Peugeot 308 SW BlueHDI 130 UK test Car News

What is that?

Peugeot seems to have rediscovered its touch for soft family cars with the new Peugeot 308 midsize sedan. However, much of the car’s dynamic success seems to depend on its relative lightness and compactness, with which heavier powertrains and more practical station wagon bodies might seem incompatible. So what about bigger and heavier versions?

Well, the SW station wagon is definitely bigger – both between the axles and in the rear overhang. It comes with the same engine choice as the hatchback offerings, so there are two tax-efficient and supposedly fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid options, and two conventional combustion options; and it’s the 1.5-liter four-cylinder BlueHDI turbodiesel we’re trying here. It develops a peak power of 129 hp identical to that of the 1.2-litre turbo petrol, but 221 instead of 170 lb-ft of torque to go along with it, and also advertises a WLTP test combined fuel economy. -laboratory 20% higher than that of an equivalent petrol SW. .

So is a 308 with a bigger boot and a rather old-fashioned turbodiesel engine still a car with special driver appeal – and what extra passenger and cargo-carrying versatility does it offer?

What does it look like?

Just like the last two generations of 308 models, the SW version gets a longer wheelbase than the hatchback; although this time it’s only 55mm longer, which is about half the ride the older versions enjoyed.

There’s no seven-seat option, but boot space increases by almost 50 per cent, SW vs hatchback, when measured behind the rear seats and under the load bay lid. The SW also includes a two-level adjustable boot floor on all but the entry level where the tailgate does not, and a power tailgate on top trim versions.

So this car is primarily about cargo space and cargo convenience. Peugeot claims gains on second-row occupant space over the normal 308 five-door hatchback, but they’ll feel fairly light if you’re a full-sized adult trying to get comfortable on one rear seats. Headroom and kneeroom are noticeably shorter than with rivals like the Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus, although there’s still plenty for children and young teenagers.

To drive, the 308 SW does indeed feel a little heavier, less nimble, less fluid in body control and generally less engaging than the best and lightest 308 hatchback; but if you opt for a heavier powertrain anyway (either a diesel or a PHEV), it’s worth remembering that the marginal loss would only be slight anyway. The SW diesel handles sharply and moderately in all cases, and drives with both absorption and composure. You wouldn’t say it has as clear a selling point for an interested driver as the regular Puretech five-door, but it’s nice and versatile; and it has decent enough body control that a cabin full of passengers and a trunk full of stuff probably won’t let it flounder at speed.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-24 23:01:23

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