Peugeot 308 SW (2014) Review
Peugeot 308 SW (2014) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 10–29
On average it achieves 73% of the official MPG figure
The Peugeot 308 SW is the latest in a long line of practical and appealing estate cars from the French manufacturer, designed to take on key rivals such as the Ford Focus, Renault Megane Sport Tourer and Volkswagen Golf Estate. It’s helped by the fact that the hatchback it is based on is a pretty car, and there’s an element of the ‘lifestyle ‘ estate about its design. It offers the same unusual i-Cockpit arrangement in the cabin alongside a range of modern, efficient engines. It may not be the best in class in every department, but the 308 SW holds a great deal of appeal.
With such a good base to work from, the Peugeot 308 SW had every chance of being an excellent estate car from the outset - and it doesn’t disappoint. The well-made cabin and impressive refinement of the hatchback remain, but with one of the more spacious and practical rear load areas offered on a family-sized estate car.
The load area itself is easy to access, with a wide opening and a low load lip. There’s a retractable, removable load area cover to keep 660 litres of load volume covered up – and if you have big items to carry there’s a simple one touch mechanism to fold the rear seats completely flat.
With the seats down maximum load space is an impressive 1,775 litres, considerably more than many key rivals and only beaten by the Skoda Octavia Estate.
In the back row there’s enough room to seat a pair of adults in comfort, with plenty of knee and headroom. Access is good, which is handy for loading and unloading child seats, although there are now only two Isofix mounting points for child seats – the previous generation model had three, which is a disappointing loss of a practical feature.
Not only is the 308 SW one of the most spacious cars in its class, it also has some of the most modern and efficient engines.
The entry-level petrol model is a 110PS 1.2-litre turbo which, despite its size, is perfectly capable and offers low emissions of 109g/km. This engine is also offered with 130PS, plus you can get a range of diesels. The range-topper is a 180PS BlueHDi, with strong performance alongside impressive economy.
Despite being bigger than the hatchback the 308 SW is no more difficult to drive. The cabin is quiet and the controls well-weighted, so in or out of town the car is easy to get along with. It’s an impressive motorway cruiser too, even with the smaller 1.2-litre petrol engine under the bonnet.
Just like the hatchback, the cabin benefits from a clear attempt to move upmarket. It might not qualify as a premium cabin, but it is distinctively designed and works well for the most part, and adds a sense of well-being that is welcome on longer journeys.
For those seeking a usable everyday estate car it’s certainly worth adding to the shortlist – but its competition from SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen is very strong, while the Honda Civic Tourer offers a more flexible load area and cabin.