It’s a popular misconception that an estate car tends to say something about the person driving it and gives strong clues as to their position within society. Traditionally, an estate car was driven by a salesman or a family man/woman with elder children, perhaps with long trips to and from university or college to contend with. What you wouldn’t be thinking would be any leanings towards buying such a car unless sales or long trips with luggage were soon to be uppermost in your mind. The thing is, in those times gone by, it was the coupé or the saloon that attracted the most attention and therefore needed to look special whilst the dear old estate made do with a rudimentary box tacked onto the rear of whatever was left behind in the design department of the time.
But fast forward to the present and we have a much better understanding about the role that a modern estate can have in our lives and, dare I say it, the estate has become desirable. Not just a little bit but a lot and it’s cars like the PEUGEOT 508 SW GT BlueHDi 180 AUTO on test that are mostly to blame.
Peugeot have certainly gone to town with their 508 SW, a model that has already been replaced for late 2018 meaning that this model will be it’s own swan song. And what a job Peugeot have done with it.
Peugeot themselves have stated that: With its pure and elegant lines, the simplicity of new 508 Touring is the secret of its elegance. Its horizontal bonnet and vertical grill with the Peugeot lion in its centre confirm the appeal of Peugeot’s new Touring wagon. And in that one statement, they kind of sum up the appeal of the 508 SW. Take some time to check out the perfect proportions accentuated by the all chrome surround of the high waisted windows and the strong crease running from front to rear.
Checkout how the well proportioned curved rear and tailgate fits the the side profile perfectly whilst displaying your good taste to those following. The 19” wheels adorning this handsome Sport wagon combine beautifully with the subtly flared front and rear wheel arches and hint at abilities other than load lugging whilst the pearlescent pearl white paintwork suggests a level of sophistication that the Peugeot carries off well.
This feeling of sophistication continues when you step inside the cabin, greeted, as you are, by an interior design that Peugeot have craftily created to give both driver and passengers plenty of space in the front and rear cabins. Indeed, the seats themselves, trimmed with Nappa full grain Tramontane black, high grade, soft leather trim with an intricate red stitch detail and have been developed around the three customer expectations of style, posture and individual comfort. This attention to detail also ensures that the comfort available is second to none especially as the GT Line has front seats that are both electric and heated. And don’t forget the massage function. Lovely.
Technological advancement in both motoring and driving aids continues at quite some pace at present and the expectations of the modern consumer must surely drive what’s available and present within the car’s that we chose to share our lives with. Indeed, the driver that yearns for the days before Cruise Control, 3D Satellite Navigation, Head Up Displays and (my own favourite) Hands free remote central locking and keyless push button start has clearly not understood how the driving landscape has changed over time. After all, why would you not want the car to help you when it can? And the Peugeot 508 SW GT BlueHDi 180 AUTO tries its very best.
Peugeot have thrown their very best technology at this, the final edition of the venerable 508 SW before it regenerates into an all new model but this doesn’t mean that you should hold back from giving the current 508 a fair hearing especially as your hard earned gets you, in this GT Line Edition, an array of top flight feature. How does the following sound?
Colour Reversing Camera, Connected 3D Navigation with Voice Recognition including European mapping and TomTom® Traffic provides real-time traffic updates, PEUGEOT Connect SOS and Assistance Colour Head Up Display: A driver information interface that displays key driving information via a clear retractable screen in the drivers line of sight, PEUGEOT Open and GO, Blind Spot Monitoring, Panoramic Cielo Glass Roof, Smartbeam Assistance: through the use of an intelligent camera the car automatically switches headlights to full beam when conditions allow. Full LED front and rear lights, Motorised Tailgate and finally, Quad-Zone Climate Control. And the thing is, it all works simply and effectively to create a quite supreme modus of travel, a modus of travel that just so happens to offer 612 litres of boot space with the seats up and a colossal 1817 litres with the seats folded.
On the road though is where you’ll be wanting to spend the majority of your time. Motorways become a period of rest and relaxation, A roads are never quite long enough to satisfy and yet the back lanes can still offer a car such as the 508 SW a chance to gather it’s thoughts before displaying a fun side that shows off the sophisticated Electronic Stability Program (ESP) which, Peugeot say, groups together a number of braking technologies to ensure dynamic handling whilst still delivering high level of safety.
With suspension that cossets driver and passengers alike the 508 is a comfortable place to spend your time, get the seat just so, crack on the climate control and load your destination into the simple to use Sat Nav and away you go to enjoy Peugeot’s range topping 200bhp HDi turbo diesel which arrives on your drive sporting an automatic 6-speed gearbox and 331 ft/lb torque. Combined mpg of 51 and CO2 of 144 g/km ensure that this is an engine for the future as well as the here and now, a job well done.
Put your foot down and you can instantly feel the automatic gearbox dropping you down into the required gear and allowing you to ride the shove of torque that puts itself down onto the tarmac through those gorgeous alloys. There’s not a hint of hesitation as the car’s clever electronics keep the car feeling stable on all but the worst surfaces allowing you to feel what the front wheels are doing through the surprisingly effective steering, this is still an estate after all but the Peugeot feels like a car half the size when motoring on.
So what then does the Peugeot 508 SW GT BlueHDi 180 AUTO say about it’s driver? At £34,249 I don’t really care as you’re getting a great looking, thoroughly modern and stylish Sport Wagon for a bargain price. A car that offers something a little different from the rest of the competition as it gives you that certain undefinable something that makes you want to take the Peugeot every time. Get one while you can, practical and fun. What more do you want?
Where will you go?