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Peugeot 508 SW: Test Drive Review

Date: 24 June 2011   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £24,615
Key rival: Ford Mondeo estate

Peugeot's 508 has got off to a good start since launching in April, with orders surpassing - albeit conservative - expectations, according to the carmaker.

The successor to the 407 has also received an array of plaudits from the press so far, and the SW estate version, expected to account for around 55% of the model's total volume, is no exception. It is now a far more valid competitor against volume rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and Mazda 6, while it has been lauded by many as worthy of comparison with the Audi A4 and BMW 3-series thanks to its quality interior finish.

The most economical and efficient engine in the SW range is the 1.6 e-HDi with start/stop and an auto gearbox that's confusingly called an electronically controlled manual gearbox, or EGC, which emits 110g/km CO2. However, there has been an overwhelmingly negative response to this gearbox, and either the manual or traditional auto gearbox is a much safer bet on the 508.

We tested the most powerful diesel, a 2.0-litre 163hp engine with impressive emissions of 130g/km, beating comparative rival iterations including the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer and Ford Mondeo both at 139g/km.

This is a punchy, if not fast, engine to drive, and the excellent handling on the 508 SW is particularly worthy of note.

There are five trims: Access, SE, Active, Allure and GT. The Allure spec, as tested, includes heated front seats, cruise control, rear parking sensors, folding door mirrors, electric parking brake with hill assist, 18-inch alloys and auto headlamps and wipers. A nice touch on the SW is the panoramic glass roof with an area of 1.62m2, an increase of 25% over the 407 SW.

While the 508 isn't class-leading in terms of boot size, it's not much behind either, offering 512 litres of space against the Mondeo's 528, the Insignia's 540 and the Mazda 6's 519. It beats the A4 Avant at 490 litres and the BMW 3-series Touring at 460.

Residual values against its main competitors are similar, sticking at around 30%, although the Insignia loses out at 27.2%. All things considered, the Mazda6 has the cheapest cost-per-mile figure at 57.6p compared with 59.1p for the 508.

The 508 SW is definitely worth a serious look. The Mazda6 or the ubiquitous Mondeo remain the better financial options, but the Peugeot is far more worthy of consideration than it has been in a long time.

Peugeot 508 SW
P11D price£24,615
Model price range£19,175-£29,975
National Insurance£2038
Cost per mile59.1p
Fuel consumption56.5mpg
CO2 (tax) 130g/km/(19%)
BIK 20/40% per month£78/£156
Service interval20,000mls
Insurancegroup 22
Boot space (min/max)512/1118 litres
Engine size/power1997cc/163hp
Top speed/0-62mph130mph/10.1secs
On sale April 2011
VerdictAn impressive entry
into the upper
medium estate sector


An impressive entry into the upper medium estate sector