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Test drive review: Peugeot 508 SW THP

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Before I start my review, I would like to confess that I am a sucker when it comes to wagons. After all, wagons are as practical as MPVs or SUVs, but handles just as well as a sedan would. Not to mention, the form factor turn heads. 

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The Peugeot 508 is no stranger to me, as I’ve tried it before its official launch and also comparing the 508 GT against some of its rivals. I liked the way the petrol sedan handled, and loved the torque delivery in the diesel variant. So, how would this petrol-powered wagon fare?

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For starters, the wagon weights just 26 kg more than the sedan sibling, a negligible number, considering the increase in boot size and extended roof line (from 545 litres to 660 litres). Apart from that, the 508 SW also gets a panoramic roof with electric blind and a powered tail gate. The rest of the wagon variant is identical to its sedan sibling, including the 1.6-litre twin scroll THP engine with 165 PS and 240 Nm of torque that’s mated to an Aisin six-speed torque converter automatic which drives the front wheels.

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On the move, there’s little to differentiate between the wagon and sedan, but for what its worth, the wagon handles admirably well. While there is no hiding the 1,578 kg on the move, the MacPherson struts and multilink rear suspension with anti-roll bars does work hard to keep bodyroll at a bare minimum. Even on hard braking, the nose does not dive as much as I would expect.

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Despite its handling prowess, ride comfort has taken a back seat, as the stiff suspension does compromise comfort, marginally. The thin 45-series rubbers all round also transmit ever so slightly more jolts to the cabin. But don’t let that fool you, as the Peugeot 508 SW is still mighty comfortable, just that rougher roads should be travelled sanely with lower speeds.

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Given a nice long stretch of smooth paved roads, then the Peugeot starts to shine. Peugeot has done a fine job with NVH on the 508 SW, keeping the noisy tires rumbling well insulated from the cabin. Only when the throttle is wide opened, that the engine’s note starts to fill the ears of the passengers. Not a bad thing, as there is practically no real need to keep the revs above 4,000 rpm. The 508 SW doesn’t feature a dual-clutch transmission, gear shifts are a bit on the slow side, though shifts are silky smooth.

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With the revs kept at sane levels, drivers would be rewarded with good fuel economy. No one would expect a turbocharged 1.6-litre-powered D-segment station wagon to be quick off the line, but that is just what the 508 SW is. Even for regular highway cruise, the 508 SW manages to return about 7.1-litres per 100 km, a very respectable figure. Passengers did comment that the 508 SW does not feel like its powered by turbocharged 1.6-litre, more like a 2.0-litre turbocharged mill.

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Being a French, typical quirkiness are soon discovered. The 508 SW may be physically large, but interior space usage isn’t its strong point. We had trouble storing our mobile phones, as we found out that there was simply no space to chuck them! Apart from that, the paddle shifters, while providing reasonably quick gear shifts, feels quite cheap in the hand. This is boiled down to the fact that the paddle shifters are made out of plastic, unlike magnesium ones found on other cars.

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Unlike the Peugeot 508 GT with its Nappa leather-adorned interior, the 508 SW makes do with regular leather interior. Not much of a ‘downgrade’, as these leather upholstery still gives the 508 SW a very upmarket feel. The non-diesel variant of the Peugeot 508 also loses out on the sleek 19-inch alloys.

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Even with the small niggles, the Peugeot 508 SW still proves to be one of the best D-segment wagons around. Thanks to our primitive road tax structure, private owners can enjoy annual road tax renewal of just RM90. Apart from that, Ikea trips are made easy with the combined luggage space 1,365 litres, which should be able to swallow up a cabinet, or two.

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All in all, the Peugeot 508 SW is a fine vehicle. We certainly loved the practicality of the wagon form factor it brings. Besides that, performance is definitely worth writing home, while the facelift brings upon a much more matured front fascia than its pre-facelift brethren. For the family man who needs to transport his family with utmost safety and still have some fun on the side, look no further.

Specifications: Peugeot 508 SW THP

Price: RM183,888 (OTR with insurance)
Engine: 1.6-litre inline-4 THP
Horsepower: 165 PS @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 240 Nm @ 1,400 rpm – 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 6 speed automatic

Peugeot 508 SW Photo Gallery