What Car? says...
If you fancy a little French flair in your life but practicalities dictate the need for a wholesome estate car, may we suggest looking at the Peugeot 508 SW? In essence, it’s what you get when you take an eye-catching saloon and sprinkle it with some much-needed versatility.
You see, while the sleekly sloping roofline of the 508 saloon (or Fastback in Peugeot speak) suggests coupé cool, its side-effect is restricted rear head room and a boot that isn’t much to shout about by executive car standards. The estate version of that car, the 508 SW, is less compromised and has the credentials to make it a true alternative to the Vauxhall Insigna Sports Tourer and Ford Mondeo Estate, while being stylish enough to tempt drivers away from premium estate rivals such as the BMW 3 Series Touring, Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes C Class Estate.
In the transformation to estate car, the 508’s boot space jumps by nearly 10%, with a lower loading lip that makes loading bulky items easier. Furthermore, its higher rear roofline gives rear seat passengers a bit more head room. Nothing changes behind the scenes, though – you’ll find the same range of engines under the bonnet. They range from a 1.5-litre diesel with a meagre 128bhp, all the way up to a 221bhp petrol and a company car-friendly plug-in hybrid. All engines have an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard with the exception of the entry-level diesel which gets a six-speed manual, with the auto as an option.
So, it looks arresting, but just how good is the 508 SW? Can it match the practicality of the Skoda Superb Estate, the value of the Volkswagen Passat Estate, or the attention to detail of the Volvo V60?
Read on to find out, and for our suggestions as to the best versions to buy. And don’t forget, if you do want to buy a 508 SW, or any other new car for that matter, head to our New Car Buying section, where you could save thousands on your next car.