£20,195 - £35,209 Price range
44 - 74 MPG
Replacing the 407 SW in 2011 was Peugeot’s 508SW, built on the same platform as the 508 saloon and Citroen C5. A significantly better looker than its gawky predecessor, the 508SW is one of the most attractive cars in the class – on style points and chic alone it’d walk away with the crown. But the majority of the saloon’s competitors come in wagon form too and this means the 508SW has just as tough a job fending them off.
Like the saloon, critics are fond of how the 508SW balances driving feel and ride quality, particularly on the more expensive models, and the standards of fit and finish in the cabin, but again it’s the cheaper and more frugal models that make more sense to purchase.
The 508 saloon has a class average boot, so it’s a little disappointing to discover the 508SW’s is smaller than just about all of its key rivals, either with seats up (512 litres) or down (1,598 litres). It’s not exactly a dearth of space – it trumps some prestige rivals – but it is quite a way short in either configuration of mainstream offerings.
Just like the saloon, the layout of the gadgets and general finish of the SW garners praise from reviewers, though some remark that the driving position is low and without the excellent panoramic roof, the interior lighting is insufficient.
Again, though top-spec cars are well equipped the kit on lower end models is less impressive, taking the car into the sights of the more spacious rivals if optioned to match.
While the SW weighs a hair more than the saloon – about 45kg – the driving manners are little different. Reviewers remark that, just like the saloon, the SW is an engaging drive and fun, while being supple and smooth at the same time. Of the two, the wagon is slightly harsher riding and has more body roll, but is still a surprisingly dynamic machine.
Again, it’s the decision to keep the hydraulic power assisted steering system over a modern electric one that keeps the steering feel and it’s all the better for it. The top-spec GT, with different front suspension from the rest of the range, garners particular praise here.
The SW largely has the same range of engines as the saloon – an entirely diesel affair.
The 115hp 1.6 comes with “microhybrid” technology and stop-start, which promises a 10% increase in fuel economy. Unfortunately it’s mated to an automated manual gearbox that is almost universally panned for its un-cooperative manner, but the car shows a 105g/km emissions rating on paper.
The biggest unit is the 200hp 2.2 diesel and this gives sub-nine-second 60mph sprints and nearly 50mpg combined, but may only be selected with an automatic gearbox.
The 2.0 provides the majority of the motive power, with 140hp, 150hp BlueHDI and 163hp versions. It’s the BlueHDI that makes the best of both worlds, with good pace off the line and 67mpg on paper.
There's only one review for the Peugeot 508 SW 1.6 e-HDi so far. They reckon it's not slow off the line, despite being an economical engine. The stop/start system reportedly works well, though be aware that the automatic gearbox doesn't get great reviews. Also, the 1.6 HDi (non-'e' version) is a fair bit cheaper and only slightly less economical, so make sure you do the maths first!
To see reviews of the other engines, use the drop down box above.
The reviews of the Peugeot 508 SW 2.0 HDi 140 are really positive. The critics agree it's a refined engine with lots of power that's great for cruising on the motorway. Fuel costs shouldn't be too bad, with up to 56mpg possible. It's a nice all round engine.
To check out opinions on the other 508 SW engines, use the filter box above.
So far only one expert has driven the Peugeot 508 SW 2.0 HDi 163, but they like this engine, reporting that it's smooth, powerful and refined. It's quiet when started up and isn't overly noisy when accelerating at all. As with the other engines, the ECG automatic gear box doesn't get praised though.
This is a great engine if you want a fair bit of poke, without high running costs. To see reviews of the other engines, use the filter above.
The 2.2 HDi is the most powerful engine in the 508 SW and the experts like it. The reviews say it's fast, great for overtaking and despite being quite a powerful engine the fuel economy isn't too bad either. The biggest downside to this flagship unit is the price, it isn't cheap.
Use the filter above to see review of the other engines, there are a some which are a lot more efficient (but won't be as fun!).
The 508SW piggybacks on the 508 Saloon’s safety rating – and it’s a good one. The 508 rates highly for adult occupant safety.
It even gets an additional reward for the Peugeot Connect SOS system, which will connect you immediately to a Peugeot emergency call centre or the local non-emergency number (equivalent to 112) in the event of an accident. Pedestrian protection was low though, so you might well need it!
The 508SW suffers from a similar problem monetarily to the saloon. While the fuel economy of the range is pretty stellar, the pricetag – particularly with the £1,100 premium paid for the estate body – pitches it too close to mainstream rivals which beat it on kit.
Unless you’re paying out for the top-spec GT, the equipment you get will be pretty middle-of-the-road compared to the Superbs, Mondeos and Accords of the world – and the GT is £32,000. For that money you could be ticking every box on a Mazda 6 Tourer and pocket the £2,000 difference. And that’s to say nothing of the depreciation…
It’s down in the cheap seats that the 508SW puts in a decent showing. The Active models cover pretty much all the basic requirements and get you a competent, compliant and stunning-looking estate car that gets decent fuel economy. The premium interior is hard to beat on £20k – the Mondeo looks a foolish proposition at this money unless you have to have the extra space.
The SW suffers similar drawbacks to the saloon. High-end models are pushing into silly money where you’d just buy a BMW 320d and have done with, but entry level models are a bit utilitarian. It doesn’t change the fact the 508SW is a great place though and the middling models make great sense. The 163hp 2.0 HDi’s should be more than enough car for any purpose.
While a little less capable on the road than the saloon, it’s still amongst the head of the class for the overall driving experience amongst its peers and, as a family hack for an occasionally enthusiastic driver, a reasonable purchase probably a better buy than the booted four-door despite the premium paid. You certainly won’t tire of looking at it on the drive either.