Peugeot 508 SW long-term test review: report 5

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 driving modes

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

Mileage 5620 List price £32,280 Target Price £30,164 Price as tested £34,655 Test economy 37.3mpg Official economy 44.8mpg

5 March 2020 – Creature comforts

Regardless of all the gadgets and gizmos you can get on modern cars, and no matter how sleek and stylish designers can make it look, the most important thing for me when driving a car is how it rides and how comfortable it is. I spend a lot of my day trawling up and down motorways to head to shoots and events, as well as creeping through town on my daily commute, so knowing I can do that in comfort is what's at the front of my mind.

Thankfully, my Peugeot 508 SW lives up to the task. In day to day driving, it rides smoothly and absorbs smaller surface imperfections well, which makes it a comfortable cruiser when taking on longer journeys. It does get unsettled over potholes, though, and you can feel a thud coming through the interior. 

Peugeot 508 SW driving modes

To help with that relaxing drive, I tend to keep my 508 SW set in 'Comfort' mode - there's a choice of four driving modes, with Comfort, Eco, Normal and Sport all altering the way the car drives and adjusting the adaptive suspension that's fitted to my car. If I'm sat in inner-city traffic for an extended period of time, I set the car into Eco, which restrains the acceleration and changes gear more often to help save on fuel. I'm not sure how much real-world affect this has on the fuel economy, though; I'll have to take it on an Eco run to see how the figures compare. 

The driving mode I have avoided, though, has been the Sport setting. It sharpens up the accelerator response but makes it far too jerky when pulling away or when shuffling along in traffic. It also sharpens up the ride and makes it more fidgety over all but the smoothest of tarmacs, as well as adding more weight to the steering and making it feel less natural. 

I can see why the Sport mode might appeal for some drivers, but for my driving needs, a soft leather seat, comfortable ride and good stereo is more than enough. 

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