By Mike Torpey on 2020-05-09 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Peugeot 508 SW GT
CLASSY looks and practicality can prove a compelling combination - and in the case of the Peugeot 508 SW, a serious alternative to an SUV.
No doubts, the clamour for crossovers seems to go from strength to strength but when the chips are down there are many who believe you can't beat the space and carrying capacity of a traditional estate.
If there's one recent model that underpins that view it's the stylish 508 SW, big brother to the French brand's 508 fastback.
Elegant and low-slung with a profile any owner would be happy to see posing on their driveway, this latest Pug estate is a real piece of eye candy.
Primarily the fleets, and further down the line private owners, will be the mainstay of the SW and they really are in for a treat with this latest generation 508.
Inside, the cabin quality is not only up there with the premium German marques but raises the game a notch higher.
We're talking elegant quilted leather seats - in the GT Line versions at least - top quality fittings, outstanding fit and finish and, surprising yet so effective for a car of this size, a small flat-bottomed steering wheel.
There are also massaging seats, sat nav and Peugeot's multi-mode i-Cockpit digitised instrument panel from which the driver can adjust the lighting and engine noise, and MirrorLink, Apple Car and Android Auto are all standard.
While sharp looks can always tip the scales in favour of a particular model, an estate needs to be fit for purpose as a practical load-lugger.
In the case of the SW that means a greater cargo capacity than before of 580 litres while there's also a lower boot lip for easier loading.
The rear seats fold flat two thirds to one third, creating a maximum space of a whopping 1,780 litres - 243 litres more than a regular 508 model. As for cabin space, five passengers can travel in comfort - including in the centre rear.
Prices start at £27,630 for a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel model in Active trim, entry point to the four spec grades on offer and the only engine available with manual transmission as all others have an eight-speed automatic.
Our tested variant was the lower powered of the two 2.0-litre diesels (163 and 177bhp) up for grabs and couldn't be faulted for its smoothness, strength or silence.
It's a terrific car to drive, even when heavily laden with paraphernalia, nimble for its size and relaxing on the motorway too.
Add those stunning looks and classy cabin touches to the equation and you have a model that can look after modern family requirements - with a large helping of panache.
Peugeot 508 SW GT Line
Mechanical: 163bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 140mph
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 52.9
Insurance Group: 30
C02 emissions: 110g/km
Bik rating: 27%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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