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In-depth reviews

Peugeot 508 SW Hybrid review

Practical, good looking and frugal (provided you plug it in), the 508 SW Hybrid is a compelling alternative to similarly priced SUVs

Peugeot 508 SW Hybrid
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Stand-out styling
  • Decent standard equipment
  • Very low CO2 emissions and BiK

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • BMW 330e better all round
  • Style is put before outright practicality
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid33-39 miles166-235mpg30-34g/km

It’s getting easier all the time to find a plug-in hybrid car to meet your driving needs. One company that’s already offering such vehicles in several different segments is Peugeot. Its 508 SW Hybrid estate might just be the ticket for someone with the disparate requirements of a long range, low CO2 emissions and excellent practicality, who wants to avoid the boxier, less efficient option of an SUV.

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It sits alongside the regular 508 Hybrid fastback in the range, with an eye on the same buyers targeted by non-premium rivals like the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat plug-in estates, but also the more badge-conscious types who might opt for a BMW 330e Touring or Mercedes C-Class.

It doesn’t do a bad job at all. The estate form certainly brings practicality to the table, with greater load volume than some of those premium equivalents, while low company-car tax and impressive on-paper economy mean day-to-day running costs should be relatively low, too. Importantly, the 508 SW is also good to drive, with composed handling, a unique and comfortable cabin design and a good level of equipment.

Perhaps equally important given comparisons with BMW’s 3 Series, the 508 SW Hybrid is one of the best-looking cars on sale, let alone in the narrower realms of estates or plug-in hybrids. The distinctive daytime running lights, shark-nosed front end and well proportioned shape all contribute to a design that absolutely holds its own among more desirable badges.

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And the mix of a reasonable electric range with the longer legs of a petrol engine mean it works on the road, too, handling shorter journeys just as well as it does longer trips, giving the 508 SW Hybrid a wide range of talents. While all that counts for something, it’s still a difficult car to recommend over similar offerings from BMW or Mercedes. Good to drive and attractive it might be, but when top-spec models edge over the £40,000 mark, badge appeal really starts to matter, and that impacts both desirability and residual values.

If image and residuals aren’t a concern, though, and you don’t fancy the SUVs that are now beginning to dominate this sector, the decent performance, confident handling and striking interior may all be enough to sway you. For a more detailed look at the 508 SW Hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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