Edward Stephens finds a French estate that oozes style and panache.
Like a catwalk fashion model from its native France the Peugeot 508 SW oozes style and panache, setting it apart from its predecessor – and most of its competitors.
Sleek as the 407 SW was, its replacement has the edge on style and is in a different league altogether when it comes to ride, handling and build quality.
In fact, Peugeot has cleverly managed to build into the car a distinctly up-market feel which is in evidence from the moment you sit inside and turn the ignition key.
Before you move away your eyes are attracted upwards to the vast panoramic glass roof which stretches from the front of the car to well behind the heads of the rear seat passengers and is some 25 per cent larger than that of the 407 SW.
With the electric blind open the glass lets in an abundance of light and would be perfect for driving through somewhere like Manhattan with its high rise buildings filling the skyline.
But the glass roof is not the only up-market toy on the Allure spec SW.
This car also comes with features like half-leather front seats which are not only electrically adjustable, but heated too, and they hold you well on tight corners. And these heated seats operate quicker than on any other car I have come across, which is great on a frosty winter morning.
The leather-covered steering wheel is squared off at the bottom to give the driver more leg room and the stylish dashboard with its easy read dials is backed up by an on-board computer which you can set to give a digital speed readout so there is no excuse for getting flashed by a speed camera.
In fact, the cabin is a nice blend of refinement and technology which makes the car very easy to live with. Interior illumination using ultra-bright directional LEDs instead of bulbs means a passenger in the rear can read a book on their lap without the light being seen in the rear view mirror by the driver.
But for most people who buy an estate it’s the luggage space which is their main concern and on the 508 SW this is an impressive 600 litres with the seats in place and 1865 litres with the seat backs folded down.