Used Peugeot 508 SW estate (2011–2018)

Very low used car values make this large Peugeot estate a second-hand bargain but a rapid way to lose money for those who bought one new

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Well equipped as standard
Comfortable cruiser
Large boot

Weaknesses 

Bland looks of pre-facelift models
Interior could be better quality
Not the most practical cabin

Peugeot 508 estate prices from £9,495  Finance from £176 per month

Despite the rise of high-and-mighty sport utility vehicles (SUV), estate cars still have their place for many drivers offering strong practicality with decent roadholding and reasonable fuel economy. Take the Peugeot 508 SW. As a used car, this represents a whole lot of motor for not a lot of money. They question is, will buyers suffer for spending as little as possible of their hard-earned money?

Answering that question depends on who’s asking. If you’re the sort of driver that’s searching for a practical estate car that will lead a hard-working life, and want a car you won’t feel too precious about, as one child after another climbs into their childseat and one dog after another jumps into the boot and chews whatever it can sink its teeth into, then the unpretentious 508 SW could be right up your street.

However, if you value a posh badge on the bonnet, an upper-class interior and driving experience that’s on the sporty side, then it’s likely that cars such as the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class will be far more up your street – even if they’re smaller inside and more expensive.

Launched in 2011, the oldest used 508 SWs – that’s SW for station wagon – are now selling from £3,000. Budget from £7,000 and you’ll be able to afford the earliest of the facelifted 508 SWs, which is not just a pretty face but boasts some improved diesel engines and upgrades to the goodies that came as standard. See the selection of facelifted models on BuyaCar, which could be financed from around £150 a month.

The most obvious difference between the 508 SW and the saloon version is, wait for it… the boot. So that’s where we’ll begin.

By opting for the station wagon, drivers will get a 512-litre boot, which is large but only just bigger than the Ford Mondeo Estate, Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring and dwarfed by the likes of the Skoda Octavia, Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat estates. Lower the back seats and the 508 SW offers up 1,598 litres - again bigger than the German cars by some margin, but much smaller than the others.

There’s a ski-flap in the centre seat armrest for loading long items without dropping the rear seat backs, and other neat touches include a false floor that has enough room beneath it for several pairs of walking boots. Also, the false floor folds up in half, to act as a makeshift boot divider, should you wish, there’s a pull-out luggage cover that also incorporates a luggage guard net to divide the boot from the back seats, and the tailgate is electrically powered (on certain models).

In the back there are two Isofix points for securing childseats, and the overall amount of space is generous. This is helped because the floorspace beneath passengers’ feet is almost flat, which makes it more comfortable for anyone sitting in the middle seat. Certain models feature a panoramic glass roof with a sun shade. This may seem appealing but a word of warning; it can’t be opened for fresh-air.

Up in the front, the dashboard and driver’s environment is not terribly exciting. But, you may be able to overlook this given the price of a used 508 SW. Aside from a few splashes of chrome-effect trim, the interior could belong to any French, Korean or Japanese car from the same era. However, it’s clutter-free, and all the controls are chunky, making it easy to use, and some models came with a head-up display.

Quite why an estate car should have such a small glovebox and modest lidded compartment between the seats is beyond us. And when you place a bottle in the spring-loaded cup holder the navigation screen ends up being obscured. These are silly oversights.

The driving experience is relaxed. The 508 SW feels stable on the road, tackles bends with some level of enthusiasm and feels very much at home on a long drive on main roads. Light steering, a light clutch and easy-going manual gearbox do their bit to give it an easy-going vibe.

Those who place fuel economy above all other considerations might wish to seek out the 1.6-litre diesel engine with the stop-start system and automatic gearbox, as it returns almost 63mpg. However, the gearbox is pretty dreadful. The most frugal petrol unit, also a 1.6-litre, managed 43mpg, while road tax across the range is pleasingly low.

As a family estate car, it’s important to know the 508 is a safe car. In independent crash tests, performed by EuroNCAP, the 2011 508 saloon (which is essentially the same as the SW) achieved a maximum, five-star rating, with a 90% adult protection score and 87% child protection rating.

Last Updated 

Monday, July 8, 2019 - 14:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years
Boot size: 
512 litres
Width: 
2068mm
Length: 
4813mm
Height: 
1476mm
Tax: 
£20 to £200

Best Peugeot 508 for... 

Peugeot 508 SW 1.6 HDi 112hp SSS EGC
It’s the smallest and most frugal of all the diesel engines, and when paired with Peugeot’s stop-start system and automated manual gearbox, known as EGC, the 1.6-litre unit can return more than 62mpg. But we’re not fans of the gearbox, so try before you buy.
Peugeot 508 SW 2.0 HDi 140
A terrific all-round performer, this 2.0-litre diesel engine is the backbone of much of Peugeot’s range of cars, and it’s easy to see why. It has the grunt to haul a fully laden estate yet when driven carefully it has the potential for 56mpg.
Peugeot 508 SW 1.6 THP 156
If you don’t cover more than 10,000 miles a year, you may well be better off buying a petrol-powered Peugeot 508 SW. We rate the power delivery of this petrol engine, which has masses of thrust from low engine speeds.

Peugeot 508 History 

April 2011 UK deliveries of new Peugeot 508 range begin with prices starting from £19,175

May 2013 Upgrades to levels of standard equipment, meaning sat-nav becomes standard on all but the Access trim level

September 2014 Facelifted 508 SW range goes on sale, featuring 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine that complies with EURO 6 emissions standards

December 2018 All-new generation model replaces 508

Understanding Peugeot 508 car names 

  • 508
  • Engine
    2.0 HDI
  • Trim
    Allure
  • Gearbox
    Automatic
  • Engine
    The figure ‘2.0’ is the size of the engine in litres (there’s a 1.6 diesel engine and a 1.6 petrol, too) and ‘HDi’ refers to it being a diesel engine. The figure ‘140’ is the engine’s power rating in horsepower.
  • Trim
    SW stands for station wagon – a fancy way of saying estate. The 508 range started with Access trim, and moved up through SR, Active and Allure. There was also GT, which was only available with the 2.0 HDi 200 engine.
  • Gearbox
    Depending on the engine, there is a choice of a five-speed manual gearbox, a six-speed manual and two six-speed automatics. However, automatics based on Peugeot’s EGC system aren’t as good as conventional autos.

Peugeot 508 Engines 

Diesel: 1.6 HDi 112hp, 2.0 HDi 140hp, 2.0 HDi 163hp, 2.0 HDi 200hp
Petrol: 1.6 VTi 120hp, 1.6 THP 156hp

We all like our money to go far but when it comes to the entry-level 1.6 HDi 112 diesel engine in the 508 SW range, it’s worth spending more because you’ll get a better car. The 112hp unit struggles to propel such a large car.

So the 2.0-litre HDi 140 engine gets our vote. It came with a six-speed manual gearbox, has plenty of performance to cope comfortably when all the family, luggage, pets and bikes are aboard, and returns almost 56mpg. At the same time, its CO2 emissions mean road tax is low (£125).

Peugeot also offered 163hp and 200hp versions of the 2.0-litre and 2.2-litre HDi engines, but we’d stick with the more frugal 140.

If you want an automatic gearbox, be wary of the ‘EGC’ unit. It’s an automated manual gearbox is pretty unpleasant in operation, with jerky, delayed changes that interrupt the driving process.

From September 2014, an updated range saw the introduction of some revised engines. That’s an improved car, and it’s worth seeking out the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 engine. It had low CO2 emissions (110g/km, so road tax is just £20 a year) and was compliant with the latest EURO6 emissions standards.

If you’re one of the many drivers switching to petrol power, we’d suggest avoiding the underpowered 1.6 VTi 120 and searching instead for the 1.6 THP 156. This is a turbocharged engine and gives good response with the potential for 44mpg.

A final alternative comes in the guise of a hybrid. The diesel-electric ‘Hybrid4 RXH’ is quite rare, because it was expensive when new. It’s a bit like an Audi A4 Allroad, with raised suspension for added ground clearance, chunky body cladding and four-wheel drive. Low CO2 emissions (107g/km) mean costs just £20 a year to tax, and it has the potential for 68mpg. So if a cheap example shows up on the used car market, it could be worth a test drive.

 

Engine

Fuel

Economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

1.6 VTi 120

Petrol

44.8mpg

120hp

11.4 secs

124mph

1.6 THP 156

Petrol

43.5mpg

165hp

8.5 secs

136mph

1.6 HDi 112

Diesel

58.9mpg

112hp

11.2 secs

116mph

1.6 HDi 112 SSS EGC

Diesel

62.8mpg

112hp

11.9 secs

120mph

2.0 HDi 140

Diesel

56.5mpg

140hp

9.8 secs

130mph

2.0 HDi 163 automatic

Diesel

49.6mpg

163hp

9.2 secs

139mph

2.2 HDi 200 automatic

Diesel

47.8mpg

200hp

8.1 secs

138mph

2.0 BlueHDi 150

Diesel

67.3mpg

150hp

9.8 secs

130mph

2.0 BlueHDi 180 automatic

Diesel

64.2mpg

180hp

8.3 secs

140mph

2.0 HDi Hybrid4

Diesel/electric hybrid

68.9mpg

163hp

9.5 secs

132mph

Peugeot 508 Trims 

Access, SR, Active, Allure, GT

The entry-level Access trim is probably best avoided, as you didn’t get a great deal for your money when new. It included air conditioning, Isofix child seat mounts, electric windows and a height adjustable driver’s seat.

More popular was Active trim. It added alloy wheels, cruise control and an electric driver’s seat. SR was similarly equipped.

It’s also probably best to avoid the poshest, GT-spec cars. Unless you can find one at a bargain-basement price, the Allure will give you most of the creature comforts you’ll want for. Over and above Active and SR models, the extras include electric mirrors, an electric passenger seat, heated seats, parking sensors and part-leather trim.

Peugeot 508 Reliability and warranty 

There is every chance that you’ll have heard it said that the French make cars that are as flaky as a freshly baked croissant. The 508 appears to be no exception to such generalisations. In the Auto Express 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, the 508 was ranked as the 83rd most reliable car out of a total of 150 models. Peugeot has been steadily improving the brand’s overall performance in the same survey, however.

Look around forums and it’s clear that there are plenty of dissatisfied 508 owners, whose vehicles have suffered faults. However, in this part of the car market, that isn’t unusual, sadly. When new, its warranty was for three years or 60,000 miles, which is not as good as a Kia or Hyundai.

Used Peugeot 508 

There are bargains to be had where the Peugeot 508 SW is concerned. Prices for 2011 and 2012 cars start at less than £3000, although these will be cars that have led a hard life and covered more than 100,000 miles.

For around £7000, the earliest examples of the much-improved facelifted 508 fall within budget. If you can stretch that far, we’d say it’s a better buy, especially if powered by the latest BlueHDi diesel engine, which is compliant with Euro6 emissions standards.

There are currently 29 Peugeot 508 SWs available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £9,495 to £40,979 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £176 per month.

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