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Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 HDI Test Drive Review

Date: 10 September 2014   |   Author: Tristan Young

Fresh from scooping European Car of the Year for the 308 hatchback, Peugeot is launching the estate version, as before badged SW.

Capitalising on the win, Peugeot is using the 308 SW to add three new engines to the range: a 130hp 1.2 petrol, a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel, and the power plant that's expected to be by far the biggest fleet seller, a 120hp 1.6 diesel.

This new 1.6 diesel, called Blue HDI, has impressive and class-leading, efficiency figures, which headline with CO2 at 85g/km alongside a combined fuel figure of 88.3mpg. In the hatch, these are even better at 82g/km and 91.1mpg. Such figures mean business purchasing is expected to make up 70% of the "few thousand" 308 estates that are thought will be sold in the UK each year.

The practicalities of the estate will also appeal. The boot is massive and has a claimed space of 660 litres with the seats up and beneath the parcel shelf. That's 50 litres more than the Skoda Octavia estate and 148 litres more than the 308 SW's 'big' brother the Peugeot 508 SW.

The boot is also a good practical, square shape, free from intrusions. The rear seats can be folded fully flat using a switch accessible from the rear of the car, and there's no lip to the boot ledge either. There are options for boot rails and securing points to help keep smaller items from rolling around the huge load area.

The extra space isn't just limited to the boot: the SW has an 11cm longer wheelbase than the five-door hatch with 3cm of that used for rear passenger legroom.

Up front, the cabin is just like the hatch: cleanly designed, well equipped and well built both in terms of material qualities and construction.

The driving experience is a good compromise between sporty and comfortable, although is altered by the size of wheels. On the Access trim and standard 16-inch wheels the ride is really comfortable, with the larger wheels offering more driver involvement.

The refinement of the new Blue HDI 1.6 diesel is superb, with minimal cabin boom or resonance at low revs. This is a particularly good thing because the gearing is long, meaning that at 30mph in fourth gear the engine is turning over at about 1000rpm. Equally, at 70mph in sixth gear the engine runs at 1750rpm, which results in some impressive real-world mpg figures. Fortunately, the engine pulls well from just above 1000rpm and is refined for a diesel all the way through the rev range.

If the residual values for the 308 SW are strong then they should combine with the competitive P11D price and impressive tax and mpg stats to give a whole-life cost second to none. Fleets should buy with confidence.

P11D price £20,140
Model price range £16,845-£25,145
Fuel consumption 88.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 85g/km (14%)
BIK 20/40% per month £46/£93
Service interval 12,500mls
Insurance (1-50) group 18
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 660/1775 litres
Engine size/power 1560cc/120hp
Top speed/0-60mph 123mph/12.1secs
On sale June 2014


Bigger and more efficient than a VW Golf estate