Review: Peugeot 508 SW (2019)
Premium interior. Excellent automatic gearbox standard across most the range. 530-litre boot is easily accessed.
Expensive compared to mainstream rivals. Some buyers will turn their nose up at the Peugeot badge.
Peugeot 508 SW (2019): At A Glance
- New prices start from £26,639, brokers can source from £22,248
- Contract hire deals from £268.20 per month
The Peugeot 508 SW is an attractive estate car which rivals the likes of the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat. Like the Fastback model, the 508 SW is an attempt to move the brand upmarket - which explains why prices start at around £5000 more than the equivalent Vauxhall Insignia or Ford Mondeo.
It certainly looks the part thanks to its lower and sleeker design, while frameless doors are offered for the first time in an estate of this size.
The interior feels equally special, taking a similar approach to the excellent 3008 and 5008. There's Peugeot's trademark tiny steering wheel, a 10-inch wide HD touchscreen (on all but entry-level models) and a configurable 12.3-inch digital head-up display. Toggle switches help it stand out, while plenty of soft-touch materials make it feel more premium than mainstream alternatives.
The 508 SW's 530 litres of boot space falls short compared to the Skoda Superb, but it's a useful shape with easy access. Folding the rear seats using Peugeot's Magic Flat feature is easy, should you need more space - leaving a generous 1780 litres of space.
There's a variety of petrol and diesel engines available, with even the lower-powered models offering more than adequate performance for a car of this type. The 180PS entry-level petrol is particularly good, although the majority of buyers will opt for a diesel. The entire diesel line-up is strong, combining impressive fuel economy with a refined drive.
Most models are paired with a very good eight-speed automatic transmission, although the entry-level diesel is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. A plug-in hybrid is set to follow late in 2019.
Few buyers will be convinced the 508 SW is a genuine alternative to premium brands - and, with top-spec models nudging £40,000, it's certainly a bold choice. But it's a good one, with an excellent interior and plenty of room for the family.
What does a Peugeot 508 SW (2019) cost?
Peugeot 508 SW (2019): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 530–1780 litres
We'll start with the most important feature of the 508 SW for many estate buyers: the boot. It's big, with 530 litres of space (up from 487 litres in the Fastback). The Skoda Superb might offer more room, but the 508 SW's boot compares favourably against premium rivals like the Volvo V60, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 Avant.
Not only is a big boot, it's also a very useful shape with easy access. There's little in the way of a boot lip (aside from a small lump in the boot floor) and the rear wheel arches don't impede into luggage space too much. If you need more space, dropping the rear seats flat is easy using a button located near the boot opening.
Rear passengers have a generous amount of room, with plenty of headroom for even tall adults, while legroom is reasonable - although those wanting to transport adults regularly might be better with an SUV.
Families are well catered for, with two Isofix fitting points for child seats on the rear seats. The rear windows are big and square offering a good view out, ideal for those wanting to protect children from travel sickness.
Up front, you'll find comfortable seats and a futuristic looking cabin. Plenty of soft-touch materials means it does feel noticeably more upmarket than mainstream rivals.
One bugbear is the navigation system, which is standard across the range. It's slow to respond and requires delving into menus for simple tasks. All but the Active trim get a 10-inch display, which at least looks the part, and all models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to use your phone to bypass certain irritating functions of the media system.
There's a slight difference between the cabins of manual and automatic models. With the auto gearbox, it features a floating centre console hiding a wireless phone charger underneath. It's looks smarter than the standard centre console with the manual gearbox.
Specification from launch (June 2019):
Active trim features 17-inch alloy wheels, 3D navigation with live updates, electric driver’s seat-base and lumbar adjustment, automatic headlights and DAB radio as standard.
Allure adds active suspension, active blind spot detection, smartbeam assistance, keyless entry and push button start, a 10-inch High Definition capacitive touch screen, electric driver and passenger seats and a 180-degree colour reversing camera.
The GT Line adds self-levelling full LED headlights, with the rear light cluster featuring Peugeot's 3D signature ‘claw effect’. The GT Line also comes with Peugeot's i-Cockpit® Amplify, which allows customers to change the interior lighting balance, as well as the engine note through active speaker technology.
The GT model comes with Peugeot's drive assist pack plus, with adaptive cruise control and lane positioning assist. Also included is a Focal premium HiFi speaker system, Nappa Mistral full grain leather seat trim and 19-inch ‘Augusta’ diamond-cut two-tone alloy wheels.
The UK will receive 75 First Edition models, which adds Peugeot's night vision technologyalong with visio park 3, featuring a 360-degree colour reversing camera and fully automated parking assistance.
Child seats that fit a Peugeot 508 SW (2019)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Peugeot 508 SW (2019) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.5 BlueHDi EAT8 to 2.0 BlueHDi 160 EAT8
Initially, the 508 SW is offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. Petrol buyers are best catered for with the entry-level 1.6-litre 180PS Puretech engine, which comes with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission as standard.
This is a really strong engine, with plenty of power for overtaking, without being too noisy. The gearbox is good - you can catch it out if you try to accelerate quickly out of a bend - but it's rarely flustered during day-to-day driving.
There's also a 225PS version of the same engine, although it doesn't feel that much quicker than the 180PS model. It's only available on high-spec GT and First Edition models, meaning it starts at more than £38,000 - quite a lot of money for a car like this.
The majority of 508 SW sales are initially expected to be with a diesel engine, which explains why there's a strong line-up of diesels available.
The entry-level 1.5 BlueHDi 130 diesel engine is the only one available with a six-speed manual gearbox. This is aimed at company car drivers, although it's a perfectly likeable setup.
The engine is smooth and willing, with excellent economy (officially returning between 52.5mpg and 59.8mpg), and the manual transmission is pleasant enough to use. It might not be as slick as some rival manual gearboxes, but neither is it like stirring porridge.
The BlueHDi 130 is also available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while more powerful offerings are made up of a 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel with 160 or 180PS depending on spec.
A plug-in hybrid 508 SW will be available from late 2019. This combines a 12kWh battery with an 80kW electric motor, providing a 30-mile range under electric power. Peugeot says the batteries will be located under the second row seats to ensure there's no compromise to space or practicality.
Engines aside, the Peugeot 508 SW is a pretty good car to drive. It handles well, without too much lean in the bends, while the tiny steering wheel adds to the feeling of agility. It does make it feel slightly nervous on the motorway, though, responding keenly to small inputs. It might become a bit tiresome on a long journey, but it's something most drivers will get used to quickly.
With the standard suspension, the Peugeot 508 SW feels a bit fidgety on broken roads, struggling to smooth out bumps in the same way the Skoda Superb does.
Peugeot's active suspension is available on all but entry-level Active models, and is standard on higher-spec models. This firms the suspension up if you select Sports mode, while Comfort or Normal modes makes it feel slightly floaty. The differences are negligable, though, and we wouldn't advise paying more for the adaptive suspension as an optional extra.
|1.5 BlueHDi||-||9.9 s||103–105 g/km|
|1.5 BlueHDi EAT8||-||10.1 s||100–103 g/km|
|1.6 Puretech 180 EAT8||-||-||125–127 g/km|
|1.6 Puretech 225 EAT8||-||-||132 g/km|
|2.0 BlueHDi 160 EAT8||-||8.4–8.5 s||119–124 g/km|
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