Peugeot 508 SW: Tanks it

  • Completes Cornish 800-mile trip on just one tank of fuel
  • Averages a genuine 52.1mpg with mix of driving conditions
  • Carries holiday clobber, bike, three adults and two kids

It is a sign of how popular the Peugeot estate has become. Whenever a member of staff faces a long trip or needs to transport a lot of clobber it’s the Peugeot 508 SW keys that are fished out of the draw.

So when a week-long holiday Cornwall featuring hundreds of miles behind the wheel and almost inevitable August traffic jams the Peugeot was my number one choice.

First off I had a race bike I need to take with me (nothing like cycling up a one-in-four hill for a good cardio workout). By flipping down of one side of the rear seat I could slide the bike into the loadbay with the front forks resting on the rear seat back (front wheel removed) and still have plenty of room for the rest of my luggage and food.  

That was the easy part. With car packed I faced a solid six hours of driving with the vast majority of it on motorways. With the iPod plugged in I hit the roads. If there is one thing the Pug does well is eat miles. The driver’s seat has a good amount of adjustment and I found it easy to set up a comfortable driving position – good enough to manage three hours without the need for a break.

Thanks to the steering wheel controls it was easy to both set and control the cruise, keep an eye on fuel consumption and range remaining plus switch between iPod music and the radio. It took me a little while to familiarise myself with the controls and that meant I could keep my eyes mostly on the road and my hands always on the steering wheel.

Apart from one pit stop for much-needed coffee and breakfast, the car simply covered the miles without fuss or drama and delivered a driver to Falmouth still fresh enough to enjoy the rest of the day.

Once in Cornwall the car then served as the main transport for my friend and his family as well as we visited the various Cornish attractions and sights. Again the 508 estate was able to whisk three adults and two kids, plus a host of beach clobber including wind breaks without fuss to the various crowded beaches on the Cornish coast.

And despite the car’s capacious interior the 508 SW wasn’t difficult to steer down narrow lanes or guide into tight parking spots. The rear parking sensors proved very helpful here.

Perhaps the car’s greatest strength was not revealed until I got back after a week spent exploring Cornwall. With a 324-mile trip to Cornwall plus same back and a host of driving up and down Cornish hills, the car managed a truly impressive 820.2 miles before I decided to refuel (the trip computer claimed there was 43 miles to go before the diesel ran out).

Brimming the tank took nearly 72 litres which means the car averaged a genuine 52.1 mpg over the entire Cornish trip. That is getting close to its claimed average of 58mpg. Whether you could stretch the tank range to cover a 1,000 mile journey is doubtful but I wouldn’t bet against it.

So huge tank range, a big boot, very comfortable and easy to drive – not hard to see why then so many of Parkers' staff reach for the Peugeot’s keys when a long-distance jaunt looms.

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Peugeot 508 SW clocks

That's 820 miles on one tank of diesel and there's still 43 miles to go

Current mileage: 20,098 miles

Average mpg: 50.1