This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Peugeot 508 SW review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

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.