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Peugeot 308 SW Test Drive Review

Date: 01 September 2014   |   Author:

We've already driven the new 308 SW in its most efficient 85g/km 1.6 diesel form, but the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel is also of real interest to fleet.

Despite the extra power, CO2 still impresses at 105g/km - that's a single gramme better than Seat's Leon, and 19g/km to the good against the 163hp Ford Focus. It's also slightly more efficient than the VW Golf and Skoda Octavia estates, and no other rival load-lugger of equivalent power can offer lower emissions.

The styling is classy and understated, too, while the interior is high quality and dominated by the huge touch-screen that controls all the multimedia and climate functions. It helps the aesthetics, but by removing nearly all the buttons on the dash to create the clean look, Peugeot has introduced complication when it comes to retuning the radio, changing the temperature, or performing any other screen-based function that would previously have been carried out at the touch of a button.

But the driving experience is much-improved and moves the 308 up with the class best, while load space is peerless at 660 litres, proving the 308 can do efficiency, decent looks, a good drive, practicality and interior quality.

Residuals are reasonable at 33.4% for the top-spec Feline model we tested, although further down the range there is more value to be had. This same engine in Allure spec saves £1600, but goes without the panoramic roof, larger alloys, keyless go and dynamic cruise control, all of which most drivers will live without. But standard kit on the Allure and Active (£1450 cheaper) trims is impressive, with navigation, climate control and rear parking sensors offered on both. Allure brings reversing camera, front parking sensors and larger alloys over the Active, among other additions.

Meanwhile, the engine feels more potent than the 150hp quoted, and defies logic by combining plenty of performance with excellent efficiency.

The new 308 SW isn't quite perfect, but the 150hp diesel and its 85g/km 1.6 HDi sibling are both well worth a look.