Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 BlueHDi Allure 120 Stop-Start
When I went to the Peugeot 308 launch 12 months ago, I was bowled over by how good it was. To add extra appeal to the 308 range, Peugeot launched an ‘estate’ version of the 308 earlier this year, the 308 SW, to compete with the likes of the Golf estate, Leon ST estate, Civic Tourer & Astra Tourer. In addition, the SW was launched with Peugeots new BlueHDi 120 Stop-Start engine , offering just 85g/km in CO2 emissions & a combined fuel economy of 88.3 mpg, both very, very impressive.
With a wheelbase that’s 110mm longer than the 308 hatch creating more room inside, the SW is 332mm longer as a whole, revealing a 660-litre boot that’s the biggest in the class. Although not as attractive as the hatch, Peugeot have gone to great lengths to improve the SW’s exterior. Sharp lines, an elegant front, large rear windows, the addition of silver roof rails & large wraparound tail-lights all make the SW a far better looking car than the old 307 SW.
It goes without saying that the Allure test car I drove, which sits second from the top of the range below Feline & above Access & Active, comes well equipped with 17″ alloys, LED daytime running lights, electric front windows, front fogs, programmable cruise control with speed limiter, dual zone air-con, rear parking sensors, leather steering wheel & gear stick, automatic headlights with follow-me-home function wipers, a 9.7″ multi-function touchscreen infotainment system, DAB, SatNav, Bluetooth & a USB input. I also benefitted from a full length glass roof which was great at making the cabin brighter, especially as the interior is all black. The SW is also equipped with Peugeots small steering wheel which I quite like. However, it is quite difficult to adjust this to a position with the drivers seat where you can read all of the info on offer from the speedo/rev counter/fuel binnacle.
It’s well built too, with high-quality plastics and subtle metal trim. There’s also comfortable seats back & front & room at a push for five .The minimal centre console has only a handful of buttons, as all of the major functions are on the 9.7-inch touchscreen. This has aesthetic benefits but it will take a new owner a couple of weeks to digest how to work with it properly in all it’s glory. To give you some idea of how hard it is to use, in my seven days in the SW, I tried the DAB radio easy, the SatNav also easy, the Bluetooth phone easy & the heating/climate controls, which can only be controlled via the touch screen not so easy & this I have to admit was a little annoying as a button on the dash would simplify things. I did not try out the Apps function !
The main reason for opting for the SW over the 308 hatch is it’s increased size. The boot lid opens to reveal a flat load area which includes load rails in the floor as well as seat-folding levers in the boot sides. The cover can be removed & stored underneath & with the rear seats folded down the boot offers a total capacity of 1775 litres, making the SW great for those who need that extra space.
Again like the 308 hatch, there’s a massive return to form with this Peugeots handling & it’s a really fun car to drive whether around town or up & down the motorway. One of the reasons for this, is that the new Peugeot 308 SW is lighter than most of its mainstream rivals thanks to a drastic weight saving scheme during its design. In fact the SW is 140kgs lighter than the car it replaces, which is two adult men ! Combined with a body that has been shaped to be more aerodynamic than before & hey presto the new SW drives more like the old 306 estate with Porsche like handling around tight corners adding to it’s appeal.
I mentioned the claimed fuel figure earlier, a whopping 88.3 mpg. In my real world test the SW managed just shy of 60 mpg on the motorway & 53.2 mpg around town leading to an average mpg of 55.4 mpg, which for my style of driving was very impressive. It doesn’t feel slow either, with 62 mph reached in just over 12 seconds & a top speed of 121 mph. Company car drivers take note. If you want to save money then this 120 Blue HDi engine is an engine you really need to try. As an added bonus, the new 308 SW is attractively priced compared to the main competition of Golf, Focus & Astra.
Another step in the right direction from Peugeot 4/5.