Peugeot 508 SW long-term test review: report 3

Peugeot's 508 SW aims to mix the svelte looks of the 508 executive car with the practicality of an estate, but is the result as appealing as it sounds? Our chief photographer is finding out...

Peugeot 508 SW long-term review

The car Peugeot 508 SW Puretech 180 Allure Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

Why it’s here I still believe an estate is the best way of fulfilling my requirements as a photographer

Needs to Offer plenty of space for all my photography gear, provide a comfortable ride on long journeys and have a raft of equipment and modern safety tech

List price £32,280 Target price £30,164 Price as tested £34,655 Mileage 3700 Official economy 44.8mpg Test economy 38.3mpg

23 January 2020 – Window of opportunity

Technology can be a wonderful thing, but it often means there’s more to go wrong. In the days of ‘rolling up your window’, for example, if you left it open, that was simply your fault. 

Why am I talking about windows? Well, I’ve had a couple of problems with the electric windows on my Peugeot 508 SW. If you hold down the unlock button on the keyfob for a few seconds, all four of the windows should automatically fully open, and close again when you hold the lock button. However, there must be a glitch with my key; on more than one occasion, I’ve returned to the car to find the windows have all been lowered without my interaction. 

I believe this may be where the keys have been nudged whilst in my pocket, but I’ve even tried to recreate the issue and can’t get the car to respond when I try. Having spoken to Peugeot, it said the keyfob can indeed be used in this way, but perhaps there was a problem with mine that would explain the erratic behaviour of the windows. If I have the same problem again, a visit to a local dealer may be on the cards. 

Thankfully, I haven’t had any real issues with any of the other technology, although I find the touchscreen infotainment system to be laggy, requiring a second poke to register my inputs. It’s also frustrating having to use the screen to adjust the climate controls; physical buttons or rotary dials are much safer and more intuitive to use on the move. 

I have, however, grown used to the unconventional ‘piano key’ buttons below the touchscreen. They stick out at a 90deg angle with symbols on top to denote what function each button controls. It’s tricky to deduce which button is which whilst driving, but now I’ve had the chance to get used to the system, moving between the radio or sat-nav screens is easy enough to do with a quick press. 

The small steering wheel that’s part of Peugeot’s ‘i-Cockpit’ design – supposedly allowing a clearer view of the instrument dials – is still frustrating me, too, and it doesn’t fit particularly nicely in my fairly large hands. Fingers crossed that’s the least of my problems for now, though.

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