Peugeot 308 SW Review 2024

Peugeot 308 SW At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The latest Peugeot 308 SW is a strikingly designed and likeable addition to the class. The well-appointed cabin and composed drive are successfully brought over from the hatch, as are petrol, diesel and hybrid engine options. We wish Peugeot had better balanced boot space with rear seat room, however.

+Distinctive styling and classy cabin. Lots of standard equipment. No weak link in the engine range. Good comfort and refinement.

-Rear seat space is lacking. Hybrid's gearbox and brakes aren't perfect. Taller folk might struggle with the driving position.

New prices start from £34,235, brokers can source from £35,866

While the SUV is very much a global phenomenon, estate cars are largely a uniquely European prospect. The new Peugeot 308 SW has just joined a still pretty crowded class of hatchback-based estates. In this review we'll see if it manages to blend design appeal and practicality as well as the best in the class. 

Peugeot has a long and rich history of building family estate cars, but we can't think of any that have turned up the style factor as much as the latest 308 SW.

Just as the striking new 308 hatchback could be considered one of the most desirable options in its class, the SW version (which stands for station wagon) certainly cuts a dash as load-luggers go. It might be even more dramatic than the hatch with its elongated side creases, sharply sloping side window line and shapely tailgate. 

Rivals for the 2022 Peugeot 308 SW include the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, the Ford Focus Estate and the ever-present VW Group trio; the VW Golf Estate, Skoda Octavia Estate and the SEAT Leon Estate. Arguably the Peugeot competes with the slightly more flamboyant Leon than it does the more conservative Golf and Octavia.

The Peugeot 308 is closely related to the latest Vauxhall Astra, but while the latter might be a lot less bland on the outside than it used to be, it's clear its French relative has the edge for cabin visuals. The 308 SW's angular dash and classy material mix combines with new technology including a brand new infotainment system and digital dials on every model. Just make sure you get on with the quirky 'i-Cockpit' driving position. 

The SW also gets a 55mm longer wheelbase than the hatch, resulting in a little more rear seat space. It's still a fair way off the class best in that respect, though. The trade off is a rather large 608-litre boot, which trumps some key rivals despite the Peugeot's design focus. 

Peugeot has a model-by-model approach to powertrain choices, particularly when it comes to electrification. It's why the smaller 208 is available in fully electric e-208 form, while the bigger 3008 SUV comes with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) options. For now, the 308 SW comes in petrol, diesel and PHEV form, but the 308 will be the first Peugeot to comes with both hybrid and electric options when a battery-powered model arrives next year.

As it is, you'll be well served whichever engine you go for. Even the base 1.2-litre petrol is punchy, while the diesel is a bit old-school but frugal. The two plug-in hybrids command a price premium but promise impressive efficiency, even if they're not quite as satisfying to drive due to some quirks. 

Still, the Peugeot 308 SW is pretty good to drive overall. It strikes a nice balance between ironing out the worst potholes and not feeling too soft and floaty in the bends, while refinement is strong. There's plenty of substance to go with the style, then. 

Want a second opinion? Check out heycar's review of the Peugeot 308 SW

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a car with electric memory seats?

"My wife and I share one car (Toyota Avensis Tourer estate) which we are thinking of replacing within 12 months. We have a height difference of 10 inches between us and have found the memory function on the electric driver’s seat to be really useful. Unfortunately, most new cars, including the Toyota Corolla, don’t seem to offer it. Can you please help identify any that have this feature?"
There is still plenty of new cars that offer electric memory seats but it's often restricted to the high-spec versions or optional equipment. It's more common in larger family cars than the Corolla, (the outgoing Ford Mondeo has electric memory seats on top-end versions) but the Peugeot 308 SW GT lists it as optional equipment and the Vauxhall Astra Ultimate gets a memory function as standard.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Can you suggest an alternative to the Volkswagen Golf Estate?

"I would like to buy a used Volkswagen Golf Estate but a low mileage, petrol automatic is £16,000-plus. Just outside my price range. Can you suggest one or two alternative similar cars which might fit the bill? "
Have you considered a SEAT Leon Estate? It's mechanically very similar to the Golf (with the same platform and engines) but you should find your budget goes a bit further on the used market. The same is true for the Skoda Octavia. Alternatively, a Peugeot 308 SW is a very good Golf alternative.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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