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a white peugeot 508 sw pse driving on a road

Peugeot 508 SW Sport Engineered review (2023-)

The 508 SW Peugeot Sport Engineered (PSE) is the most powerful car Peugeot has ever produced, offering lots of performance, a massive boot and an awesome exterior design. 

It’s packed with lots of interesting features, not least the new badge sitting proudly on the front grille resembling the iconic lion that’s been carried through generations.

You’ll also notice many nods to a big cat’s claw mark dotted around the car. 

Being a plug-in hybrid, it’s also one of the most efficient estate cars you could buy, but how does it stack up against its German rivals? 

Reasons to buy:

  • 34 miles of electric-only driving 

  • One of the best-looking modern cars 

  • Competitively priced 


a look at a peugeot 508 sw pse's black interior with green accentsPeople are going to get in this and think it doesn’t feel like any other rivals, with its high-quality finishes and tech.

This is true of almost all new Peugeot models, which the brand has taken to the next level. 

The first thing you’ll notice is the i-Cockpit setup sitting proudly on the dash, which is impressive to look at and intuitive to use.

Tap the middle of the screen with three fingers and it takes you back to the menu screen – very helpful to know if you’re not the best with tech, but there is also a home button (but that’s less fun). 

Features in this system include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as customisable controls. While Peugeot’s infotainment system is easy to use, sometimes it’s just easier to connect your phone and use CarPlay. 

Like with the exterior, the inside of the 508 includes lots of nods to claws, linking back to its big cat badge theme on the front.

These can be found on the steering wheel and on the buttons under the infotainment display, which are always great to have as shortcuts so you don’t need to fiddle with the touchscreen mid-drive. 

Speaking of which, you’ll notice an array of familiar switchgear from other Stellantis models such as the gear selector from Vauxhall.

While parts-sharing may seem like cheating, it isn’t, and it means Peugeot can open up more budget for other things such as performance and efficiency. 

As for the seats, they’re quite firm and also really comfortable, hugging you in all the right places.

Plus, standard fit on the car we tested is the massage function, which is really very lovely – but can be distracting. 

a close-up of the peugeot 508's steering wheel and dashboardThroughout the cabin, there’s a decent amount of storage space including cupholders, a sizeable centre console and one next to the gear selector.

There are also deep door bins for large water bottles or road trip snacks. 

Our one gripe with the interior is the seating position, which we couldn’t quite get right. If you want to be sat low down like in a sports car with the steering wheel at the correct height as we do, you can’t do so without obscuring the view of the graphics in front of you.  

It’s a cool-shaped steering wheel with a flat top and bottom, but it does mean it’s awkward to position. However, if you prefer to be sat higher up, then this won’t be as much of a problem.


a white peugeot 508 sw pse driving away from the camera on a country roadPeugeot Sport Engineered is what AMG is to Mercedes – a high-performance sub-brand that turns ordinary cars into more powerful and fun driving machines.

While this souped-up 508 is a long way from being an Audi RS6 or Mercedes E63 on the road, it’s massively more fun than the standard car. 

Power comes from a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with one electric motor on each axle producing 360hp and 530Nm of torque via an eight-speed automatic transmission with linear and smooth power delivery – almost electric-like thanks to the efficiency of the electric motors at each axle. 

That's a lot of muscle and means it can launch itself from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. 

Key to the car’s appeal is its efficiency, with Peugeot claiming it can achieve between 32 and 34 miles of pure electric driving.

In our testing, we were at 71% battery, which showed 21 miles of range from the battery. This is lower, but it will depend on how you’re driving. We spent most of our time on country roads, but around town, you can expect to get more. 

When it comes to filling up the battery, this can be done quickly because it’s not a fully electric car, giving you a full battery in around one hour and 40 minutes. 

All this hybrid goodness means you benefit from a claimed combined fuel economy of 156.9mpg and 40g/km of C02. 

While it’s nice to know you can eke out as much range as possible when needed, the 508 PSE does also have a trick up its sleeve – proper performance estate car capabilities

a white peugeot 508 sw pse parked in front of a large housePSE has tweaked this model quite substantially, adding a high-performance engine setup but also stiffer suspension, which you certainly feel alongside larger 20-inch wheels and a stiffer spring rate. 

It’s not as harsh as in some other models, but you certainly feel a noticeable thud over bumps and cats' eyes on the road.

Overall, the suspension is well-judged and sporty, which means it handles well and resists body roll on the bends. 

4WD mode is handy in slippery conditions and adds to its handling capabilities, aided by its wide Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres.

It does this by pulling you into the corner as you accelerate around the bend, giving you a real sense of using the power from both ends of the car to tug you into the bend. 

This is particularly noticeable in Sport mode, which makes the throttle and handling spicier, and with kickdown from the throttle, it gives it the beans.

You can also change gear semi-automatically thanks to the paddle shifters like in a proper sports car, but they’re a bit cheap to the touch – however, they do the job. 

The 508’s steering becomes heavier in Sport mode, with not much feel, but if you want to properly feel the road, you’ll need to look to more performance-oriented models such as the BMW 5 Series estate or new M3 Touring.

Having said that, it’s responsive and nice to use – just not in a sporty way. 

a white peugeot 508 sw pse driving on a roadFlick it into Comfort mode and everything starts to slow down. The suspension becomes more forgiving on our rough British roads, as does the steering, which becomes lighter – perfect considering you’ll most likely be using this driving mode most frequently. 

Going fast and cornering well is one thing, but stopping power is probably the most important thing to think about.

Hiding behind its massive wheels are vented discs that offer strong braking, but they do lack pedal feel. The important thing, however, is that they work, and make stopping this 1,875kg estate a breeze. 

Overall, the driving experience is superb. Yes, it’s slightly muted and numbed compared to an Audi RS6, but it’s quick, grippy and efficient – everything it promises to be. 


the open boot of a white peugeot 508 sw pseBeing an estate car, the 508 station wagon is one of the most practical vehicles you’ll find, with a roomy 530-litre boot that grows to 1,780 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.

Doing this is made easy by a handle in the boot.  

It may not be as large as some of its rivals, but the added batteries for the hybrid system is the price you pay. Either way, it’s going to be hard to fill unless you’re carrying around lots of furniture. 

It’s also got an automatic tailgate, which makes loading shopping easier. There is a noticeable metal lip to be aware of that may make heavier objects harder to load.

Before any large suitcases are loaded in, it’s handy to know you can hide your charging cables under the boot floor to keep them out of the way. 

As you move forward in the car, the rear seats are well-sized and comfortable, but it feels a little cosy without an extended sunroof.  

a shot of the rear seats in a peugeot 508 sw pseThe seats are firm and supportive with good knee and headroom, with enough space to tuck your feet under the front seats.

There’s also space for someone in the middle seat but you do sit a bit higher, so there’s less headroom for taller passengers.  

Rear-seat passengers also benefit from two USB ports and two separate vents so everyone can be kept charged, cooled or heated. 

It may not be the most spacious cabin and there might be a Skoda or two that can pip it, but it’s pleasant nonetheless and perfect for a family of four to sit comfortably – or five at a squeeze.

Running costs

a close up at the rear of the peugeot 508 sw pseThe big factor to consider when buying a car is price, as always.

The average performance estate is usually priced on the higher end – just look at the RS6’s eye-watering £130,000 price tag. 

But this is where the 508 SW PSE may surprise you, swooping in with its £55,175 starting price, which is made even more attractive with car finance deals.  

So, for just over £1,000 more than the 508 saloon, you’re getting a much larger boot and greater overall practicality – a real win in our books. 

Other costs you need to consider include insurance, fuel, charging and maintenance, which we’ll dive into now.  

The Peugeot 508 PSE sits in insurance group 41, which is on the higher end, but you have to remember this is seen as a sporty car by insurance companies, and it is to an extent. 

a white peugeot 508 sw pse parked in front of a large modern houseTwo other main expenses include fuel and charging costs, which, for this car, are reasonable.

Peugeot claims the 508 has a combined fuel economy of 156.9mpg and can drive up to 34 miles on electric power alone.

This means most people’s commute is covered by EV power, provided you plug it in to recharge at home. 

Fuel costs vary massively but at the time of writing (November 2023), it’ll cost around £64 to fill it up. Charging using a home wall box charger will cost a very small amount to top up its onboard 12.4kWh battery. 

When it comes to general maintenance costs, this new Peugeot model shouldn’t cause you any concerns.

It comes as standard with a three-year warranty and thanks to help from Stellantis, it features tried-and-tested parts throughout.

Written by Ben Welham

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The 508 with tweaks by Peugeot Sport Engineered is actually a very impressive car and we’re massive fans of its design and interior.  

Of course, when it comes to actual driving dynamics, something like a sporty 5 Series will probably appeal to more people, but if you need a reliable, practical and economical car for your family, you can’t go wrong with the 508 estate in plug-in hybrid form. 

This review was