Sleek estate has clear design focus alongside a major tech boost inside

Peugeot has created its most striking-looking 508 SW yet to attract image-conscious buyers who may otherwise look to SUVs.

Speaking at Peugeot’s design centre in Vélizy, France, 508 product manager Bernard Hesse said the design of the estate, which is predicted to account for 60-65% of 508 sales, was given as much precedence as its practicability.

“We saw competitors like Mercedes with the CLA and the CLS Shooting Brakes, which are very interesting [in terms of design],” he said. “So we designed a more dynamic look for the SW right from the start of development of the 508’s EMP2 platform.”

The new car’s more taut proportions mean it is actually 6cm shorter in height and 5cm shorter in length than its predecessor. It offers 530 litres of boot space (30 litres less than the previous car) with the interior boot cover closed, while maximum load space with the seats folded provides 1780 litres – that’s identical to the Volkswagen Passat and 115 litres more than that of the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer.

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To reduce wear and tear and aid with loading, there’s a stainless steel boot sill, while the tailgate is powered and the floor inside is almost completely flat when the rear seats are folded down.

Rear head room is 40cm better than in the saloon variant, thanks to the 508 SW’s slightly raised roof section. But the use of frameless rear doors helps the estate retain a swooping roofline. Peugeot product design director Pierre-Paul Mattei said this was important to ensure “balance without style overload”.

The 508 SW’s tail-lights have been taken straight from the 508 fastback, as has the design of the rear bumper and chrome-tipped tailpipes. The front end is also identical, with the same LED headlights that flank a curving grille, which sits beneath a protruding bonnet.

Inside, the car gets Peugeot’s latest iCockpit dashboard, which brings a digital instrument cluster and a 10.0in central touchscreen featuring 3D satellite navigation and Apple Carplay/Android Auto smartphone technology. There are four USB sockets in the car; two in the front and two for rear passengers.

The ergonomics of the new cabin architecture have placed the steering wheel lower down from the instrument cluster to improve visibility (an issue for some users of the previous-generation iCockpit), while the dashboard’s wrap-around layout brings the seven main centre console buttons (which take influence from the keys of a piano) and infotainment screen within easy reach.

All cars will get a full-grain leather steering wheel, with top-spec GT-Line and GT models featuring perforated leather. There’s also a greater use of flocked fabric to enhance the cabin’s premium feel – something that Hesse said is part of Peugeot’s push to take on its German rivals. Optional Alcantara and nappa leather can be specified to create the most luxurious 508 SW.

As part of an extensive driver assist technology suite, the 508 SW gets a night-vision system that uses an infrared camera to project the view ahead onto the infotainment screen. There’s adaptive cruise control that can stop and start the car in traffic, lane-keep assist and park assist, which can automatically park and drive a car out of a space. Peugeot said the car’s active safety brake system can detect pedestrians and cyclists day and night, from 3mph to 87mph.

The new EMP2 structure makes greater use of structural adhesives and uses a new body welding technique, enhancing structural rigidity and helping to reduce weight by around 70kg. It features a multi-link rear suspension set-up for improved ride comfort and it is maximised when optional (or standard on GT variants) variable controlled damping is fitted.

The 508 SW’s different body encouraged the use of bespoke suspension settings.

Yann Bonny, the car’s vehicle dynamics director, said that adjustments were made to “compensate for the differences” that the slightly heavier estate body brings.

When sales kick off in early 2019, power will come from a choice of three engines, each certified to Euro 6.2 standards (which come into force in 2020).

Peugeot claims the 508 SW’s CO2 outputs are the lowest in its class.

The entry-level engine will be a 1.6 Puretech petrol, available in 178bhp and 222bhp forms. There will also be BlueHDi diesels in 1.5 and 2.0 forms, offering between 128bhp and 178bhp. The 1.5 diesel gets a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but the rest of the powertrains come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that enables a freewheeling mode to save fuel. Peugeot said it can reduce fuel consumption by around 3%.

Autocar understands prices for the launch range will remain close to the outgoing model, which opens from £26,710. Following the regular SW’s arrival in mid-2019 will be a more fuel-efficient version – a petrol plug-in hybrid. It’s due with a pure electric range of 31 miles, according to the latest WLTP findings.

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Comments
26

6 June 2018

...40 cm more headroom for the passengers? This 508 SW must be the Tour Eiffel of the wagons -- and the photos all fake. :-)

A bit more seriously, it has an elegant allure and I like also the non-inflated lenght of the car (a malignous trend for other brands - see the Insignia and so on.)

On the other hand, the absence of bigger (petrol) engines will make the competition with the german estates hard for this 508 SW.

-- Old fart with petrol in veins, so off the e-cars grid literally --

6 June 2018

...40 cm more headroom for the passengers? This 508 SW must be the Tour Eiffel of the wagons -- and the photos all fake. :-)

A bit more seriously, it has an elegant allure and I like also the non-inflated lenght of the car (a malignous trend for other brands - see the Insignia and so on.)

On the other hand, the absence of bigger (petrol) engines will make the competition with the german estates hard for this 508 SW.

-- Old fart with petrol in veins, so off the e-cars grid literally --

6 June 2018

 Looks nice, if anything it looks a bit Mercedes in profile which is no bad thing really.

Peter Cavellini.

6 June 2018

A very handsome car, whether it can win sales from suvs though?

6 June 2018

Looks good. I can see V90 and V60 in the shape of the rear side window and D-pillar, but that's a good thing.

The car-buying public gets what it deserves, unfortunately ...

6 June 2018
Bishop wrote:

Looks good. I can see V90 and V60 in the shape of the rear side window and D-pillar, but that's a good thing.

Agreed. Looks good, but they've nicked the front from a Kia Optima, the windowline from a V60/V90, and the tail lights from a Tiguan...

6 June 2018

Really nice design from Peugeot.  They've really turned a corner with desirability.   However, in my view it'd be just as sexy with a slightly boxier rear end and a decent sized loading aperture.

Where has the boxy estate gone?   Not even Volvo really do them any more.

6 June 2018
nicebiscuit wrote:

Really nice design from Peugeot.  They've really turned a corner with desirability.   However, in my view it'd be just as sexy with a slightly boxier rear end and a decent sized loading aperture.

Where has the boxy estate gone?   Not even Volvo really do them any more.

Skoda.

Even their smallest estate - the Fabia - has a similar boot capacity to the new Volvo V60.

(Just ignore the Maestro shaped Rapid Spaceback which is a truncated version of the fastback-hatchback and not a proper estate at all)

This is nice, though I still prefer the fastback-hatchback new 508 which offers huge practicility but a saloon shape.

6 June 2018

Better looking than the already good looking hatchback version. The interior looks very inviting as well. Once it arrives i hope PSA add some further options, such as a manual box on the petrol engines. A more powerful engine wouldnt be a bad thing either. I really hope they dont make ugly kid glass compulsory, as they do on their other estate and tall cars. If you want to make premium cars you need to offer choices!

6 June 2018
artill wrote:

 I really hope they dont make ugly kid glass compulsory, as they do on their other estate and tall cars. If you want to make premium cars you need to offer choices!

Manufacturers reckon you have more choice than ever these days, but in some of the most basic areas you don't  - 3 doors rather than 5, for example, or having glass which ruins the looks of your vehicle. This Peugeot looks lovely though, why would anyone want a sterile Passat estate over something like this?

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Our Verdict

Peugeot 508

The Peugeot 508 is is better all round than its predecessor, and should be a fleet favourite

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Driven this week