Peugeot 308 SW: Sprucing up for Christmas

  • Our 308 SW’s cavernous boot comes in handy at last
  • Easy-folding rear seats boast ‘Magic Flat’ function
  • Eight-foot Nordman Spruce swallowed easily

“Sleigh bells ring, are you listening, in the lane, snow is glistening…”. Okay, not snow but there was a hard frost and minus two degrees Celisius made for an icy white coating on roofs, cars and roads.

As it’s during the period of advent, such bitter temperatures and chapped hands are of no consequence, so out I was at first light nailing up a string of outdoor Christmas lights around the front of the house.

It was a seasonal prelude to the morning’s main task of nipping down to the local Christmas tree emporium to collect a seven foot Nordman Spruce, ably assisted by eight-year old (actually she'd like to point out she is, in fact, nearly nine) daughter, Lily. Judging by the pictures, she was thrilled about helping .

Although I’ve appreciated the Peugeot 308 SW’s spacious cabin, circumstances have conspired to make this the first time I was able to make use of the vast boot space to carry anything more substantial than my man bag.

I’ve been missing out because it’s a big boot in the 308 SW’s tail. Seats up and loaded to the height of the retractable luggage cover, there’s 660 litres of space to play with – the biggest boot in this class of car. Honda’s Civic Tourer and Skoda’s Octavia estate are both huge out back but can only muster 624 litres and 610 litres, respectively.

Pop the tailgate and there’s a wide 106cm aperture to get in to, with vertical and carpeted sides and a hinged floor, hiding a further 70 litres of space. The floor also has rails with four sliding lashing points too, preventing precious loads from rolling around loosely in the boot.

Volume is less of an issue collecting a Christmas tree – it’s length that we needed and again the 308 SW doesn’t disappoint. There’s a ski hatch flap in the centre armrest but the fir was too substantial around its crown to poke through there, even while wrapped in its festive fishnet.

Tumbling the 60:40 split rear seats is an easy task thanks to release levers moulded into the sides of the boot (there are buttons on top of the seat backs too if you’re doing it from the passenger area).

Pull on them and in a single, slick action, the backrest tumbles forward and the seat cushion sinks too, allowing for a flat load bed. Peugeot calls them Magic Flat seats, although there was no sign of Paul Daniels at any stage.

Both backrests folded, there’s 1,660 litres of space liberated in the Peugeot, now beaten in two-seater mode by both the cavernous Civic Tourer (1,668 litres) and the gargantuan Octavia estate (1,740 litres).

Despite discovering that the tree which looked seven feet tall in the ground a fortnight earlier had somehow  grown another 12 inches before being felled, it slotted into the 308 SW with ease. Apart from the ear-bashing I received from Lily (aren’t you going to help?/why are you taking so many pictures/hurry up it’s freezing) that is.

Tree top nestled between the front seats, its accompanying netting remaining clear of the gear knob and with no manual hand brake lever for it to get tangled up with, we set off back home. Despite not being tied down, the tree barely moved along the winding B-road route back to the house, shedding only a few needles in the process.

Once we were back and Operation Remove Tree was successfully completed, all that remained was to return the back seats to their usable positions, a simple manoeuvre undertaken by pulling the seatbacks towards their locking points, with the seat bases rising in unison and returning to their usual positions.

Job done.

In the next update I’ll be taking a closer look at how economical the Peugeot 308 SW’s BlueHDi engine’s proving to be compared to its official fuel efficiency claim.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas.

Total mileage: 4,777 miles (started at 2,457)
Average mpg
: 47.8mpg (calculated)