Beyond the GT badge, there are a few visual clues that this is a more performance-focused machine. The car sits slightly lower than other trim levels, has a revamped bumper design with air intakes where the foglights normally are and, in common with GT-Line models, gains LED lights and a twin-exhaust effect.
Inside, GT cars have a leather steering wheel with red stitching and a GT badge along with a few other detail changes. There’s also keyless entry and a host of driver assistance systems, including a reversing camera and dynamic cruise control.
In standard drive mode, the 308 SW GT’s engine is smooth and efficient, its responses ably delivered through the eight-speed automatic gearbox. Even with the extra heft of the estate, it handles positively and directly, and the engine’s 210lb ft of torque allows you to make brisk progress, with a claimed 0-62mph time of 7.6sec. Top speed is a claimed 146mph, with an official fuel economy average of 47.9mpg.
The car does feature a Sport mode, which stiffens the steering and suspension a touch, although not enough to make for a dramatically different experience. It also turns the instruments red and adds layers of noise to the engine note – although without any real extra performance to match. It might appeal to some, but it seemed slightly hammy and overly theatrical to us.
Most estate buyers will likely be led by more practical considerations – such as the space behind the rear seats. The 308 SW is 4585mm long, which allows for 660 litres of luggage capacity, with 1660 litres if you fold those rear seats down. It’s not class leading, but likely ample for those considering an estate car of this size.
As well as luggage, there’s plenty of space for people both in the front and rear, and the GT trim makes for a pleasant environment that would stand up to long family journeys. That said, the 308’s interior does show the car’s age a bit: it’s somewhat plain in its design compared with newer Peugeot models such as the 3008 and 5008 SUVs.
Being a Peugeot, of course, the 308 SW features the firm’s iCockpit system. The concept remains somewhat divisive, although it seems more natural the more you use it – and it seems to do a particularly good job of highlighting the 308 SW GT’s more sporting characteristics. The small steering wheel adds a level of direct response that helps make the 308 SW feel more nimble than its extended boot would suggest.