Hot on the heels of the recently unveiled Peugeot 508 sedan is the all-new 508 SW, the D-segment wagon that combines practicality and poise. While wagons have not traditionally done well in our part of the world, they (along with hatchbacks) are a huge market in European states. So popular is the D-segment estate form that it is one in every three cars sold in Europe.
Rather interestingly, the exterior dimensions of the 508 SW have shrunk a little from its predecessor. The car sits 6 cm lower than the previous model, without compromising headroom or interior space. The overall length is also 5 cm shorter, even though it is 3 cm longer than the sedan variant.
More important than the dimensions are the choice of design. The windows are frameless, which is something that we rarely see on modern production cars at this price point, and numerous features on the car have been designed with the aim of fluidity and continuous design. Even the roof antenna has been made flush so as not to disrupt the roofline of the car.
Full LED headlamps up front light the way, with LED daytime running lights as decoration. Round the back is a three-dimensional full LED design for an extra touch of class and consistency in lighting technology. These are also lit during the daytime as well with adjustable intensity for night time driving.
The boot is also designed with convenience in mind. 530 litres of space is available with the luggage cover closed, and the loading floor is just 63.5 cm from the ground. Oddly enough there is a 30 litre deficit from the outgoing model, but this can be corrected with flat-folding second row seats known as Magic Flat, offering flexibility of configuration for any loading situation.
The EMP2 platform on which the 508 and 508 SW sit is up to 70 kilograms lighter than the previous model, with more structural adhesive for better body rigidity. There's also a new 8-speed automatic transmission that has been introduced on a widespread level with an electric gear lever.
In terms of powertrain options, the Peugeot 508 SW will be available with both petrol and diesel variants in various states of tune. For the petrol models, the turbocharged 1.6-litre PureTech engine will be made available in either a 180 hp or 225 hp state of tune. The BlueHDi turbodiesel engines come in either 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre flavours and make between 130 and 180 hp. In the second half of 2019, Peugeot will also introduce a plug-in petrol hybrid variant of the 508 SW.
When it comes to features, Peugeot has been pretty extensive both for comfort and convenience as well as safety. In the case of the former is the latest generation Peugeot i-Cockpit, a full-leather steering wheel, carbon or faux wood trims, satin chrome accents, fabric lined storage areas, ergonomic front passenger seats in Alcantara or Nappa leather, a panoramic sunroof, and a 10-speaker system.
For the latter, the standout safety features are the Night Vision system, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality, Full Park Assist, Active Safety Brake (which functions between 5 km/h and 140 km/h), Active Blind Spot Monitoring System with course correction, and Active Lane Keeping Assist above 65 km/h.
It's clear that the 508 SW is to be the darling of the Peugeot range, and given their major steps forward in design and engineering with their last few models, the 508 SW is likely to be a sure hit. Unfortunately, the construction techniques and materials involved are likely to make this car an expensive proposition, and we're even less likely to see it in our region (even though we did receive the predecessor), but only time will tell.