The Peugeot 508 SW wins you over with its eye-catching design and multiple safety assists, but it can’t quite match alternatives on practicality and passenger space
If you’re fed up with seeing endless Ford Mondeo and VW Passat estates at your corporate car park, the stylish Peugeot 508 SW is a good alternative.
Even if you don’t buy it as a company car, the 508 SW is sure to impress your neighbours when you park it on the driveway. Its overall shape is closer to premium shooting brakes rather than dowdy estate cars and just getting out of the frameless doors is guaranteed to garner some raised eyebrows.
Sit inside and the design is equally impressive. There isn’t an alternative with such an unusual design but don’t let the quirkiness put you off – it’s still fairly easy to use and the central piano keys are shortcuts to the most used interior features.
One of those piano keys, after pressing, opens up the 10.0-inch infotainment system that, depending on spec, can mirror your smartphone screen for sat-nav or come with in-built 3D maps with TomTom live traffic alerts. Optionally you can also have a powerful Focal 10-speaker stereo that has a high-quality sound and comes with cool silver speaker covers.
Depending on the model you go for, the seats can be upholstered in alcantara or fine Nappa leather. You can even spec up a massage feature. What all seats share is a good amount of adjustment, but depending on the way you sit, the steering wheel can obscure some of the dials.
There’s huge space up front and thanks to long seat runners you can get comfortable even if you’re really tall. The back seats are pretty good as well – the pillarless rear doors give great access and there’s space in the back for two six-foot adults. However, a Skoda Superb Estate is better for carrying three adult passengers in the back.
The Peugeot 508 SW isn't the most practical estate car but you can look at it as a characterful and stylish car with the benefit of a big boot
If you do intend to drive around with a boot full of stuff, go for one of the diesel engines. The entry-level manual 130hp diesel is the fuel-economy king and should serve you well in most occasions. There’s also a 160hp diesel if you need extra pulling power. The petrols excel around congested cities but due to their relatively small size (1.6-litre) they end up using a lot of fuel if you drive them vigorously.
But then, you probably won’t be driving the Peugeot 508 that vigorously because thanks to the soft and comfortable ride you’ll want to drive it in a relaxed way. It still grips well around tight curves, but a similarly priced BMW 3 Series is more enjoyable to drive quickly. That said, the 508 SW is very quiet and feels at home cruising on the motorway where you can experience all of its driving assists.
And it’s the assists that are really worth speccing on the 508 SW, not only because they improve safety but also because they take a lot of hassle out of driving. For example, the adaptive cruise control can keep to a preselected speed and distance to the car in front while keeping you well positioned in your lane – all you have to do is hold the steering wheel.
However, adding all the assists, including the fairly impressive night vision, does add to the price. You can, however, check out our Peugeot 508 SW deals and see if you can add that desirable option you wanted while still keeping to budget.