508 SW GT BlueHDi 180
the number of SUVs and
crossovers Peugeot now make,
you could be forgiven for overlooking
the French carmakers grand tourer
range of saloons and SW-badged
WITH PRICES KICKING OFF from £26K and topping out with change from £35K,
the 508 estate offers a lot of space for your money. Looks-wise the 508 SW 'station
wagon' is a 'bit of all right', with clean and classy lines that need no embellishments,
body sculpting or bodykit add-ons to make it look appealing.
Eye-catching features include distinctive and high-tech headlight units with
highly-structured lenses sitting above the sweeping arcs of daytime running
lights, a wide horizontally-slatted chrome grille (sporting the brand's rampant
lion motif) fronting a long, profiled bonnet that runs back to steeply raked
The 508 estate's long body is punctuated by 19-inch two-tone multi-spoke alloy
wheels and fluently finished off at the tail with wraparound light units above
neatly integrated trapezoidal chromed tailpipes. Overall the Frenchie's kerb-appeal
is all the more appealing given its well-tailored understatement, and is a swish
alternative to the German estates.
estate cars like the 508 are bought for two very good reasons: masses of cabin
room and stacks of cargo space. The near five-metre-long 508 satisfies on both
counts not only will it accommodate five in comfort but when it's time
to load-up, few wagons can beat it on luggage or cargo space: its 758-litre
boot expands to a huge 1,865-litre loadbay at the drop of a seat.
like the 508 are bought
for two very good
reasons: masses of
cabin room and stacks
of cargo space.
The near five-metre-long
508 satisfies on both
counts not only will it
accommodate five in
comfort but few wagons
can beat its 758-litre boot
What marks out Peugeot cabins these days is the classy finishing to match the
more upmarket placement of their cars. You can leave the electronic key in your
pocket or handbag; the door unlocks automatically the moment your fingers curl
around the door handle always welcome this feature, especially on cold,
wet days (and it's on all four side doors not just the front pair).
The seats, upholstered in high-grade soft black Nappa leather with red detail
stitching, are invitingly well padded. Three-stage heating can, of course, be
taken for granted (it's comprehensive too, reaching high up your back as well
as fully under your thighs) and there's extra cosseting in the form of a massage
function for the driver which provides up to an hour of 'therapy'. In addition
there's a two-setting memory that stores the head-up display settings along
with seat and mirror positioning.
Both front seats are electrically-operated and there's also powered lumbar adjustment
along with head restraints that are particularly effective and easy to adjust,
so whoever is riding shotgun with you will also be perfectly comfortable too.
The driving position is spot-on and it's nice to see all the way down the bonnet
because it makes placing the 508 in heavy traffic a no-brainer. And making it
easy to keep your eyes on the road is a head-up display showing road speed,
cruise control and graphic navigation information in colour, viewed on a retractable
screen in the driver's line of sight. Added to which there's voice control for
hands-free operation of key functions.
Further enhancing the sense of space is a panoramic glass roof with a one-shot-op
sunblind for easy screening on the move; combined with the 508's large glazed
areas it make you feel as though you're riding in an open car. Light is a ruthless
shower-up of quality but in the 508 SW GT's case it only confirms the
first-rate trim and fit-and-finish.
Set dead-centre of the fascia is a seven-inch touchscreen featuring a comprehensive
infotainment, colour reversing camera, and 3D navigation system with Mirrorscreen
to accommodate your smartphone as well as Peugeot's Connect apps for finding
really useful things such as nearby parking spaces, fuel prices, traffic, weather
and tourist information. Reassuringly, Peugeot's Connect SOS and Assistance
is also standard-fit and calls for help in an emergency either in the event
of an accident or, less seriously, a breakdown.
fascia, centre stack and central tunnel meld together as if one seamless structure,
garnished with metallic-effect and high-gloss black inserts and satin chrome
filleting; the soft-touch fascia and other textured trim all feels pleasant
to the touch. And the leather and dark satin alloy selector knob fits comfortably
into your palm. Traditionalists will be pleased to learn that the climate control
is worked by manual controls, and not via the touchscreen.
508 estate handles
easily; loping along
on motorways it feels
well planted and poised
and on A and B roads
feedback through the
direct steering for the
driver to feel engaged
enough to make the
well-composed SW GT
feel reasonably nimble
despite its five-metre
Between the speedometer and rev-counter (capped with smaller gauges for oil
temp, water temp, and fuel) is a multifunction driver's display that shows digital
speed along with all the usual core data such as range, mpg, currently selected
media/audio, navigation visual prompts, etc all of which can be scrolled
though using the buttons on the steering wheel. Keeping you 'legal', the posted
speed limit is clearly displayed on the mapping.
In-cabin storage has been well thought out: the centre console includes a lidded
storage box ideal for a mobile or something sweet for the trip; the centre armrest
is hinged on the passenger's side for easier driver access; there are also long,
deep practical door bins, pop-out cupholders that retract in/out of the centre
stack (the perfect place for them!), and a glovebox with a dedicated section
that holds a full-size bottle.
Needless to say that as the flagship it's got the lot in addition to
items already mentioned you'll also find automatic dual-zone climate control,
an automatic electric parking brake with hill assist (switching off the engine
when the car is stationary triggers the parking brake to apply automatically),
front and rear parking sensors, powered one-shot windows, powerfold door mirrors
(on demand and automatically on locking-and-leaving), DAB digital radio, CD
player, Bluetooth, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control and speed limiter,
dark tinted side and rear windows.
Safety comes with a five-star Euro NCAP endorsement as well as blind spot monitoring,
auto lights and wipes, full LED headlights with automatic dipping and cornering
function, LED daytime running lights, front indicators, and front fog lamps,
tyre pressure monitoring, Electronic Stability Programme with Traction Control
and Dynamic Stability Control, driver and front passenger front and side airbags
plus curtain airbags for front and rear windows.
Now, about that 180bhp the Blue HDi diesels are clean-burners thanks
to Peugeot's AddBlue special exhaust cleaning technology that reduces harmful
NOx (nitrogen oxides) by up to 90%, eliminates 99.9% of particulates, and optimises
CO2 emissions. Open the fuel filler flap and you'll see a second smaller cap
for the AddBlue reservoir nothing to do there as it's topped up at each
that this welcome 'cleanliness' dents the 2.0-litre's willing 140mph performance
in any way press down firmly with your right foot and you'll find that
there's plenty of punch all through the rev-range (0-62 is done and dusted in
8.6 seconds). It's also well in-tune with the responsive six-speed automatic
transmission, feeling likeably keen and fluent at lower speeds and making light
work of heavy traffic as well as cruising serenely at 70mph, turning tiresome
motorway journeys into restful sojourns.
transmission, your wallet
take a beating
at the pumps over a
recorded an impressive
and worthy 52.7mpg.
On extended trips, a full
tank of fuel ensures
a long time between
forecourt visits with a
For those times when you need to up the pace, the autobox offers a Sport programme
made more joyful by a manual mode with paddle-shifters a finger-flick away from
the multifunction flat-bottomed wheel's leather rim; when discretion is the
better part of valour, there's a Snow programme.
And despite the 508's size and automatic transmission, your wallet won't take
a beating at the pumps officially this 180bhp automatic will return 64.2mpg
in the Combined Cycle; over a week's testing we recorded an impressive and worthy
52.7mpg. As usual, 'normal' drivers are likely to close the gap to the higher
figure. On extended trips, a full tank (almost sixteen gallons) of fuel ensures
a long time between forecourt visits with a continent-crossing 700+ mile range.
More important than outright handling for many 508 owners will be the ride quality.
Those riding in the 508 estate will have nothing to complain about; and they'll
genuinely enjoy its soothing comfort over long distances it flows along,
well insulated from bumps, in a way that doesn't let you forget that the GT
badge stands not so much for 'go-faster' but for 'Grand Tourer'.
The 508 estate also handles easily; loping along on motorways it feels well
planted and poised and on A and B roads there's sufficient feedback through
the direct steering for the driver to feel engaged enough to make the
well-composed SW GT feel reasonably nimble despite its five-metre length.
While the suspension's bias is towards comfort, it's nonetheless well judged
and keeps body lean to a minimum. Overall the estate version of the 508 serves
up a satisfying drive with good road-holding that will see you arriving as relaxed
as when you set out.
The rear cabin is definitely a prime spot for those who like to travel and arrive
unruffled as in the front, the rear cabin offers passengers shapely pleated
leather seats. Backrest angles are relaxing with plenty of legroom and there's
hat-wearing headroom. Three adults can be accommodated side-by-side but
why share when two can enjoy limo-like comfort. And if the sunblind is fully
open the light's fantastic. All of which makes it a fine place to hang out or
just dream away the miles as the 508 estate gets on with its 'Grand Tourer'
role something it does very nicely, thank you.
agreeable features include a wide and comfy drop-down central armrest with built-in
twin cupholders; these have a flip-up lid-cum-support that prevents any spills
if your driver is a tad over-enthusiastic. Back seat users also enjoy their
own air vents, damped grabs, coat hanger hooks, reading lights, real-world door
bins, and sturdy net pockets on the front seatbacks.
rear cabin is
definitely a prime spot for
those who like to travel
and arrive unruffled.
Backrest angles are
relaxing with plenty of
legroom and theres hat-
Open the sunblind and
the lights fantastic.
All of which makes it a
fine place to hang out or
just dream away
Playing the Grand
Tourer is something the
508 does very nicely...
Drivers ferrying children in the back will be glad of the switch on the driver's
door that lets them remotely deactivate the back windows and lock the rear doors,
as well as the Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer back seats.
To call 508 SW's boot 'large' really doesn't tell it like it is with
758 litres for luggage that can be extended to 1,865 litres for cargo by folding
the 60:40-split rear backrests, 'massive' is probably the more accurate description.
The tailgate opens high, the rear sill is set low, and the loadbay floor flat
and seamless, so loading cargo of any description is straightforward.
The one-touch retracting luggage roller blind in nice to have and saves time;
even opening or closing the tailgate is labour-saving power operation
(using the electronic key, fascia switch or tailgate button) is standard on
the GT estate.
Should you have a need to tow, then you can pull a braked trailer up to 1,475kg.
Other handy features include a ski-hatch, release levers in the boot sides for
the foldable seatbacks, bag holder hooks-cum-eyelets for the stretchy luggage
net, side bins which have lift-out front panels, and a quick latching dog guard.
Drive a 508 and you'll immediately take to its French style you'll never
feel rushed even when in a hurry; just at ease and in control. You can add to
that a spacious interior, high equipment tally, comfortable ride, and environmentally-friendly
and economical engine. I believe the only reason the 508 doesn't sell in far
bigger numbers is because it's actually a very well kept secret; much like a
great restaurant that people don't even tell their friends about as they want
to keep the pleasure all to themselves. ~ MotorBar
Peugeot 508 SW GT BlueHDi 180
Maximum speed: 140mph | 0-62mph: 8.6 seconds | Test Average: 52.7mpg
Power: 180bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2: 114g/km