The driving position seems very high and although the steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach – some people felt a little uncomfortable behind the wheel.
Ride and Handling
The ride is on the soft side, perhaps a little bit floaty but not in a bad way and is very compliant on the poor road surfaces that plague the UK.
On ‘B’ roads we were surprised by how the 508 SW GT handles and it is more agile than an estate car should be. The handling is fairly direct and predictable – the GT version has a sophisticated front suspension system not seen on the other models. It uniquely features a drop link dual wishbone front axle. The dual wishbone and decoupling of bounce and steering functions which according to Peugeot allows for a very high level of body rigidity and driving accuracy – what it does do is offer plenty of front end grip and control any torque steer that might ruin your day.
Ease of Use
Getting in and out might require some consideration for some, there is quite a swooping roof line for the front occupants but the front sills have been cleverly reduced to allow your feet to easily follow you in.
The driving position seems very high and although the steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach – some people felt a little uncomfortable behind the wheel. The Driver’s and front passenger seats are electrically adjustable so getting into the ideal driving position with height/reach adjustable steering wheel should be fairly easy for all. There are two memory slots for the driver’s seat which is linked to the side mirrors, which are a little on the small size.
The dashboard ergonomics are typically French in design, which means although functional, are a little fussy with lots of buttons and controls. The instrument panel is very easy to read – both the speedometer and rev counter are clear. There is an information panel between them which displays data such as navigation directions, fuel computer information and the time. The switchgear is of a good quality and is well dampened – we did think that the stop/start button is very off set from the steering wheel on the right of car, next to the electronic hand brake.
The automatic parking brake worked well unlike some cars, it automatically released when you accelerated and engaged when you switched the engine off – you can manually activate it, should you need to. There is also hill assist which holds the car for around two seconds after the foot brake has been released.
We did find that depending on the height and adjustment of the steering wheel that the bottom of the instrument display was cut off from the driver’s view. There is a colour head-up display which shows your current speed and directions from the navigation system, which is adjustable for height and angle to match the driver’s eye line.
All round vision is good, although some people complained about over the shoulder vision, the ‘B’ pillar is very thick and the rear window aperture is fairly small.
We really liked the panoramic glass roof (1.62m2 glazed surface area) which runs nearly the whole length of the car – you can set via a rotary dial how far back the fabric screen retracts – giving a light and airy ambience to the car.
There are both front and rear parking sensors but we would have liked to have seen a parking camera on the top of the range model that we were driving. Parking was fairly easy despite the length of the 508 SW, it does benefit from Parallel Parking Guide which measures available parking spaces and lets the driver know the possibility or difficulty of parking in a free space. This function, coupled with front and rear park assist, can be activated via the " >P< " button located on the centre console. To know which side you wish park you simply indicate your desired side at speeds lower than 12 mph – it does not automatically park the car but it is very useful.
We liked the fact that you can electronically control the child locks on the rear door, i.e. you can unlock the doors when you decide, they can still be opened from the outside, if you have unlocked all the car doors, it does have automatic drive off locking for all doors.
The Peugeot 508 SW is a five seater with lots of legroom and good headroom for all, although the front shoulder room felt a little tight.
The 508 SW (estate) has a foot print of (l) 4813mm x (w) 1853mm (excl. Wing mirrors – with 1906 mm) x (h) 1487mm which compares to the 508 Saloon which is (l) 4792mm x (w) 1853mm x (h) 1456mm. The near competitor the Volkswagen Passat Estate is (l) 4771mm x (w) 1820mm x (h) 1516mm. Width measurements do not allow for side mirrors.
The 508 SW boot capacity is 560 (dm3 VDA) litres (compared to 537 litres for the Ford Mondeo Estate or 603 litres VW Passat Estate), with the rear seats folded, which split on a 60/40 basis, you can accommodate 1598 (dm3 VDA) litres to roof level (1728 litres Mondeo Estate, 1731 litres Passat Estate). The rear seats fold nearly flat to the floor and can be lowered by dedicated controls in the boot. Out of interest the 508 saloon offers 515/1381 litres with the seats down.
Cleverly there is more storage under the boot floor, which can be used to divide the boot into compartments – optional cargo nets can be added.
Privacy glass offers protection to rear seat passengers and to your cargo plus as you would expect there is a retractable load cover. The rear window also benefits from integral window blinds, which is great with young children. We liked that the GT SW also had quad-air conditioning which allows all occupants to set their own temperature preferences. There are ISOFIX child seat fixings in outer two rear seats.
Peugeot 508 SW Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Peugeot 508 SW GT|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.4 seconds|
|Top Speed||138 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||60.1 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5-Star 90% Adult Protection, 87% Child Protection, 41% Pedestrian Protection, Safety Assist 97%|
|Warranty||3 years / unlimited miles|
|Price (when tested on the 27/09/11)||£30,275|