On sale January 2019 Price from £27,000 (est)
If you work for a mainstream brand that builds big saloons and estates, there must be times when you feel like King Cnut trying to hold back the tide. Sales of these cars have declined dramatically over the past decade in the face of competition from waves of trendy new SUVs, as well as more direct rivals wearing prestige badges.
The answer for many has been to abandon old-school family cars altogether and instead concentrate on those aforementioned SUVs. However, while Peugeot now has some very strong contenders in this sector, in the shape of the 3008 and 5008, it's still determined to stand its ground in its more traditional markets.
Back in February it revealed its latest 508, which will take on everything from the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat to the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. And now it's revealed details of the estate version: the Peugeot 508 SW.
2018 Peugeot 508 SW practicality
The new 508 SW is lower and sleeker than the car it replaces, with the price of this newfound style being a 30-litre reduction in boot capacity, down to 530 litres.
That's well down on the 650 litres of the Passat Estate, although it means the 508 SW still tops the Mondeo Estate (525 litres), not to mention the A4 Avant (505 litres) and 3 Series Touring (495 litres).
Practicality is further boosted by floor rails, restraining nets and spring-loaded rear seats that can be folded down simply by pulling levers in the boot. Meanwhile, a powered, hands-free tailgate is available as an option.
2018 Peugeot 508 SW interior
At the opposite end of the interior, the 508 SW has Peugeot’s now familiar i-Cockpit dashboard layout, which we’ve praised in the past for its upmarket look and the way it ensures even entry-level models come with plenty of features. A configurable 12.3in digital display replaces traditional instrument dials, while a separate 8.0in touchscreen (this can be upgraded to 10.0in) is used to control infotainment functions.
The i-Cockpit set-up supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and wireless phone charging. Other interior features include massaging front seats, a panoramic glass roof and up to four USB ports.
2018 Peugeot 508 SW engines
Two petrol and three diesel engines will be offered at launch, but it’s the 128bhp 1.5-litre diesel that will likely hold most appeal for UK buyers. This can be had with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, and Peugeot is promising class-leading CO2 emissions.
The other options are two 1.6-litre petrols and two 2.0-litre diesels, all with an automatic gearbox as standard. Then, in the autumn of 2019, Peugeot will add a plug-in hybrid variant, which will be a direct rival to the Passat GTE Estate – currently among our favourite hybrids.
Whichever engine you go for in the 508 SW, you'll be able to specify adaptive suspension that lets you choose from four driving modes: Eco, Sport, Comfort and Normal.
2018 Peugeot 508 SW pricing
Peugeot won’t reveal prices for the new 508 SW until closer to the UK launch, but a modest rise on the £26,685 starting point of today's car seems likely.
You should also expect to get plenty of safety kit for your money, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, while a night-vision camera is on the options list.
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Best used estates for less than £5000
10. Volvo V70
Volvo is renowned for its estates and this Swedish wagon still manages to be an excellent used load lugger, despite its advancing years. Some rivals offer greater outright load space and the tailgate of the V70 doesn’t open high enough for taller people, but the car is very well made and has seats so comfortable you will find other manufacturers' lacking after you’ve experienced them. The V70 can be expensive to maintain, but Volvos tend to be able to cover huge mileages with ease, which helps to negate some of this cost.
We found 2007 2.4D SE, 76,000 miles, £4250
Fine handling might not be one of this Astra’s strengths area, but value, practicality and ride comfort certainly are. For your £5000, you will be able to get the newest car in this list. It will have average mileage, but the Astra is tough, as our latest reliability survey highlights, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, you will still have some money left over, which is amazing considering the amount of standard equipment the Astra provides. If your priorities are comfort and load space, and you don’t care for more prestigious brands, then the Astra Sports Tourer is the car for you.
8. Toyota Avensis estate
Much like the Astra, the Toyota Avensis is a great used buy if you value functionality over driving pleasure, and because we’re talking about estate cars, it’s a fair assumption that handling isn’t top billing. TR versions come with dual-zone climate control, cruise control and sat-nav, to name a few options, which is over and above most cars in this list. Then there is the reputation for reliability, which is so good it seems almost a cliché to mention it – although our recent reliability survey proves that it’s as good as it sounds. The Avensis may not be exciting, but neither will it be a stressful car to own.
We found 2010 2.0 D-4D TR, 85,000 miles, £4790
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