Peugeot 508 SW: Practicality prowess

  • Estate shows off its excellent load carrying capabilities
  • Plenty of practical touches to go with huge space
  • Low boot lip doubles up as an excellent seat

The main reason for choosing an estate like the Peugeot 508 SW is of course the added practicality.  

A week-long walking holiday in the Lake District was the ideal opportunity to see if the 508 SW could succeed in providing all the space and useful little touches needed.

So in went the two clothes bags, rucksack with walking boots and clothes plus the extended clothes bag that is often a further addition to a girlfriend’s/wife’s/partner’s standard bag of clothes. There was then a bag of laptop/iPad and camera kit, some home-baking and tennis rackets (don’t ask).

Fortunately the potential load space in the Peugeot is a substantial 512 litres - though it lags behind the Passat's 603 litres. If this isn’t enough, drop the rear seats and this rises to a massive 1,598 litres. Pretty impressive. With just our luggage there was no need to drop the seats and there was still a decent amount of space available.

This wasn’t the end though. Also going on the trip were some family members, and unfortunately their C4 Coupe couldn’t fit much in. You see, going to a self-catering lodge means enough food and good ale to last four people for seven days – plus extra, of course. Just in case.

This that meant I offered to take more in the Peugeot. As items were crammed in to the back, however, it was becoming apparent that to make sure eggs weren’t smashed and bread squashed I would have to drop the rear right hand side passenger and middle seat.

This would normally require a bit of scrabbling around the rear of the car. The 508 SW, however, has two levers in the boot space which you simply pull and the seats drop – similar to our Passat Estate. So with that, we had everything in and were ready to go.

Toward the end of the week we went off on a lengthy walk, which ended up being more mountain climbing, to the top of Harrison Stickle – one of the mountains made famous by Alfred Wainwright. After almost seven hours of hard work, and a pint of Jennings as reward, we got back to the car.

It was now that I found a couple more useful points in the rear of the Peugeot.

Firstly, there are two cubbies either side of the boot space that are the ideal size for  walking boots. This means you don’t get all the dirt on the carpeted boot floor, and instead just on the plastics – which is easier to clean off.

The second and more impressive feature is the low boot lip. This is ideal as it means you don’t have to struggle with heavy bit of luggage, or whatever you’re stuffing in the back of the car, to get them over a high lip. This wasn’t the best part of it though. I soon found that this also made a perfect seat to rest and gets out of those heavy, and somewhat smelly, walking boots.

With the holiday over, and a little more space with the food and beer gone, the Peugeot passed its first test with flying colours. Hopefully the rest of my time in the car can be just as successful.

Have you got a Peugeot 508 SW? We want to know what you think about your car in our Parkers Owners' reviews.

Current mileage: 2,846 miles

Average mpg: 46.2

Useful for carrying shopping, but better for some muddy walking boots.

Handles in the rear make it easier to lower the rear seats.

Low boot lip in the 508 SW makes it easy to load, but also a good resting place.