Peugeot 508 SW Review 2024

Written by Andrew Brady

7/10
heycar ratingGreat-looking large family estate
  • 2020
  • Estate
  • Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid

Quick overview

Pros

  • Great looks
  • Stylish interior
  • Excellent standard infotainment

Cons

  • Firm ride on bumpy roads
  • Interior quality a little patchy
  • Not as practical as some other estate cars

Overall verdict on the Peugeot 508 SW

"In this 2024 Peugeot 508 SW review, we'll be looking at one of the most eye-catching large estates in the segment. There may be fewer rivals than in the estate car's heyday, but competition is still strong with cars like the Volkswagen Passat Estate, and Skoda Superb Estate, but none of them can match the Peugeot in terms of looks."

Peugeot 508 SW Review 2024: front three quarters

It's a similar story on the inside, too. The Peugeot 508 gets a two-spoke steering wheel and a slim dashboard design that centres on the driver. What catches your attention, though, is the standard digital instrument binnacle, which will dazzle you with its multi-function display and slick animations.


You also get a large central infotainment screen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can use most of your smartphone’s features – including its sat-nav and music apps – on the car’s big screen. 


The advantages of choosing the Peugeot 508 SW over the standard Peugeot 508 are two-fold. The SW estate’s flatter roofline means you get more rear headroom, as well as a larger boot. Sure, estate versions of the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat have more space still, but the 508 is still a practical family car.


And it doesn’t just look sporty: the Peugeot 508 SW also feels quite sporty to drive. Its stiff suspension means you won’t notice much body roll in corners and there’s no shortage of grip. That said, it’s less comfortable on rough roads than a Skoda Superb Estate. 


During the car's time on sale, various engine options have come and gone, including petrols and diesels with varying levels of power. In recent times, the range has been pared right back. You can have a 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engine with 130PS and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It's surprisingly punchy given its small size, and it gives the car decent get-up-and-go, but it does start to struggle a wee bit more if you really load the boot up.


The other choices are both petrol-electric plug-in hybrid models, which have the ability to run on cheap electric power alone for around 30 miles and can slash your running costs if you have a short commute. That's just as well because they're quite expensive to buy. The mainstream option has 225PS, while the version that's unique to the range-topping Peugeot Sport Engineered version has 360PS.


The amount of trim levels available has also been pared right back, but all offer a decent level of kit, with higher-spec cars feeling very well equipped. Whichever model you go for, you’ll end up with a practical family car that’s also very desirable, and certainly more stylish than most mainstream estate cars.


Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Peugeot Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Peugeot 508 SWs for sale.

The Peugeot 508 SW is right for you if you want a car that blends style with practicality. On the outside, it’s styling looks more coupe than practical estate car, and it feels sporty on the inside, too, thanks to its driver-centric design and large infotainment displays. Yet, along with that, you get room for four tall adults and a boot that’ll swallow a family’s luggage for a fortnight.


Sure, the Peugeot isn’t as sporty to drive as a BMW, but its firm suspension means it handles corners doggedly and the engines offer decent performance. The hybrid model is definitely worth a look if you live in the city. What the Peugeot 508 SW offers is genuine desirability that more sensibly styled – and slightly more practical – family cars can’t hope to match.

If you're buying used, the model/engine combination that makes the most sense in the Peugeot 508 SW is the 163PS diesel in sporty GT Line trim.  The 163PS diesel is a well-balanced engine giving you plenty of overtaking performance combined with cheap running costs. Like every model bar the basic diesel, it also comes as standard with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that makes the 508 easy in town and quiet on the motorway. This version was discontinued some time ago, though, so if you're buying new, it's not an option.


GT Line trim accentuates the Peugeot 508 SW’s smart looks. You get larger 18-inch alloy wheels and a subtle body kit, while inside there’s half (fake) leather upholstery and you get Peugeot’s larger 10-inch infotainment screen. GT Line models also get a Sport button which sharpens the car’s responses and makes it sound rortier. 

The Peugeot 508 SW’s sporty styling is a unique selling point when compared to other family estate cars. Okay, so a Skoda Superb Estate and Volkswagen Passat Estate have more room inside, but the Peugeot is still practical enough for most people, with room for adults in the back and a big boot. And, while it’s not quite as solidly built, the Peugeot’s interior drips with a level of style that’s missing from the Skoda and Volkswagen. 


With the decline of the family estate in recent years, those are about the only two rivals left on the new car market. If buying used, you'll also want to consider rivals such as the Ford Mondeo Estate, Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer and Mazda 6 Tourer

Comfort and design: Peugeot 508 SW interior

"You can tell Peugeot’s put a lot of effort into making the 508 SW’s cabin as stylish as possible. Its dashboard has a split design: the top half looks after the instrument binnacle and air vents, while the bottom half houses the central display and six main ‘piano key’ shortcut buttons. A flash of trim runs the entire width of the dashboard, separating the two."

Peugeot 508 and 508 SW Review 2024: interior and driving position

The Peugeot 508 SW gets the same i-Cockpit design philosophy as you’ll have seen on other Peugeots like the 3008 and Peugeot 5008, meaning you get a small steering wheel, and you look at the car’s instruments over it, rather than through it as is conventional. It’s a system that works ok in some Peugeots, but in the sporty feeling 508 SW, you have to sit your driver’s seat too high to get a clear view of the digital instrument binnacle, and some will find that the steering wheel has to be set too low for comfort, too. You get a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a leather-trimmed steering wheel that adjusts for reach and height, but because of the way things are arranged, a comfortable driving position may still elude you.

Peugeot’s pushed the boat out to make the 508 SW’s interior look and feel posh. You get soft-touch plastics used for most of the dashboard and the tops of the doors, and the Peugeot 508 SW’s cabin gets prettier the further you go up the range. 


With earlier 508s, Active models kick off proceedings, they get carbon effect interior trim, Allure models add more interior lighting – in footwells and storage areas – and swap filament bulbs for bright-shining LEDs, while GT Line cars take a giant step up. They get half leather seat seats, blue mood lighting, contrast stitching in the dashboard, a black roof lining and sporty aluminium pedals. They feel almost identical to top-of-the-range GT models. Want a panoramic glass roof? Well, it’s an option across the range. On later cars, just Allure and GT trims are offered.


Hunt around, though, and you’ll find things that aren’t so pleasing about the 508 SW, such as the low-rent interior plastics buried deep in the cabin. They feel at odds with the rest of the Peugeot’s interior and feel cheaper than you’ll find in a BMW or even a mainstream alternative such as the Volkswagen Passat.

The Peugeot 508 SW comes with two huge infotainment screens as standard including a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle that replaces analogue dials. It shows off slick animations as you scroll between functions and has clear graphics that make it easy to read.


Along with the digital instrument binnacle, you get a large central touchscreen. Early Peugeot 508 SW Active models have an 8.0-inch display that has TomTom sat-nav, which can route around congestion and warn you about speed cameras. Even with this basic system, you also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can mirror your smartphone’s display on the car’s big screen. 


Peugeot 508 SW Allure models and above get the same functions but on a larger 10.0-inch screen with a prettier HD display. All models also come with an eight-speaker stereo, while top-of-the-range cars get an upgraded Focal system. It has ten speakers, a subwoofer and 515W of amplification for powerful sound, if not the clarity you get from the optional Burmester stereo in a Mercedes C-Class Estate. 

The Peugeot 508 SW has plenty of space up front, though the sporty feeling is spoiled a little because you have to raise your seat quite high to get a clear view of the car’s digital dashboard.


On the upside, the 508 SW’s flat roofline means you get more rear headroom than in the standard 508, and its larger windows let in more light. Headroom is decent even for tall adults, and there’s no shortage of knee room. That said, anyone sitting in the middle will feel less comfortable due to the perched nature of the centre seat. If you’re looking for an estate car that majors on rear-seat space, then you’ll be better off with a Skoda Superb.


Fitting a baby seat is also a bit of a pain. The SW’s taller roof means you don’t have to bend your back to slide the seat into position like you do in the regular 508, but the ISOFIX mounting points – on both outer rear seats – are hidden deep in the seat cushion behind zipped flaps, making it hard to get the seat locked into position.


On the bright side, all 508s have an air vent for your rear-seat passengers and Allure models and upwards get a rear centre armrest that adds two cup holders and a hatch through to the boot, plus a couple of USB ports so people in the back can keep their phones charged. 


And the 508 wins more practicality points when it comes to loading luggage. Lift the boot lid – GT models get an electrically operated boot you can open by waggling a foot under the rear bumper – and it leaves a large opening that makes loading bulky luggage easy, plus you get a tiny boot lip and a completely flat floor.


The 530-litre boot is large enough to swallow a set of suitcases, and folding the back seats down – they split 40/20/40 – means you can fit an adult’s bike in without having to remove both wheels. You even get somewhere to put the parcel shelf. Storage spaces are a mixed bag. Okay, so the front door pockets are large and you get various other cubbies including a lidded holdall under the front centre armrest, but the glovebox is tiny and the pockets in the rear doors are also small. 


Charging your phone is also a pain because the Peugeot 508 SW’s USB ports are hidden behind the dashboard, although high-spec models and above get a handy wireless charging pad that’s more convenient. 

Handling and ride quality: What is the Peugeot 508 SW like to drive?

"Peugeot has given the 508 SW a firm ride that matches its sporty looks. It feels eager in bends, there’s not much body lean and you get plenty of grip."

Peugeot 508 SW Review 2024: driving dynamic

If there was one bone of contention, it would be the small steering wheel. Its speedy responses initially make the Peugeot 508 SW feel sharp and agile, but you’ll often find yourself having to make minor steering adjustments in bends, and it lacks the accuracy offered by a BMW 3 Series.


An eight-speed automatic gearbox is fitted as standard to all models, and although it’s a little slow to respond off the line, it shifts gear smoothly and takes the pain out of stop-start traffic. That said, it's worth noting that the Peugeot’s automatic gearbox isn’t that responsive when you start changing gears Lewis-Hamilton-style by using the paddles behind the steering wheel. 


Want to make your Peugeot 508 SW feel as sporty as possible? Then it’s worth considering a GT model, which comes with active suspension as standard. It allows you to choose between a stiffer setup for more composed cornering or a softer setting for improved comfort (on later 508s, this feature was removed from GT cars, and was only provided on Peugeot Sport Engineered versions).


Even with these fancy dampers fitted, the Peugeot fidgets over bumps that would go unnoticed in a Skoda Superb. That’s a shame, because it’s an otherwise relaxing car to drive in town. Whichever version of the 508 SW you choose, you’ll find it’s happy cruising on the motorway. Sure, the suspension – even the fancy setup on GT models – can thump over bumps, but there’s not a huge amount more to complain about. 


All Peugeot 508 SWs get cruise control – so you can hold a speed without having to keep your foot pressed on the accelerator pedal – and a traffic sign recognition system that can flash up information, such as the current speed limit, on the car’s big screen. 


Getting parked shouldn’t be an issue. All Peugeot 508 SWs get reversing sensors as standard to make easing into tight spaces that bit easier. Step up to an Allure model and you add a reversing camera and front sensors although, if you want auto park, it’s an option across the range.

The Peugeot 508 SW has been available with various engines choices during its life, but these have been pared right back in recent years. If you're shopping for a used 508 a few years old, then you're most likely to find diesel-powered car. The entry-level one is a 1.5-litre engine with 130PS, and although it's not that fast, it has enough low-down torque to deal with heavy loads. Even so, many buyers will want to make the upgrade to the 163PS 2.0-litre diesel. It's a good bit quicker, and with even stronger low-down muscle, your acceleration is also a lot easier and more relaxed.


These days, diesel has been phased out of the range because it's nowhere near as popular as it once was. Now, your only non-electrified choice of engine is a 1.2-litre petrol with the same 130PS as the entry-level diesel. Don't be alarmed by its small size: it actually punches way harder than you'd think, and is quicker than its diesel counterpart against the stopwatch. However, the petrol struggles more when you load your car up with people and stuff, meaning it can feel a little breathless. You'll use more fuel in these situations, too, because your engine is having to work that much harder.


The only other powertrain options available to buyers of brand new 508 SWs are both plug-in hybrid models. The mainstream version pairs a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver a combined 225PS. The power delivery in most situations is strong and smooth, and the car juggles between its various power sources effectively.



It's much pricier the buy than the petrol, but makes sense if you often drive in town because it runs on electric power alone at city speeds and has an electric range of 30 miles, so you can cover a short commute using purely cheap electric power. For the Hybrid to make sense, though, you need somewhere you can charge it at home, and you need to keep it topped up.



There's another version of the same hybrid powertrain that develops 360PS, but that's reserved solely for the range-topping Peugeot Sport Engineered variant.

The Peugeot 508 SW’s sleek shape means there’s barely any wind noise to worry about, even when you’re cruising at motorway speeds, and engine noise is also well suppressed in all but the early entry-level diesel model.


What you will notice more in all models is road noise. The Peugeot tends to amplify tyre rumble into the interior – particularly in models that have larger 18-inch wheels – and you also get the occasional thump through the cabin going over large bumps. 

The Peugeot 508 was awarded a five-star crash rating by safety body Euro NCAP when it was evaluated in 2019, and you can expect the SW model to be just as tough. 


As you’d imagine, even basic versions come packed full of safety kit including automatic emergency brakes. It’s a modern system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles, applying the brakes automatically if it thinks you’re going to be involved in an impact. 


Lane assist is another standard feature, which can steer the car in lane on the motorway and stop you drifting onto the verge. Allure models add a load of other driving aids. These mid-range models can warn you not to pull in front of cars hidden in your blind spot, advise you when you're losing concentration and need to take a break, and can read road traffic signs, putting the information upon the car’s infotainment screen. 


GT models, meanwhile, add active cruise control that can accelerate and brake the car for you to match the speed of other traffic.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a Peugeot 508 SW cost to run?

"The Peugeot 508 is cheap to run for a relatively large car."

Peugeot 508 SW Review 2024: side profile

Early versions of the Peugeot 508 SW fitted with the 130PS 1.5-litre diesel engine had an official fuel consumption figure of up to 64.1mpg under WLTP testing, so expect around 50mpg in normal driving. 


Go for a petrol model, and Peugeot quotes official fuel economy of up to 50mpg, so 40mpg is more likely in the real world. The real anomaly, though, is the petrol-electric hybrid. It runs for up to 30 miles or so on electric power alone and, as a result, has an official fuel economy figure of 235mpg. This should be taken with a massive pinch of salt, as you'll only get anywhere near this if your limit yourself almost exclusively to short journeys that can be completed exclusively on electric-only power, and you only call on the petrol engine once in a blue moon.

The latest HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index survey makes for fairly grim reading if you're a Peugeot owner. The 508 SW wasn't name-checked specifically, but the brand was voted as the second worst manufacturer overall for reliability. Yikes.


Also it's worth noting that Peugeot came 24th out of 29 manufacturers for overall customer satisfaction, putting it well down near the worst performers. Clearly there is room for improvement.

Insurance groups range from 21 to 36 for mainstream models. Since the groupings run from 1 to 50, 50 being the most expensive, it shows you that while the 508 SW won't be particularly cheap to insure, it shouldn't be prohibitively expensive, either. 


The one possible exception to this might be the Peugeot Sport Engineered (also called the PSE) version. This is classified in group 41, so premiums will be a good chunk higher.

The latest set of road tax rules came into effect in April 2017, meaning they apply to all versions of the 508 SW. You pay a flat rate of tax on all petrol and diesel cars, that flat rate currently standing at £190 per month. You'll get a discount if you go for one of the hybrids, but these versions are a lot more expensive to buy and the tax incentive you get amounts to only a tenner per year.


We'd exercise caution, though, because cars that cost over £40,000 when brand new (including optional extras) are subject to an addition 'luxury car' surcharge for a five-year period, between years two and six of the car's life. And that surcharge currently stands at £410, so it's quite a chunk of change. Does this apply to the 508 SW? Well, that's a great question, because prices has risen so much during the car's long life. To start with, there was only a handful of variants that busted that price threshold, while today, there's only a handful that don't. Our advice? Always perform an online check with the registration of any used example you're considering to make sure exactly what you're looking at. Buying an early car gives you the best chance of dodging the surcharge, or minimises the period of time you'll have to pay it.

How much should you be paying for a Peugeot 508 SW?

"If you buy a brand new Peugeot 508 SW in today's market, prices start at around £34,000 for the petrol, £44,000 for the PHEV and around £54,000 for the range-topping Peugeot Sport Engineered version."

Peugeot 508 SW Review 2024: driving dynamic

That's not cheap, so all the more reason to buy a used one instead. And our listing throw up some proper bargains. For around £14,000 you'll get a 2020 car, most likely with a diesel engine of some variety, with around 60,000 miles on the clock, and it'll be a a very appealing trim level, too.


You shouldn't have to break the bank if you want a plug-in hybrid version, either. Around £20,000 should be enough to bag you one of those.

Early on in the Peugeot 508 SW's life, Active models represented the entry point to the range. Standard kit includes 16-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto lights and wipers and climate control. 


Peugeot 508 SW Allure models get bigger 17-inch alloy wheels, the larger central infotainment display – up from eight to ten inches – that includes a reversing camera, part-electric adjustment on the driver’s seat and additional safety kit including auto-dipping headlights and a traffic sign recognition system.


Peugeot 508 SW GT is the most popular trim level and gives the 508 SW sporty looks deserving of its stylish design. Along with a subtle body kit, GT Line models get LED front and rear lights, tinted rear windows and 18-inch alloy wheels that fill out the car’s arches. 


Peugeot 508 SW GT Premium models look just as sporty and add adjustable dampers that let you choose between a soft comfortable ride or a sportier setup for more control in corners. Kit also includes full electrical adjustment on the front seats, a Nappa leather interior and a powerful Focal stereo. 


More recently, the trim structure has been pared back. Mainstream models now come in only Allure and GT trims, and kit levels are broadly similar to before. The range is topped by the Peugeot Sport Engineered version, which is not only faster, but comes with more luxury goodies as well.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

If you're looking for space and practicality in a handsome package that will draw admiring glances from passers-by, then yes, it most certainly is.
It is a comfortable car, especially if you go for a car with the adaptive suspension, but it's not the most comfortable car in the class. If you want ultimate comfort try the Skoda Superb Estate.
There are no common problems reported on the latest generation Peugeot 508 SW, although the previous generation was noted for issues with water leaking into the boot.

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