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First drive: 2024 Peugeot E-308 SW. Image by Peugeot.

First drive: 2024 Peugeot E-308 SW
The all-electric E-308 has already proven its mettle, but will the SW estate make as much sense as its stubbier sibling?

   



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2023 Peugeot E-308 SW

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Weve driven the Peugeot E-308 already, and weve come away impressed, but the five-door family hatchback isnt the only 308 model to get the electric treatment. Yes, Peugeot has applied the same system to its striking 308 SW estate a car we think is even more compelling than the hatchback but will that still be the case in electric form, or will the larger SW really need the larger battery the hatch was already begging for?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2023 Peugeot E-308 SW GT
Price: From ~41,250 (predicted)
Motor: 115kW electric motor
Transmission: single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Battery: 54kWh lithium-ion battery (51kWh usable)
Power: 156hp
Torque: 270Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: 243-254miles
0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
Top speed: 106mph
Boot space: 548-1,574 litres

Styling

As with the E-308 hatch, the E-308 SW is designed to look just like a petrol-, diesel- or hybrid-powered 308. So much so, in fact, that the only real differences are the 18-inch alloy wheels, which are designed to be more aerodynamic for better range, and the addition of some E badges. Otherwise, they're peas in a pod. Not that we have a problem with that. The 308 SW is one of the most attractive cars in its class, and the switch to electric power has done nothing to harm that image. From the cool nose to the well-integrated tailgate, it's a cool-looking estate.

Interior

Peugeot hasn't made any great changes to the E-308 SW's interior, either, so you are left with much the same view as you get in an E-308 hatch or indeed any other 308. The high-set instrument display is joined by a low-set, small steering wheel, which causes problems in terms of driving position, but otherwise it's a very comfortable place to be. The design is smart, and the build quality is surprisingly high. Everything feels robust and solid, and the materials are pretty good for the most part, although there's a swathe of plastic on the passenger-side dash that somehow looks cheaper than it feels.

Then there's the tech. Peugeot upped its game on this front when the new 308 was launched, so the E-308 SW gets a much better touchscreen than any previous-generation 308 SW, albeit one that still has a few issues. The menus can be confusing at times and there's the occasional moment of lag, but it's a step forward for the brand. And it's made better by the inclusion of a bank of configurable I-Toggles below the screen, allowing you to create your own shortcuts. Obviously, physical switchgear for the climate control would be better, but the I-Toggles are a step in the right direction.

Practicality

As with the E-308, the E-308 SW has exactly the same amount of boot space as the 308 SW plug-in hybrid, which means there's plenty there. At 548 litres with all five seats upright, the E-308 has more boot space than a larger and (fractionally) more expensive BMW 3 Series Touring, but it's still 60 litres down on the petrol- and diesel-powered 308 SW models. Nevertheless, it'll be plenty roomy enough for most customers, although the same can't really be said of the rear space. As with the 308 hatch, there really isn't the legroom necessary back there to seat four tall adults, and while headroom is adequate, it's no better than that.

Performance

We've sort of become used to electric cars having obscene amounts of performance, but the E-308 and E-308 SW really don't. With a single 156hp motor powering the front wheels, they both get from 0-62mph in just under 10 seconds. That's respectable, but it's hardly rapid.

Anyway, the far more important factor is that of range, and there the E-308 SW delivers. Despite only having a 54kWh battery, which is quite small by family car standards, the E-308 SW will cover around 250 miles on a charge according to the official economy test. That's only slightly less than the E-308 hatch, and in the real world, where you're looking at more like 225 miles on a mixture of roads and just under 200 on the motorway, you probably won't notice the difference.

The advantage of the comparatively small battery, though, is that the E-308 SW will charge quickly. With 100kW DC charging capability, it'll get from 20 to 80 per cent in around half an hour, assuming ideal conditions and a powerful charger.

Ride & Handling

As you would probably expect, the E-308 SW feels much like the E-308 on the road, but there is a subtle difference in ride quality. Admittedly, our test took place on smooth European roads, but the E-308 SW felt slightly more supple, perhaps thanks to its elongated wheelbase that allows it to iron out bumps that bit more ably. The difference isn't huge, and both cars are reasonably comfy, but the E-308 SW has a fractional advantage over its shorter sibling.

There's very little difference in handling, though, and both cars manage to feel a little more substantial than their more conventionally powered counterparts. Slightly heavier and more feelsome steering combines with a lower centre of gravity to give the E-308 models a marginally more engaging feel, although they never get into the realms of excitement. They are quiet, refined and relaxing, though.

Value

The E-308 hatchback is already an expensive car, with prices starting at more than 40,000. But while prices have not yet been finalised, the E-308 SW is only expected to cost 1,200 more than its sister car, and that makes it somewhat more impressive value. The specifications are largely the same you dont get any more kit but the SW is considerably more spacious and marginally more comfortable, both of which make it more worthy of its lofty price tag.

Verdict

The E-308 hatchback was already competent, and the SW version only adds to that. Sure, its set to cost a little more, but you get a lot more space for that money, and much the same kind of range. Its fractionally more comfortable than the hatchback, too. So although the SW is unlikely to be as popular as its smaller sibling, its the E-308 to have. We still wish it was offered with a slightly bigger battery, though, just to make it that bit more useful.



James Fossdyke - 21 Nov 2023



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2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.

2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-308 SW GT. Image by Peugeot.







 

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