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Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Behind the wheel

  • Dashboard shared with the Fastback
  • Unique and eye-catching design
  • Impressive quality, but won’t suit all

Peugeot 508 SW interior

To drive, and to ride in, the 508 SW is much like the Fastback, apart from being a lot lighter and airier in the rear cabin. The driver can see more through the rear screen, too.

The i-Cockpit is of course Peugeot's cabin-design speciality, the tiny, low-mounted steering wheel backed here by a particularly versatile TFT instrument display panel configurable in multiple ways.

The central screen has a row of direct-access keys below, but we struggled to see the icons on the top of the 'piano keys'. If, however, you’re using the car every day, you’ll quickly learn what each one does.

Depending on your stature, you’ll either feel nicely cocooned in the 508, or a little claustrophobic. If the i-Cockpit works for you, the high centre console, high-set dials and low, small steering wheel work really well. It all feels more special than many of its German rivals and, on the whole, has the quality to back it up.

That steering wheel takes a little getting used to, the 508 feeling a touch hyperactive and 'darty' until you have recalibrated your movements, but there's no doubt that it adds to the 508's feeling of agility and responsiveness.

Some may find it tough to find a good driving position without the rim of the ‘wheel obstructing the instrument panel, it sitting low and making some feel like they are perched too high up in the cabin. This isn’t a problem for everybody, though: take a test drive to see if it suits your body shape.

There's a fine tally of safety systems, mostly standard. Night Vision (not standard) picks up the presence of pedestrians and sounds a warning if there's a danger of contact (it's a touch over-cautious). If you turn off the overly enthusiastic lane-keeping assistance, perhaps because you could do without the steering wheel's tugging on a narrow, twisting road, then you have to put up with a distracting yellow warning light.

Comfort and driving position

  • Adaptive suspension available on most models
  • Worth paying extra for as ride can be fidgety
  • Excellent seats on all models boosts comfort

Peugeot 508 SW driving position

Once you’re behind the wheel of the 508 and – if it suits you – the comfort levels are excellent. On any model, the seats offer a lovely squishy quality while remaining supportive at the same time. There’s a good amount of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, just make sure the i-Cockpit setup works for you.

In terms of ride comfort, the 508 is good, but can be a little fidgety over rough surfaces, even on cars with smallest wheels (and fattest tyres). A solution to this is specify adaptive suspension which gives you options to tweak the ride between Normal, Comfort and Sport settings. Normal and Comfort show little difference and have a floaty quality, while Sport firms things up but can make it a little fidgety. A sweet spot in the range would be an Allure or GT Line model with adaptive suspension for a nice combination of comfy ride and excellent seats.

Otherwise the 508 SW is a very relaxing car. Refinement is excellent with very little noise from the engine making its way into the cabin, while general road noise is also well suppressed. The only thing compromising the quiet is a bit of wind noise around the tops of the doors. They’re frameless so tend to let a little more noise in than a regular door.

It’s comfy in the back too, as long as you’re not too tall. The seats themselves are very comfortable, but foot room isn’t plentiful even if legroom is adequate.