Pack­ing a premium punch

From the same stable as the im­pres­sive 508 Fast­back comes Peu­geot’s 508 SW es­tate

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - KENTMOTORS TEST DRIVE -

We could have pre­dicted that the sleek and sexy Peu­geot 508 would spawn a more prac­ti­cal es­tate model. After all, this mar­ket seg­ment is pep­pered with the things - and the 508 SW sits bang smack in be­tween more worka­day mod­els such as the Skoda Su­perb, and premium of­fer­ings like the BMW 3 Se­ries. At least that’s what Peu­geot wants you to think. In re­al­ity, it’s pitch­ing the 508 SW as a de­sign-fo­cused life­style es­tate the sort of car you’d buy if a VW Pas­sat is too straight-laced. WHAT’S NEW? Un­sur­pris­ingly, the front end is iden­ti­cal to the Fast­back model. The dif­fer­ence is hang­ing over the rear wheels - 40mm of it, in fact, which doesn’t sound a great deal. The in­creased height also means the SW sits 17mm higher than its Fast­back sib­ling, with a box­ier rear. Boot space is now 530 litres, a fair whack larger than the 487 litres of the Fast­back - and with the rear seats folded, 1,780 litres is lib­er­ated com­pared to the sa­loon’s 1,537 litres. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? The 508 SW doesn’t suf­fer at all for its bulkier bot­tom com­pared to the Fast­back model. There’s lit­tle doubt this is one of the most dy­namic mod­els - GTI aside - that Peu­geot’s pro­duced in years, and it’s re­ally rather good even when com­pared with premium ri­vals. Down a twist­ing B road, the 508 SW is gen­uinely en­joy­able, while it’s also a very com­fort­able cruiser. WHAT’S IT LIKE IN­SIDE? The 508 SW lifts its in­te­rior al­most un­changed from the Fast­back model, which means you get the lat­est evo­lu­tion of Peu­geot’s i-Cock­pit dash­board sys­tem. That’s def­i­nitely a good thing - the com­bi­na­tion of a squashed steer­ing wheel and high-set di­als has evolved since it was first in­tro­duced on the 208, and it’s now a re­ally com­fort­able place to sit and spend time. WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE? Peu­geot hasn’t re­vealed full UK spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the 508 SW just yet, but it’s a fair guess that trim lev­els will be sim­i­lar to the Fast­back. All cars get the i-Cock­pit with a touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment dis­play, ‘Con­nected’ nav­i­ga­tion, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, rear park­ing sen­sors and Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto com­pat­i­bil­ity. THE VER­DICT The Peu­geot 508 SW has the po­ten­tial to be a se­ri­ous player in this class - it looks fan­tas­tic, drives well, and has more per­son­al­ity than many of its ri­vals. That does come at a price though, and the SW is ex­pected to be a cou­ple of thou­sand pounds more than the al­ready ex­pen­sive Fast­back. Time will tell whether this move pays off for Peu­geot.

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