Review of the Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate
The new Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate is a big, comfortable and very good looking large family car that, while not quite as practical as some rivals, is able to offer one of the best cabins in this sector.
It’s also one of the best value-for-money cars in this market that’s essentially a larger version of the sophisticated 508 Saloon. This means you get all that car’s star qualities – a classy interior, insulation – as well as more space and usability.
Peugeot have been in manufacturing since the start of the 19th century. Their first steam-powered car was produced in 1889. Peugeot have a long history when it comes to making cars.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate review.
Overview of the Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate
On the Road
Not many estate cars can claim to be agile and lively, but the 508 SW is one of them. It’s not quite as sharp as, say, a Ford Estate, but it’s much easier and more enjoyable to drive than the 407, the car it replaced a few years back.
So what you have here is well-weighted steering, as well as plenty of communication and precision.
There’s plenty of grip on offer too, and the 508 can even be described as something of a driver’s car. If you ever drove the 407, just know this – the 508 SW is a vast improvement.
In terms of its engines, a 1.6-litre diesel sits at the bottom of the range. It develops 120bhp, gets you from a standstill to 62mph in just over 10.0 seconds, and while it feels nice and relaxed, it does also offer a good amount of grunt. It feels perfectly confident out on the motorway, and, as long as you do some forward planning, it executes an overtake without much hassle.
Next up is a 2.0-litre diesel that develops 150bhp. It’s our top pick and is a fantastic all-rounder that’s both performative and efficient. It’s also easy to drive, doesn’t make too much of a racket and copes well with the car on a full load.
Rounding off the range is a 180bhp variant of the 2.0-litre diesel engine. It’s paired up with a hesitant automatic gearbox, and this proves to be a bit of a turn-off. The transmission finds it hard to pick the right gear at the right time, and always ends up choosing the one that’s best for fuel economy. As such, we think most buyers will overlook it.
Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Interior, Design and Build
The 508 SW is pretty much just as well insulated as the Saloon variant on which it’s based, with Peugeot adding lots of sound deadening materials to keep wind, road and engine noise to a minimum.
Ride quality is good too, while the driver’s seat and steering wheel is plenty adjustable.
The dashboard, meanwhile, is pure upmarket stuff. It might not be able to match the VW Passat in terms of out-and-out quality, but it beats the whole competition where design flair is concerned.
A touchscreen display is the highlight of the dashboard. The problem is that as great as it looks, and as many features as it comes with, getting used to it will take you some time.
Build quality, meanwhile, is excellent.
Is the Peugeot 508 SW Diesel practical? Four adults can sit in comfort on longer trips, and the car is definitely a lot bigger inside than the old 407. There’s plenty of space up front, storage solutions are good, and those sat in the rear have lots of head and legroom.
However, while Peugeot have added a few clever features to enhance the usability of the boot – such as a one-touch button that folds the rear seats – the fact that it measures just 512-litres is a major disappointment. Many rivals are able to offer bigger boots – much bigger in some cases.
Are Peugeot cars reliable? Read our unbiased assessment of the French brand.
Equipment and Safety of the Peugeot 508 SW Diesel
Standard kit is good across the range, with the entry-level model coming with all-round electric windows, a digital radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic lights and wipers, twin-zone climate control, sat-nav, a 7” touchscreen and daytime running lights.
The Allure model adds a full-length panoramic sunroof, keyless go, rear parking sensors, and heated, half-leather power-adjustable seats.
Next up is the GT model, a model that nets you a leather interior, 19” alloys, a power-operated boot lid, a colour head-up display, twin exhaust pipes and LED headlights.
Safety-wise, Euro NCAP awarded the 508 SW 5/5 for its crash test performance. Its standard safety kit includes a pair of ISOFIX fixtures, lots of airbag’s, cornering brake control, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist and an electrical stability programme.
Costs of the Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate
Prices for the new car start at £25,000 and rise to as much as £33,000. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the 1.6-litre diesel engine will be the most attractive if price is a big priority of yours. It can return as much as 67.3mpg on a good day and emits 104g/km of CO2 at the most.
The bigger 2.0-litre 150bhp adds more oomph and it’s actually more economical than the 1.6-litre diesel. It returns 72.4mpg on a good day and emits 110g/km.
Rounding off the range is a 2.0-litre 180bhp GT model that returns 64.2mpg and emits 114g/km of CO2.
Insurance-wise, the 508 SW is on the expensive side of things, with the basic model sitting in group 21 out of 50.
Pros and Cons of the Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate
Cheap to run
All models can return over 64mpg on a good day, and they’re all clean, too.
A solid all-rounder
This SW variant builds on everything that’s so good about the Saloon variant, with the result being that it’s an excellent all-rounder.
It’s elegant, comfortable and has a real upmarket feel.
It’s higher spec models are more expensive than rivals.
It won’t hold onto its value after 3 years as well as some rivals.
Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate vs Ford Mondeo Diesel Estate vs Volkswagen Passat Diesel Estate
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate.
Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate vs Ford Mondeo Diesel Estate
The new Ford Mondeo Diesel Estate might be bigger than the hatchback version but it’s actually better looking. It’s also quiet on the move and super safe.
On the road, the Mondeo has traditionally been one of the best – if not the best – cars to drive in this sector. This time around, Ford have watered down its driving experience but it still engages you.
However, it’s not as engaging as it once was, with Ford shifting the onus to comfort and relaxation. The end result is a car that feels really grown up. Ride quality is excellent, and the fact that the steering is so light means that it’s easy to drive in the towns and cities.
In terms of its engines, there’s just the one diesel on offer, but it’s available in two separate power guises. The smaller of the two develops 148bhp, while the bigger variant develops a meatier 177bhp.
Both are quiet on the move but neither engine feels especially quick. This is despite the 177bhp variant being able to complete the 0-62 dash in just 8.4 seconds if you stick to two-wheel-drive. Both variants can be specified with four-wheel drive, although doing so will put a dent in performance.
Running costs? The 148bhp variant can return as much as 67.3mpg on a good day, while the 177bhp variant is good for 62.8mpg economy at best. Adding four-wheel drive will change these figures for the worse – and quite dramatically so.
Inside, the Mondeo is better built than ever, looks and feels more mature, and is better insulated than ever. All in all, this is a really relaxed cabin that’s a pleasant place to spend your time on the road.
The dashboard is dominated by an 8” touchscreen that’s reduced the need for button clutter, and the quality of the interior trim is far higher than any we’ve seen in a past Mondeo.
Is the Ford Mondeo Diesel Estate practical? It’s roomier than last time, with Ford dispensing with the sloping roofline to free up more headroom. Meanwhile, the large windows create the illusion of more space.
Two adults can sit in comfort in the rear, the doors open nice and wide for easy access, and the boot measures 525-litres. That makes it smaller than its predecessor and – like the Peugeot – it’s some way off the class leaders. Fold the rear seats and you can extend it to 1,630-litres.
Peugeot – £25,000 – £33,000
Ford – £32,695
Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate vs Volkswagen Passat Diesel Estate
The Volkswagen Passat Diesel Estate sets the benchmark in this class against which all others will be measured.
On the road, it won’t rock your socks if you’re looking for entertainment, but it’s refined, responsive, quiet and a pleasure to drive when you just want to take it easy.
Moreover, it now shares its mechanical basis with the likes of the Audi A3, which means it’s more engaging than ever. Volkswagen have also cut 85kg off its weight in a move that has had a positive effect on handling, agility and economy.
In terms of its engines, a 1.6-litre TDI diesel might sit at the bottom of the range but it’s got plenty of power and will satisfy most buyers.
That said, a 2.0-litre TDI 148bhp diesel engine is our top pick. It’s smooth, quiet, works well on the motorway and has a 0-62 time of 8.9 seconds.
A 187bhp variant of the same engine can be paired up with a DSG automatic ‘box and has a 0-62 time of 7.9 seconds, while the 237bhp variant comes with four-wheel drive as standard, and covers the 0-62 dash in 6.3 seconds.
Running costs? The 1.6-litre engine is the most frugal among the diesels and can return as much as 74mpg on a good day – an incredible number for a large estate car. It also emits under 100g/km of CO2, and has a BiK rating of 24%.
The 2.0-litre 148bhp variant is good for returns of 67.3mpg at best if you stick to the manual gearbox, and 61.4mpg if you specify the twin-clutch DSG automatic.
Inside, there’s no match for the Passat in this sector where quality is concerned. It’s another top-notch VW product that comes with all the trimmings. The standard of the materials used is high, fit and finish is excellent, and there are plenty of soft-touch plastics in use.
An 8” touchscreen is standard when you get to the Business model, but even the 6.1” display of the entry-level models is a class act. The dashboard, meanwhile, is very logically arranged and everything is where you’d expect it to be.
One extra thing we’d say, though, is that the Passat can’t compete with the Peugeot in the style stakes. If this cabin lacks anything, it’s design flair.
Is the Volkswagen Passat Diesel Estate practical? Its gigantic 650-litre boot blows the 508 SW out of the water. As well as being big, it’s also really user-friendly and can extend to as much as 1,780-litres by folding the rear seats. That said, the seats can’t be folded totally flat.
Other than that, this has always been a spacious car. In 2018, it’s roomier than ever. The seats are comfortable, driver and passenger alike get plenty of leg and headroom, but one disappointment is that storage solutions aren’t as plentiful – or as clever – as we expected.
VW – £24,550 – £39,355
Verdict of our 2018 Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate Review
A consummate all-rounder – practical, comfortable, nice to look at and even luxurious. It might not be as sharp as the Mondeo, or as popular, but it feels more upmarket and ultimately impresses us more. The new Peugeot 508 SW Diesel Estate is definitely worth a test drive – and maybe more.
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