► 308 gets a proper boot
► 600-litres of cargo space
► Early 2022 for UK examples
Here’s Peugeot’s new 308 SW estate, set for UK introduction in early 2022. The sharply-styled Station Wagon offers more than 600 litres of cargo space, more spacious rear seats than its five-door hatch sibling, and the same fancy digital cockpit and hybrid-heavy engine line-up. Read on for more details from Peugeot’s design and product directors.
It’s an estate car. What’s Peugeot’s take on the formula?
The goal was to deliver the ‘mandatory’ boot capacity and roominess, says Peugeot exterior design chief Pierre-Paul Mattei, but with eye-catching looks. ‘That was the challenge: to give personality and charisma to a fully functional object,’ he says.
The new 308 hatch has a longer bonnet for a more cabin-backward stance; the estate visually balances this, Mattei reckons, with its longer rear overhang. There’s also an additional 5.5cm between the wheels compared with the hatch, making the SW’s wheelbase 2.73m long in total. The upshot of that is more rear legroom. And although the roofline is 2cm lower than its predecessor’s, headroom is protected by the seats being dropped by the same amount.
Peugeot is trying to give the 308 SW a more premium look with its stance, 16-18-inch wheels and some crisply folded bodywork. The aspiration is to target premium cars such as Audi’s A3 Sportback, and trim a few sales from more rational load-luggers such as the Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus.
Europeans buy some 90 per cent of the world’s estates, and in markets such as Germany the estate outsells the hatch 2:1.
Brass tacks, please: how practical is it?
This 4.64m-long car can stow up to 608 litres of luggage behind the rear seats, slightly down on the vast Octavia. Fold the seats flat and capacity increases to 1634 litres. The boot floor can be set at two heights, although this is slightly impinged on hybrid models by the battery pack, which limits total volume to 548 litres.
Rear seats are split 40:20:40, and you can slide a 1.85m-long object down the middle between two passengers. Peugeot has incorporated a motorised tailgate, which can be operated by kicking an imaginary cat under the rear bumper.
Stat fans will be amused to note that the 308 SW’s boot space is greater than its 508 SW big brother’s, which packs 530 litres. Midsize hatchback customers, it appears, truly value practicality. Roof bars kick in at the third trim level, Allure+.
Run me through new 508’s engine line-up again.
Peugeot’s mantra is the power of choice, and that means two plug-in hybrids, plus the tried and trusted 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol and 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel. The combustion engines both produce 128bhp, and send power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The engines are yet to be fully homologated, but Peugeot calculates minimum CO2 emissions at 25g/km for hybrid, and 117g/km for the diesel. ‘There’s no efficiency difference between the hatch and SW,’ says Peugeot’s product director Jerome Micheron. ‘The SW has additional weight but [the longer body] is more aerodynamically efficient, for the same level of CO2 emissions.’
Peugeot expects hybrid to account for at least a quarter of registrations. The system mates an 81kW e-motor with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, producing 150hp in the Hybrid 180 model or 180hp in the Hybrid 225 flagship. The cars are claimed to have at least 36 miles of electric range, and take a couple of hours to charge on a 7kW wallbox.
A fourth type of powertrain is coming, offering zero emissions in use. ‘There will be an EV offer on the 308 hatchback,’ confirms product chief Micheron. ‘We are investigating this for 308 SW too, but it remains an open question.’ The timing for the e-308 hatch remains opaque, but read our e-208 drive story from Land's End to Birmingham here, or watch a track battle video pitching e-208 against the petrol and diesel versions here.
Anything else to mention?
The SW shares its latest-generation digital i-Cockpit, which introduces voice control triggered by ‘Okay Peugeot’, a faster-reacting central touchscreen with a bank of customisable digital switches, plus a 3D digital driver’s binnacle on certain trims.
There’s also a full suite of driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control with indicator-triggered lane changes for overtaking, 360˚ camera monitoring and automatic emergency braking, active lane keeping and traffic sign recognition.
For more details of the new 308, read our story on the hatchback.