PEUGEOT has a long proud history of producing capacious quality estate cars and one of them the 505 had an impressive eight seater version which was one of the world’s first people carriers so it was no surprise that I really enjoyed driving one of their latest load carriers writes Bryan Longworth.
In the early days of the 505 over 30 years ago Peugeot was still a French family company before it became the PSA group including Citroen and I can still clearly remember being very impressed by the 505 eight seater which was something of a novelty in those days.
My latest drive in a Peugeot estate was in the new 308 SW Allure Blue HDi 120 costing £21,945 which was a five seater but it had a huge rear load area that easily swallowed a basketball net, post and base.
In fact the load area was so large that the guy who placed the basketball kit in the Peugeot for me was quite surprised at its size and said he did not realise there was such a large estate.
He also remarked about the style of the SW which was not surprising because the estate is a real looker and is arguably one of the most elegant estate cars on the market with real French flair.
The boot below the parcel shelf has 660-litres of load space with another 70 litres under the floor and when the “Magic Flat” rear seats are easily folded the result is a flat floor with 1,660 litres of luggage space.
My test car was also special because it had the Blue 1.6-litre diesel engine that has record low CO2 emissions of 88g/km which means no road tax to pay and its other statistics are a top speed of 121mph zero to 62mph in 12.1 seconds with a combined fuel consumption of 85.6 mpg.
The very frugal and refined diesel engine provided a lively power output through a six speed manual gearbox and I liked the balance of the steering via the rather small steering wheel with the instrument panel above it which included both conventional and digital speedometers.
It seemed strange looking at the instruments above and not through the steering wheel which smaller drivers might have a problem with but I found that with adjusting the seat and steering wheel I could get a good view of both speedos.
The large central touch screen information unit is a useful piece of kit although I would have preferred for the climate control to have been manually operated and I was relieved to find the audio controls were on the steering wheel and not on the screen.
The tailgate is quite heavy to open and and I would imagine that some owners especially females could find this rather irksome if the load area is frequently used but it is much easier to close.
But despite this niggle the 308 SW is a magnificent estate car in the best tradition of those Peugeot estates mentioned earlier which were pioneers in this market sector and it is reassuring that Peugeot is still maintaining this tradition.
Model: Peugeot 308 SW Allure Blue HDI 120.
Engine: 1.6-litre diesel.
Output: 120bhp @ 3500rpm.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 121mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph: 12.1 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 85.6mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 88g/km.
Price: £21,945 on the road.