As I write this update, the country is still in lockdown, which means the Peugeot 508 SW isn’t getting a great deal of use. Aside from the weekly trip to the supermarket, it’s hardly seeing the outside world, which will be a familiar feeling to many of us.
Fortunately, I have a page of notes to run through, so this month’s update doesn’t have to be a review solely on what the car looks like when parked outside my house. Last month, I mentioned the impressive LED headlights, which remain one of the car’s best features. However, less impressive is the auto-dimming function, which is too slow to react to oncoming traffic, rendering it almost useless. I know many motoring journalists who take a… ahem, dim view of auto-dimming headlights, but I’m more positive about them. Sadly, in the case of the Peugeot, I’m feeling more negative than positive. Speaking of lights, the service indicator on the dashboard remains illuminated. Having spoken to another Peugeot dealer, I was informed that the premature service light is a known issue and there’s currently no fix. A few miles after a reset, the light would come on again, so I was advised to stay at home (this was just as lockdown measures were being introduced). With this in mind, I’m not sure whether to trust the new AdBlue warning message, but I’ll monitor it for a while.
I’ve been passing some of the free time by fettling my fleet of old – and mostly undesirable – motors. I own a Renault Laguna Sport Tourer diesel, which I bought for £100 a couple of years back. Obviously, cars have developed a great deal since the Laguna was registered in 2004 – it did receive the first five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, mind – but I think the Renault does a better job of fulfilling family car duties. For a start, it feels more spacious and airier in the cabin. More light floods into the cabin, helped by the large sunroof, making it more pleasant on a long journey. In the 508 SW, the sloping roofline, the shape of the rear windows and the dark roof lining combine to make it feel rather claustrophobic in the back. There’s also less headroom in the boot for the dog, while the loading lip is significantly higher in the Peugeot.
I’m not saying the Laguna is a better car than the 508, but when judged purely on the basis of a family estate, the Renault is more convincing. The Peugeot feels as though it is aimed more at the people in the front seats, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you spend most of your life commuting alone. Right now, it would be nice to venture further than the nearest Waitrose or Lidl. Stay safe everyone.
Date arrived 17th December 2019
Fuel economy 52.4-62.0 (WLTP combined) 42.8mpg (on test)
The 508 SW looks and feels excellent in the front…
It’s not so great in the back, and has less headroom in the boot for the dog.