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Traditionally, lifestyle estates have tended to be the preserve of German manufacturers, who rather than sully their upmarket image by stooping into hatchback territory, offer estate, or 'Touring' or 'Avant' versions of their executive saloons.
This has got Peugeot thinking that if it offers an estate version of its stylish 508 saloon, which is somewhat bigger than the German 'lifestylers' but nowhere near as prodigious as wagons from the 'commercial' end of the market, then they might just be onto a winner.
With its swooping lines, pillarless windows, sculpted side swathes and fancy running lights, the SW is certainly very easy on the eye and has plenty of wow factor inside.
Along with loads of plush looking and feeling materials, the dash and central console feature futuristic looking instrumentation, banks of slender piano key-inspired switches, and Peugeot's familiar dinky, flat top and bottomed steering wheel. It all looks very flash, but maybe not to everyone's eyes.
If you are somewhere around, or below, average height, then no matter how you adjust your seat or fiddle with the height and reach adjustable steering column, finding a comfortable driving position and locating the steering wheel in a position where it doesn't block out the instrumentation is near impossible.
Another visually challenging aspect is rear visibility. Although the SW's roofline doesn't slope as abruptly as its saloon sibling, the view in the rear mirror is still extremely restricted, so you'll be glad that reversing sensors and a rear-view camera are standard from the Allure trim up.
The SW is also 4cm longer than the saloon in order to free up more boot space.
Access to the load bay is quite narrow, but there is virtually no lip to overcome, and overall it is a usable, boxy shape that measures 530 litres with the seats in place - that's a good deal bigger than your typical compact exec-based estate, but a lot smaller than the van proportions of a Skoda Superb.
Naturally, the seat backs split-fold 60/40 and they are easily folded by pressing buttons either side of the boot entrance or by levers next to the headrests. They lie almost flat too and free up 1,780 litres of luggage capacity.
On the petrol side, there is a choice of 1.6-litre Puretech 180 and Puretech 225 engines, but of more interest to fleets are the 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130 and 2.0-litre BlueHDi 160 and 180 units.
The 130 is the only one available with a manual gearbox - everything else gets an eight-speed automatic - but when paired to the auto, it is the pick of the range. Granted, it's no ball of fire, but it's very smooth and responsive, and for the most part it's deathly quiet, providing you don't go mad with your size 10s.
Like all the engines in the line-up it is Euro 6 compliant and delivers impressive fuel and CO2 figures.
The rest of the driving experience is a bit of a mixed bag. The ride is generally smooth with a fair bit of cushy, vertical body travel, although the suspension can feel a little unsettled when driving over rippled surfaces. It is commendably quiet as it transitions over each lump and bump, however.
The way the car steers is less well resolved. The weighting is quite inconsistent and the nose of the car is initially reluctant to change direction on turn-in, followed by a distinct weight transfers across the front axle. Consequently, you often find yourself shuffling the wheel back and forth to try and create a smooth cornering action.
Peugeot 508 SW BlueHDi 130 Auto Allure
On sale: May 2019
Residual value: 37%
Service, maintenance and repair: £2,478
Cost per mile: 42.79p
Fuel consumption: 72.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 103g/km (25%)
BIK 20/40% a month: £122/£245
Boot space: 530 litres
Engine size/power: 1,499cc/130hp