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Driven: Peugeot 508 SW. Image by Peugeot UK.

Driven: Peugeot 508 SW
There can be few finer-looking estate cars in the world than this stunning Peugeot wagon.


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Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130 EAT8

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Good points: just LOOK at it!

Not so good: occasionally firm ride, pricey as tested, could do with bigger and more powerful engine

Key Facts

Model tested: Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130 EAT8 S&S
Price: 508 SW range from 27,630; GT Line 130 from 31,810, car as tested 38,175
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmission: eight-speed EAT8 automatic, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: 105g/km (VED Band 101-110: 150 in year one, then 145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 51.4-58.6mpg (WLTP figures)
Top speed: 129mph
0-62mph: 10.1 seconds
Power: 130hp at 3,750rpm
Torque: 300Nm at 1,750-2,000rpm
Boot space: 530-1,780 litres

Our view:

Having driven the beautiful Peugeot 508 fastback last year, we were keen to try its estate sibling, branded - as ever, for a Pug wagon - as SW. Because, as we all know, estates are always prettier than their 'saloon' source material, right? And can estate cars really get any better looking than a 508 SW in GT Line spec, with a white pearlescent paint (725) exterior and 1,850 Nappa Red leather within? We'll answer this for you: no. They cannot.

The 508 SW is truly stunning to look at. Just gorgeous. It's a show-stopping car in all specs but get it up into sporty-mimicking GT Line trim like this and it's a proper supermodel. There are just so many wonderful details to drink in. Those 'Tooth' LED strakes cutting into the front bumpers. The rear light strip with 'Lion's claw' triple-lined signatures. The arcing swage line which fizzes off the front wings and descends gracefully over the flanks. A glasshouse that looks like something lifted off a coupe, never mind a family truckster (in Metallic Pea... no, wait a minute, we've gone off on a tangent there, sorry). The angry yet discreet face. Sling on a set of 19-inch Augusta alloys (300) as seen on our test car and what you have here is close to aesthetic perfection for a D-segment chariot like this.

The interior doesn't let the rest of the car down, not just because of that sumptuous red leather but because the i-Cockpit design is starting to reach its zenith in the 508. We know that not everyone gets on with the tiny steering wheel and high-set digital instrument cluster, but we do. We really, really do. It looks so much more interesting and premium than anything from the Volkswagen Group, everything works fine and is easy to use (even the climate controls in the central touchscreen), while the two-tiered dash is a marvellous piece of contouring to make the cabin of the Peugeot a winner. Space is also good in the rear and the SW suffers from less rear visibility issues than its fastback sibling, although it's still a bit 'letterbox' to look out of the back windscreen through the rear-view mirror. The boot is also sizeable at 530 litres, if not groundbreaking in this class, its lack of outright carrying capacity a direct corollary of its majestic bodywork, and about our biggest bugbear is that strange, crooked lever for the EAT8 gearbox. It's perhaps designed to look futuristic but it never feels that pleasant to use, even on an automatic where you often just slot it into 'D' and forget about it for hours on end.

Anyway, it's at this point that we can no longer put off addressing the price of our test car. It was 38,175. This figure was reached with the fitment of the options already listed, as well as an electric tailgate (400), a Focal Premium HiFi system (590), Night Vision (1,300), Visio Park 3 (600), the Drive Assist Pack (400) and a boot load restraint net (200). Doesn't matter which way you cut it, 38 grand is a lot. Especially as this is the least powerful engine you can get in a 508 SW. You can get the Peugeot with a 160- or 180hp diesel 2.0-litre motor, and you can also choose from two iterations of the 1.6-litre PureTech petrol mill which have either 180- or 225hp. And there's a plug-in hybrid coming in 2020, which will match that 225hp peak output. But all of these are four-cylinder engines, of not very big capacity. Rivals either get to 270hp or thereabouts with turbocharged motors of similar swept capacity, or they simply chuck a six-cylinder motor into the mix. The Peugeot feels like it deserves that sort of powerplant option, even if it'll be minority take-up.

Our grouching about the price and the 130hp BlueHDi is because, other than a slightly edgy ride on those 19s (it was more noticeable on particularly poor surfaces), we spent a fair amount of time at the minuscule wheel of the 508 SW in the course of a week. Almost 17 hours, in fact, covering 838 miles in that time. And we loved it. While it's not particularly quick, the 1.5-litre turbodiesel is muscular enough to make the 508 a strong motorway car, able to exploit gaps at will, while the eight-speed autobox is an excellent, silken operator. Mechanical and acoustic refinement are both at very high levels, so unless you can feel the 19s thumping away at the corners (which is only an infrequent occurrence), then the 508 is supremely comfortable. Maybe not as wafty-floaty-light as some motorised French sofas we've had in the past, of course, but certainly ahead of most sporty-themed German stuff. And the BlueHDi is also properly frugal in the real world. Across those nigh-on 840 miles, it gave back 53.2mpg; on one run back from Heathrow to the Trent Valley, it even went to 61.8mpg gleaned from 150 miles of mainly M1 drudgery. Remarkable, for a big, 1,602kg prestige wagon like this.

If we're being honest, the Peugeot's handling wasn't quite as vivacious as we remembered the 225hp 508 GT fastback to be. The diesel lump feels weightier at the nose than the 1.6 petrol and the whole car didn't seem to have the same fluid grace at covering ground quickly. Mind, you can have the SW as a full GT itself, rather than just a GT Line, so maybe that would inject a bit of pizzazz into the Pug's chassis. Not that it was a bad car in the corners, as an impressive resistance to understeer, lots of grip, neutral balance and pretty direct steering makes the SW capably quick, if not hugely involving.

What a car, though. We adore the look of it. And if Peugeot did the decent thing and stuck a 300-350hp 3.0-litre V6 into the 508's nose, slackened off the damping just a touch more and got the whole lot in for less than 50,000, we'd be heading straight off to our local Lion dealership right now to order one, we can tell you. As it is, the 508 SW is a superb estate anyway. Just a shame such cars are being killed off by soulless SUVs instead, isn't it?


Audi A4 Avant: Peugeot would love for you to consider the 508 SW a direct rival for this, but the truth is the A4 Avant still feels another step up the aspirational ladder.

Skoda Superb Estate: an absolute leviathan of an estate and it has a generally more powerful engine line-up. Tough to beat, this.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer: another big old barge and it's good to look at with a solid cabin. Peugeot is more interesting to behold, though, inside and out.

Matt Robinson - 10 Oct 2019    - Peugeot road tests
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- 508 images

2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.

2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.2019 Peugeot 508 SW GT Line BlueHDi 130. Image by Peugeot UK.


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