A competent MPV alternative, but too expensive

What is it?

Peugeot does not make a compact MPV. What it offers instead is an estate version of the Focus-rivalling 308 - the SW.

As long as you’re prepared, on the top-selling 1.6 HDi model we tested, to shell out the £18k required for a Sport model (a top-spec SE will cost an eye-watering £19,195), that’s fine.

Do this, and you’ll get all the clever storage and flexible seating you’d expect of a conventional small MPV, but with the looks of a traditional estate. There are as many cubbies, luggage nets and seat-back picnic tables as you could want. There’s also the seat flexibility you’d expect of an MPV. If you opt for SE trim, you get seven seats (a £395 option on Sport models), and on both Sport and SE cars, the second-row seats can slide back and forth or even be removed.

What’s it like?

On the road, the benefit of the conventional estate body is evident. Peugeot estates tend to ride better than their hatchback counterparts, and the 308 SW doesn’t buck the trend. Where the hatch feels controlled but crashy over broken surfaces, the extra length and weight of the SW makes it feel both more composed and fluid.

The 308 SW is no heavyweight, however. The 1.6 HDi comes in at just 95kg more than its hatchback counterpart - a feat achieved by tricks like making the panoramic glass roof from 5mm glass instead of 9mm (though it’s still more rigid than a steel roof).

The 1560cc turbodiesel is also smooth and efficient, especially allied to the all-new six-speed gearbox.

Should I buy one?

Our only real beef is the price. For a few hundred pounds more you can get a 1.8 TDCi Ford S-Max, which drives better and is far more practical for a large family.

Matt Rigby

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TegTypeR 1 December 2010

Re: Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 HDi

supermanuel wrote:
Blimey- welcome back TegTypeR! :-)

Thank you!

Work, life and everything got in the way for a while....

supermanuel 1 December 2010

Re: Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 HDi

Blimey- welcome back TegTypeR! :-)

TegTypeR 1 December 2010

Re: Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 HDi

Up until now I really didn't get the point of this car - Why bother with a seven seat estate when something like a S-Max is avaliable?

However, since I have been running around in a Fiat Uylsse, I see the point perfectly!! I want a vehicle capable of lugging loads with the occasional use of seven seats but without the upright driving position.

Now, whilst an S-Max isn't that bad, I deeply desire a car with a normal seating position and the versatility of an MPV and with out the "family" stigma. Other than an E Class Estate, as far as I know there are no other options.