Peugeot 508 SW Puretech 225 GT 2019 UK Review

No more spacious than the saloon for front-row passengers, though a generally high level of trim quality makes it a pleasant place in which to sit. Soft-touch materials cover most surfaces, and you have to go hunting for scratchier ones.

The leather seats may have been given the nod by German comfort campaigners Aktion Gesunder Rücken, but they place you slightly higher than you’d expect given the slick exterior styling, and the prominent headrest forces a more upright position than some will like.

Rear passengers will appreciate the increased head room, though with the underlying platform unchanged from the saloon, there’s no extra leg room to be found. Adults may need to tuck their feet under the front-row seats, but kids will be perfectly at home here.

The real gains are in the boot, which has a flat floor and no lip for easier lifting. The loading sill is usefully low, it’s long enough for larger loads without needing to bring either the through hatch or the split-folding seats into play, and the smart tailgate (standard on GT trim cars) lets you wave a foot to open it rather than fish for keys.

Peugeot’s i-Cockpit creates a driver-focused cabin, with the now-signature small steering wheel leaving ample room to see the 12.3in digital instrument cluster. It’s a high-resolution screen that’s filled with useful information, though perhaps isn’t quite as customisable as other fully digital systems. The 10in widescreen infotainment screen isn’t quite as crisp, and is noticeably blocky when displaying the rear-view camera, but does play nicely with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The compact steering wheel is incredibly light, which initially feels at odds with the sheer size of the car, but it gains weight nicely at speed. Steering is responsive enough, though the lane keeping assist function can be a little too keen to force you back towards what it deems the middle of a lane.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine delivers more assured progress than the entry-level diesel model we tested previously, managing 0-62mph in 7.4sec, but seems happy to use a significant portion of the rev range to achieve it. The reluctance of the gearbox to shift up under a moderate throttle does little to limit the somewhat coarse engine noise, either.

Even in comfort mode, it held onto cogs for longer than expected, and while Eco mode helps keep things under control, it does nothing to mitigate the noticeable road roar. Column-mounted paddle shifters are a little on the small side, should you wish to take charge, and a manual mode hands back some control. Either way, an average touring economy of 39.8mpg is merely adequate - longer-distance drivers and fleets will almost certainly be better served by the BlueHDI 180 diesel.

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