Peugeot 508 SW vs rivals

Following the disappointing 407, Peugeot hopes its 508 can go straight to the top of the family car class. We test it against its four main rivals

Peugeot 508 SW vs Rivals

Mixing value pricing with brilliant quality is no easy task – but it’s a combination that has made John Lewis a big success. With its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ pledge and high-class image, it occupies a unique place on the high street.

Peugeot is aiming to perform a similar feat with the launch of its new 508 family car, which promises better quality than ever before. The French firm hasn’t abandoned its attractive pricing policy, though, while the practical SW estate will arrive in showrooms at the same time as the saloon. We put the sleek five-door through its paces in mid-range diesel guise.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Peugeot 508

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However, rivals in this sector come thick and fast, and they all share the Peugeot’s upper-crust aspirations. The Skoda Superb is our pick of the current crop. For only a few hundred pounds more, it matches the 508 for performance, and comes with plenty of kit.

The new-look VW Passat isn’t as well equipped, 
but it has a desirable badge, an efficient engine and is the cheapest car in our line-up.

If that wasn’t enough to contend with, the recently revised Ford Mondeo is put under the microscope for the first time as an estate.

Last but not least is the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer. It won our Estate Car of the 
Year award in 2009, so clearly there are no pushovers for the new 508 in this test...

Verdict

The family car sector is alive and kicking, and none of these models will disappoint. But with so little between them all, ranking them is no easy task. 

Peugeot’s new 508 finished level in our star ratings with the third placed Ford, but in the final analysis, the Mondeo’s more engaging character gave it the edge, relegating the French car to fourth place overall. The 508 makes most sense for company drivers, who will be getting lots of performance, style and kit for the money. 

The Skoda is an impressive all-rounder, and deserves to retain its position at the top. Close behind is the frugal Passat. It isn’t as fun or well equipped, but does provide the lowest emissions. The fifth-placed Vauxhall is too expensive and inefficient to challenge the class leaders.

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