Peugeot has been thorough with its repackaging of the estate from the saloon. The roofline on the 508 SW doesn’t slope down so abruptly at the back as its sibling – it’s actually 2cm higher from front to back – so rear head room is significantly better.
It’s not as spacious as the Superb Estate, but even tall adults have sufficient head room in the 508 SW. It's slightly odd, though, that the slim rear windows sit very low, with the tops starting well below an adult’s eyeline, making the car feel a tad claustrophobic in the rear seats.
A word of warning about the optional panoramic sunroof, as well. It leaves a big bulge in the roof just in front of where a rear passenger’s forehead would be, adding to the cramped feel.
Rear leg room is exactly the same as in the saloon, so it isn’t class-leading, but a six-footer can just about fold his or her legs in behind a tall driver.
But now for the bit you’ve been waiting for: the boot. The estate is 4cm longer at the rear than the saloon, and while that doesn’t sound like much, it has transformed the space. True, like everything else in the class, it still trails the gigantic Superb Estate and Volkswagen Passat Estate, but it’s bigger with its rear seats up or down than the Ford Mondeo Estate and Mazda 6 Tourer. It’s bigger, too, than premium rivals such as the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate. The 508 SW gets a wide opening with virtually no lip at the entrance, and it’s a very useful, boxy shape inside.
The seats fold in a 60/40 split-folding configuration, and while there’s no option to change that to 40/20/40, you do at least get a ski hatch as standard. The seats are easily folded by pressing buttons either side of the boot entrance, or by toggles next to the headrests, and they lie almost flat.
If you’re holding out for the plug-in hybrid version but are worried about how restricted the boot space will be, fear not. Peugeot has said the battery will be stored under the rear seats, so boot space won’t be affected at all.
Bargain small estate offers plenty of room, but refinement and...