The launch of Peuegot’s latest estate extends the number of models in the 308 line-up and the amount of the load-carrying capacity the range has to offer.

The estate, SW version of Peugeot‘s Ford Focus fighter continues to be unique in the sector by offering seven-seats – although confusingly that differs by trim level.

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On the lowest and basic S trim level there’s a bench rear seat and no option of a third row. Move up to Sport and the SW is still a five-seater, but the three rear seats are individually mounted, removable and individually slide; two more seats, creating a third row, are also a £300 option. Hop up to SE and the seven individually mounted seats are standard along with a host of extra standard kit that makes the £1200 price gap from Sport to SE one that could be worth bridging.

But we tried what’s likely to be the more popular Sport trim, complete with the optional extra seats. Predictably, given the size of the lower medium estate car, the rear row is very much a child-only zone. It’s not easy to clamber in and out of and there’s minimal legroom once you’re in place. However, the five rearmost seats’ ability to be independently removed is handy and creates a huge 1856-litre maximum load area – although it does give rise to the old MPV storage issue of what to do with the seats you’ve taken out of the car. The seats are also pretty heavy, and folding the rearmost two eats into luggage capacity; other makers such as Vauxhall or Chrysler have found better ways of packaging seven seats in their MPVs.

Other touches unique to the SW compared to the 308 hatchback include a long panoramic roof offering plenty of light across the whole car, and a split-rear tailgate that means you can open just the glass portion in tight spaces. Both are standard on Sport or SE trim.

The 110PS 1.6 diesel is likely to be the popular choice, and the 139g/km unit works well with the car. But one of the consequences is that it adversely affects ride quality, making it slightly uncomfortable. However, overall, as a utilitarian, flexible estate with occasional space for seven including a couple of little ones, then the 308 does a decent, if unexciting job.