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We Review the Peugeot 508 SW

We Review the Peugeot 508 SW
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The Car.co.uk verdict:

4.4

Earning its tag as the “estate that defies convention”, the Peugeot 508 SW is stylishly designed both inside and out. More shooting brakes than family estate on the outside, its interior features the latest Peugeot i-Cockpit packed with an impressive list of assists, which not only up the safety count, but deliver a relaxed and comfortable drive too.

While not the most practical estate on offer, it’s sure to stand out from the others in its class and with its mammoth 1,780-litre boot space, you’re not going to struggling to fit a couple of suitcases in.

Pros

  • Stylish design featuring frameless doors and sporty twin chrome exhaust
  • Packed with impressive safety features
  • Huge boot space beats other estate cars of a larger size

Cons

  • Desirable high-tech additions can lead to a higher price tag
  • A low slung drive means you feel the road in your pedals
  • Rear visibility a little restricted

At a glance

  • Looks
  • Practicality
  • Engine and Power
  • Reliability
  • Equipment and options
  • Interior
  • The drive
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Why buy

Looks

4.5 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Looks

A natural athlete delivering content as well as style

With its lean muscled contours and swooping roof, the Peugeot 508 SW cuts an aerodynamic silhouette.

Dual chrome exhausts and a radiator grille with a distinctive style add to its appeal, and the 19-inch wheels give it a bold and boisterous look.

Like a sprinter poised to bolt, the 508 SW gives off elegant strength. It’s frameless doors notch up the style factor and are sure to turn heads, whether in a corporate car park or with the neighbours next door.

Inside, you’ve got loads of optional extras, with a choice of seat upholstery in alcantara and nappa leather and stylish silver coverings on your speakers. The latest i-Cockpit gives you a jet fighter feel in an estate that’s far from every day. Try not to be thrown by the quirky design and quantity of controls; it’s all far easier to get to grips with than you think.

Practicality

5 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Practicality

Safe, spacious, and comfortable on the road

Underneath all that design the Peugeot delivers some serious usability. Even with the rear seats in use, the boot has a massive 530 litres of space, so you’re seriously sorted for that family vacation. Flip those seats down to get a staggering 1,780 litres, and you’re fully prepared to lug any load. Much larger cars struggle to top this kind of capacity.

Peugeot’s next generation i-Cockpit dash is another key feature, giving you an excellent selection of safety features you can add to depending on your budget.

Perfect for long journeys, there are plenty of USB ports for charging phones and gadgets to keep the kids busy. It might seem unnecessary, but the massage feature in the seats gives some welcome relief on longer trips. It’s there, so why not use it?

You’ve got a great choice of engines and with the increasing wariness around diesel, the petrol options could be popular. Four out of five of the engines are built for a comfortable drive and fitted with eight-speed automatics. The plug-in petrol hybrid is on its way and Peugeot has promised no loss of space to the boot.

Engine and Power

4.5 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Engine & power

An economical engine with a ton of options

When it comes to the Peugeot 508 SW specifications, you’ve got plenty of options. For those who prefer petrol, you have two choices – the 1.6-litre Puretch 180 or the Puretech 225 engine. On the diesel side, there are three engines available. Firstly, a 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130, which is the only unit that ships with a manual gearbox, and the other options of a 2.0 litre BlueHDi 160 or 180. These latter two are fitted with an eight-speed automatic. A hybrid version is also set to join the line in the second half of 2019.

With its 179bhp, the stand out star is the Puretech 180. Super smooth and more responsive than the diesels, it’s only let down by its weak pull from low revs. The Puretech 225 definitely gives you power, but although its fastest in the range, it’s also the most expensive when it comes to buying and running.

The 2.0 BlueHDi is a top choice when it comes to the diesels. It’s not noticeably slower than the petrols, but it gives you a lot more torque, out-pulling the Puretech 180 on lower revs. This can be pretty handy if you’re packing that big boot.

Lacking in power, the 1.5 BlueHDi 130 makes driving feel more stressful than it should. Simple tasks like overtaking should not feel this hard. Other than the BlueHDi, all the engines are incredibly refined, providing a calm, quiet drive.

Reliability

3 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Reliability

Well-built but the French tradition of electrical hiccups lingers

Peugeot as a company doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, so there are reasons to be cautious. By appearances, the Peugeot 508 SW is a beautifully built car, but minor glitches in the electrics are on record. Peugeot’s in-built satellite navigation has been known to be affected when plugged into your mobile via a USB, and reports of faults with the electric mirrors have also been noted.

French car companies have a history of electrical difficulties and it would seem that with the Peugeot 508 SW, this is still in play.

It’s relatively early days for the new Peugeot 508 SW, so we’ll have to wait for detailed stats on reliability to come in. The car does come with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, however, this only rates as average for the estate class in general.

Equipment and options

5 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Equipment & options

An amazing array of gadgetry

The 508 SW ships with the second generation Peugeot i-Cockpit and is packed with features. The dashboard is dominated by an adjustable 10-inch HD touch screen. This new display is two inches larger than previous versions and is loaded with information. From in-built 3D satellite mapping to TomTom traffic reports, you’ll have everything you need right in your eye line.

There’s also wireless phone charging, mobile screen mirroring and plenty of USB ports for you and your passengers’ needs. Meanwhile, the Hi-Fi FOCAL system provides high-quality sound with 10 speakers perfectly placed throughout.

A multi-point massage feature in the seats that Peugeot calls ‘AGR’ gives you support and comfort on long journeys, and all seats are fully adjustable so you can get the best fit for you.

Interior

4 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Interior

Adventurous design but a dip in visibility

The Peugeot 508 SW version gets the latest i-Cockpit. The customisable octagonal steering wheel is built small to avoid obstructing your view of the dashboard. To aid this further, the instrument panel is also customisable. All analogue dials are gone now, replaced by a 12.3-inch digital display.

The front seats are fully adjustable although the slightly unusual shape might not be for everyone. They do however sport long runners so there’s loads of legroom even if you’re over six foot tall. There’s a decent amount of legroom in the back too, although not outstanding.

The interior finish for the Peugeot 508 SW is impressive as a whole. Everything you need to get your hands on is ergonomically designed with comfort in mind. The dashboard and surrounds are presented in smart materials and the seats have quality stitching in the leather.
 
On the downside, a lower grade plastic used on the doors is a little disappointing. Seats in the rear are also adjustable but due to the roof slope of the 508 SW, passengers might find their view hampered. The angle of the roof can also restrict the driver’s view to the rear, so you’ll be thankful for the safety technology on board.

The drive

4.5 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - The drive

A quiet cruiser for the open road

If you are lugging around heavy loads, opt for the diesels. The manual gives great economy and the 160hp delivers extra when it comes to pulling power. 

Adaptive suspension is available for the petrols, and on all other models apart from the manual diesel. There are four separate driving modes (Normal, Comfort, Eco, and Sport), giving you choice when it comes to handling, although the differences aren’t vast. Normal and Comfort deliver that floating feeling over the apex of bumps at high speed, and you might find Sport stiffens up the dampers with an increase in steering weight. 

The big plus of the Peugeot 508’s solid setup is its body lean resistance on tight corners, giving it superior grip. The gearbox is a little jerky around town, but for the most part delivers quick operation and smooth, easy changes. You’ll enjoy it best cruising on the motorway where you can fully appreciate its assists and what a quiet, comfortable drive it provides. You’ll also notice its low road and wind noise.

Cost

4 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - The cost

No bargain to buy, but cheap to run

For the first edition, the recommended Peugeot 508 SW price is £39,854 for the 1.6L Puretech petrol, and £39,979 for the 2.0L Blue HDi diesel. This means that when it comes to buying outright, compared to many other estates on the market, it’s not exactly a bargain. That said, it will beat some of its high-end rivals on price.

With very low CO2 emissions and good value on the fuel economy, it could be a good choice for your company car, as running costs are low compared to other estates.

The Peugeot 508 SW ships with a lengthy list of safety features which are standard across the line-up. From the automatic emergency brakes, keep in lane assistance, and driver attention display monitor, to the pedestrian detection assist, it all definitely adds to desirability.

While there’s always a balance between affordability and luxury, it never hurts paying for features that keep you and your family safe.

Safety

5 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Safety

Technology put to good purpose

With the use of an infrared camera, the Peugeot 508 SW delivers its driver the advantage of night vision technology. This system is better at spotting pedestrians and animals in the road ahead during the hours of darkness, and when hazards are detected, the driver is warned via the i-Cockpit’s instrument panel.

Adaptive cruise control allows you to maintain pre-selected speeds and distances from other cars in your vicinity, and with the lane positioning assist, you’ll find it easy to stay in check. Keep your hands on the wheel and let the car do the rest.

The stop and go power braking, rearward camera and reversing sensors are great for busy urban areas where pedestrians can be problematic.

The extra assists definitely increase the costs, but the Peugeot 508 SW ships with a great range of safety features in-built. 

Why buy

4.5 out of 5
Peugeot 508 SW - Why buy

Superior style with an impressive safety complement

If you’re looking for a more stylish, adventurous alternative to the standard estates out there, the Peugeot 508 SW specs might suit you.

With efficient engine options, its great value when it comes to everyday driving, but you’ll probably get the most for your money on the motorway. This car also benefits from an array of assists that make long-haul driving much more comfortable. Safety is served with an incredible range of in-built and optional extras for you to pick from. 

Although its competition might offer more room for rear seats, this Peugeot continues to catch the spotlight with its combination of good looks and usability, bespoke design options, and its sizeable boot space.