This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Peugeot 508 SW review.

4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Good looking estate that's great value used

Peugeot 508 SW (11-18) - rated 4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £19,990 - £35,004
Used price £1,630 - £19,085
Fuel economy
Not tested to latest standards
View pre-2017 economy specs
Road tax cost £0 - £210
Insurance group 19 - 37 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Good looks
  • Fun to drive
  • Competitive load space

CONS

  • No central cubbies
  • Automatic 'box still not perfect

Peugeot 508 SW rivals

Written by Parkers on

Is the Peugeot 508 SW any good?

For business drivers looking for more practicality than the saloon, the Peugeot 508 SW could be the car to choose. For many the SW is better looking than the saloon: it has more curves and an elegant shoulder line. However, don’t let the shape deceive you.

The SW may look very lengthy to the naked eye when compared with the saloon but it's only 2cm longer, giving the car good manoeuvrability in town as well as good road manners when out on the open road. The svelte shape of the SW may attract business or fleet drivers to its ranks but can it cut the mustard as a practical tourer for families at the weekends? It has its work cut out though because there are plenty of rivals with good credentials.

Peugeot 508 SW 2013 facelift

An update was announced for the 508 SW in 2013. Several of the trim levels were bolstered with more equipment to make the car more attractive to both private and fleet buyers. There was a hike in price too, but the extra equipment made it better value overall.

Practicality

When choosing a Sports Wagon or what we used to call an estate car (before the car industry got trendy and tried to come up with new, sexier words for estate cars), the necessity for flexibility and practicality was paramount for choosing a car like the 508 SW. Nowadays this is not so clear: some buyers tend to pick the SW over the saloon because they think that the new ‘estate cars’ of the 21st Century are better looking than their saloon counterparts.

So what has the 508 SW got in its locker? Load space with the seats in place is 660 litres and when folded this increases to 1,865 litres. Take a glance at some of its rivals' stats and you’ll notice that the 508 SW is a very competitive proposition in this sector. The Mondeo estate has 542/1,733, the Accord Tourer has 406/1,183 litres of loadroom, the Mazda6 has 519/1,751 litres and the Citroen C5 has a load space of 505/1,462.

The glove box and the door pockets are of a good size and the drinks holders are well hidden within the dash. Press the dash where they are stored and they will slide out for use. However, the lack of cubbies on the central console means loose change or your phone will have to be placed somewhere else – possibly in the door pocket.

Safety

All 508s feature ESP (Electrical Stability Programme) including ASR (Anti Skid Regulation) EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) and EBFD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) and CBC (Cornering Brake Control). The ESP also includes Hill Assist with intelligent traction control, which improves the vehicle's ability to accelerate and be driven on slippery road surfaces.

Standard safety kit also includes two front airbags, two side front airbags, two curtain front airbags and two isofix fixtures with three-point attachments at the rear. The front seats have new ‘curved’ head restraints designed to protect you against whiplash. There is no EuroNCAP rating as of yet but we expect the Peugeot 508 SW to perform well because the 407 SW received full marks when it was tested.

Interior

The 508 SW may only be 2cm longer than the saloon but the engineers have created a car that uses its interior space very well. Even with six-footers up front passengers in the rear have plenty of leg- and headroom. Choose the SW in Active trim and you get a panoramic roof as standard. This adds to the airy feel and is always a bonus if you need to carry small children.

The 407 was a little sub-standard when it came to build quality and switchgear but the 508 SW is much better. The soft plastics are of a much higher standard and the all-round build quality looks to be enhanced. The dash is clean but simple making life easy for the driver.

Not only is this car good to drive quickly, it is also very good at cruising. The ride is comfortable and although it may be a little firm for some, it's ideal for motorway journeys. With the sales mix expected to be around 80% fleet then this is perfect as a company car. Long journeys should be a breeze as the seats are well bolstered and offer good back support for both driver and front seat passenger.

The surroundings are quite plush and the refinement is boosted thanks to the standard sound-deadening windscreen and dampers on the front axle to reduce engine vibration. The head-up display, which means you can check your speed without taking your eyes of the road, is also very useful.

MPG and running costs

The most frugal engine on the 508 SW line-up is the 1.6 l e-HDi 112bhp engine mated to the six-speed EGC manual gearbox. The manufacturer claims that the 508 SW will average 64.2mpg. Servicing costs are usually on a par with Ford and Vauxhall and less expensive than the German brands.

Fleet manager’s car of choice will be the 1.6 l e-HDi 112 engine mated to the six-speed EGC manual gearbox. It emits 109g/km of CO2.

The Peugeot record on this front is improving. There have been few problems with the brand's most recent cars which included the RCZ and the 3008. The 508 has a solid feel to it and the plastics and interior trims are a massive improvement. The engines are proven and should perform well.

Engines

The 508 SW has two petrol and two diesel options but with different power outputs. The petrol engine choice starts with a 1.6-litre in 120bhp and 156bhp outputs whereas the five diesel engines comprise a 1.6-litre 112bhp, a 1.6-litre 112bhp with stop/start, a 2.0-litre with a manual 140bhp, a 163bhp auto and a 2.2-litre 200bhp auto. The favourite engine is likely to be the 1.6-litre 112bhp with the stop/start system because it has the lowest CO2 emissions and highest average fuel economy.

This variant emits 110g/km of CO2 and the car maker claims this engine will average 62.8mpg but don't expect it to push you back into your seat when you are on the move. However it is respectable: the benchmark sprint can be covered in 12.3s and it has an achievable top speed of 120mph. The quickest 508 SW is the 200bhp 2.2-litre diesel, which will make up a small amount of the SW sales but is likely to be the choice for user-choosers and enthusiastic drivers that need a car for practical reasons but still want an enjoyable car to drive.

The benchmark sprint can be reached in 8.4s and it has an achievable top speed of 144mph. The manual six-speed 'box mated to the majority of engines is a smooth-shifting piece of kit but if you do choose the Electronically Controlled Manual gearbox (ECG) you'll need to be almost psychic when changing gear because you need to anticipate the changes to avoid a lurching feeling.

The system isn't much fun but it seems to work better in the 508 than in the Citroen C4.

Agile, nimble and lively – not the classic traits of an estate car but the 508 SW has these in abundance. Yes, it falls somewhat short of the sharpness that the Ford Mondeo is well known for but the Peugeot car is a massive step forward from the now-defunct 407 SW. The steering is nicely weighted, it’s precise and the feedback is impressive. The steering rack is also quick and this adds to the enjoyment.

The 508 is also blessed with good front-end grip and although it is a better driver's car than the Citroen C5 estate or the VW Passat estate the Ford Mondeo has still got the edge on this new challenger from Peugeot. The chassis of the 508 SW is a world apart from the 407 SW – the boffins have engineered a well set-up car that offers practicality and good levels of fun.

Should you buy one?

The 508 SW would be a sound choice for anyone looking to make their driving experience comfortable and simple. It’s stylish on the outside and perfectly respectable inside.

It’s not the quickest by any means, but in terms of comfort this car is as good as rivals if not a little bit better. As a ceommuter, this 508 SW hits a lot of buttons, but if you wanted to push it any harder, you may find yourself feeling underwhelmed.

Peugeot 508 SW rivals

Other Peugeot 508 (2011 - 2018) models: