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 specified 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 car to meet your driving needs. One company that’s already offering vehicles in several different segments is Peugeot, and its 508 SW Hybrid might just be the ticket for someone mixing the disparate requirements of long range, low emissions and high practicality, while avoiding the boxier, less efficient form of an SUV.

It joins the regular 508 Hybrid fastback in the range and lines up alongside more conventional petrol and diesel equivalents, with an eye on the same buyers targeted by non-premium rivals like Skoda, but also the more badge-conscious types who might opt for a BMW 330e Touring.

It doesn’t do a bad job at all. Estate form certainly brings practicality to the table, with greater load-carrying volume than some of those premium equivalents, while low company-car tax rates and impressive on-paper economy figures 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 and strong levels 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. 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 the car’s desirability and its residual values.

If image and residual values 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 Peugeot 508 SW Hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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