Our cars: Peugeot 508 SW - May

Article 3 of 13 See all
  • Peugeot 508 long-term test
  • Year-long review
  • Tested by Andrew Golby
Peugeot 508 SW 2.2 HDi 204 GT

Week ending May 25
Mileage: 24,370
Driven this week: 258 miles

Peugeot 508 SW review

Sometimes you take things for granted in a car you're familiar with. This week's case in point: the 508's excellent seats. Having been in and out of a few different models this week, including a Jaguar XF, it wasn't until I jumped back into our Peugeot that I realised how comfortable and supportive they are. It's worth sharing that I am of short-ish build, but I don't believe that taller drivers will find them any less comfortable.

The seats adjust for height and rake, and that's critical for me in finding comfort. Those which are only height adjustable can sometimes leave me with inadequate thigh support.


Week ending May 18
Mileage: 24,112
Driven this week: 368

I’ve spent part of this week driving another range-topping mass-market estate. The new Vauxhall Insignia Biturbo starts at just shy of £30k, putting it in similar territory to the 508 GT. Its twin turbos offer terrific flexibility, allowing you to hold gears where you might usually shift. This comes as good news, because while the Insignia’s manual ‘box is accurate, it’s also notchy.

Inside, the cabin feels well stocked, but does not match the overall quality of our Peugeot. One thing I noticed was the thick-rimmed wheel, which in my hands occasionally felt awkward to hold easily.

Like the 508, the Insignia is difficult to recommend at this high cost and specification, but it’s an interesting alternative nonetheless.

Week ending May 11
Mileage: 23,744
Driven this week: 531

It’s not going to be too long now before we say goodbye to our 508, and a good measure of a car is how much you’ll miss it when its gone. Despite the shortfalls we’ve identified, there is much to like about the big Peugeot. Our test team however, now rates this particular GT model as worth no more than two stars. The rest of the range scores three, and it’s in e-HDI trim that we find the 508 easiest to recommend. It’s an indication of the strength of competition in this category. There’s simply no room for error from car manufacturers these days, it’s a tough world.

Week ending May 4
Mileage: 23,213
Driven this week: 401

Am I alone in thinking that rain-sensitive wipers rarely work quite as effectively as you might hope? This is not unique to our 508, but with all this rain lately I’ve become more attuned to the Peugeot’s wiper routine. Lots of rain is fine, the wipers come on, and generally pick up the pace to the required rate of screen cleaning. But anything less and I find myself continually switching between the automatic and manual setting.

On the other hand, I am still a big fan of the Smartbeam automatic headlight system, which switches between dipped and main beam. In the doom and gloom of late, both systems have had lots of use.

Our cars: Peugeot 508 SW - April 2012


Free car valuations