The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Available new from £33,585
If you want a spacious family car with good looks that isn’t an SUV, then the 508 Station Wagon could be up your street. It’s spacious, has a quirky interior with lots of good tech, drives well and comes in petrol, diesel and hybrid forms.
Reasons to buy
- Huge boot
- Quirky design
- Modern tech
At a glance
Running costs for a Peugeot 508 SW
SUVs may be the current flavour of the month, but they have several disadvantages over smaller cars, most notably weight. That’s where estates such as the Peugeot 508 SW (the SW stands for station wagon) can be useful. Indeed, its relatively svelte body means running costs are very reasonable, with around 44-50mpg from the 2.0 diesel models possible when driving on a mixture of roads. The 2.0 BlueHDI 160 will emit 148g/km of carbon dioxide, putting it in the £215 a year VED bracket.
Reliability of a Peugeot 508 SW
Peugeot has been performing well in the JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Survey, an independent customer satisfaction survey, and in 2019 Peugeot led the manufacturer rankings outright. The company offers the 508 SW with a two-year unlimited-mileage manufacturer warranty, and a third year of cover is added to this by Peugeot dealers.
Safety for a Peugeot 508 SW
The 508 SW has a wealth of equipment geared towards keeping you and yours safe. It has driver and front passenger airbags (including a passenger airbag deactivation function for those who want to ride with young children up front), side thorax airbags for front passengers and front and rear curtain airbags. Children are well covered, too, thanks to three Isofix points – one up front and two in the rear.
As for active safety tech, the 508 SW gets active lane positioning assist to help keep you in lane as well as automatic emergency braking for those moments when you’re not paying attention or get caught by surprise. Usefully, the car also comes with a small steel space-saver spare tyre, meaning you’ll be able to change a flat tyre in the event of a puncture, rather than having to rely on temperamental puncture repair kits at the roadside.
How comfortable is the Peugeot 508 SW
The 508 SW is on the large side, so there’s lots of room, though the massive centre console means it doesn’t feel particularly spacious for those who ride up front. The upshot is that the console has a large central cubby for storage, as well as some stowage directly beneath for stashing things out of sight. You also get a pair of drinks holders and large door pockets.
The quality of the materials inside the cabin is impressive, with a really pleasant mix of finishes and textures that make it feel classy and visually appealing. The seats are comfortable, the suspension is well-judged, and the cabin is quiet, making for a pleasant ride even on long journeys.
The driving position may come as a surprise to some. You sit low in the car, which SUV-lovers may not appreciate, and the extra-small, non-circular steering ‘wheel’ is an acquired taste. It can feel faintly ridiculous to be driving such a large car with such a small steering wheel, though you do get used to it over time.
That’s plenty of leg and headroom in the rear, even for passengers over 6ft, while the boot is massive. Total capacity with the rear seats up is 530 litres, which increases to 1,780 litres with the seats folded down. That’s on a par with many SUVs, with plenty of room for big suitcases or a large supermarket shop. Beware the load lip, however, which can make extracting large, heavy objects tricky.
Features of the Peugeot 508 SW
The cabin design is very unusual, with a touchscreen providing access to most of the car’s functions, even those you’d expect to use a physical button for. That’s not bad in itself, but we’d prefer heating and cooling controls to be done via physical buttons rather than having to faff around with a touchscreen.
The piano-like shortcut buttons below the main display are odd, too. At first, it’s difficult to know what all of them too, because their shallow angle makes reading their icons more difficult than it might be. The instrument binnacle is also occasionally difficult to see because the top of the odd-shaped steering wheel tends to get in the way, but once you get your driving position just right, you should be fine.
The basic Active package gives you an 8-inch touchscreen, while the more expensive Allure gets a 10-inch display with keyless go, parking sensors and front driver and passenger seat heating. Our GT Line test car also gets a smartphone charging pad, 18-inch diamond cut alloys and full LED lights both front and rear.
Power for a Peugeot 508 SW
Peugeot offers great choice with the 508 SW when it comes to engines, with diesels, petrols and a hybrid available. Those who fancy a diesel have a choice of either a 1.5-litre BlueHDi engine with 131hp or a 2-0-litre BlueHDI with 160hp. Our 2.0-litre test car felt nippy with 0-62mph done and dusted in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 140mph.
Manual and automatic gearboxes are available, though the manual can only be equipped with the smaller diesel engine. The automatic gearbox is generally satisfactory, but can be slow to kick down a gear when you need more acceleration, so you may need to be patient or plan ahead when overtaking.
Throttle response is generally quite lethargic, especially when pulling away at roundabouts or junctions. Those interested in outright power should look towards the hybrid model, which delivers a quite impressive 225hp, though its fuel economy isn’t actually as impressive as the top diesel’s.
Those who like to drive for pleasure will be pleased to hear the 508 SW handles well. It grips the road with tenacity and feels more sure-footed and engaging than the majority of SUVs in its class.