with adaptive suspension helping to make it a refined cruiser while also giving it excellent body control. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable . There’s plenty of grip in corners and the hybrid powertrain adds instant acceleration to the mix. The steering is quick and nicely weighted, with the small steering wheel enhancing the nimble and accurate feel during quick changes of direction.

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