- Stunning design, no matter the angle
- Wonderful quality throughout
- Excellent ride and handling balance
- Expensive service costs
- Back seat not massive
- Not cheap to buy
It’s 2022 and chances are, if you’re looking for a family car under $80,000, you’re likely looking at an SUV. They come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, and as a result, they’re firing up the sales charts. But we in the automotive journalist world think that’s wrong, and present a much better option: the wagon. Wagons have been around for way longer than SUVs and because of SUV dominance on the sales charts, car makers are trying to revitalise the wagon making them more relevant to more people. Enter the 2022 Peugeot 508 GT Sportswagon.
Choosing stunning design over a more practical interior, Peugeot has created a fashion forward wagon that will appeal to those who choose a car based on its looks alone. But is there substance behind the styling, and should you be considering the 508 over less stylish but more practical rivals? Let’s find out.
Price & Equipment: 7/10
Australia gets just one 508 specification for now: the loaded GT, which is available in either liftback, wagon or plug-in hybrid liftback forms. We’re testing the 2022 Peugeot 508 GT Sportswagon, which is priced at $65,657 plus on-road costs (around $71,000 drive away) – almost $10,000 more than when it was released in 2019, not that Peugeot is alone in raising prices locally.
It’s a serious amount of coin, but the 508 does come with a lot of standard equipment. Highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels with adaptive suspension, all-LED lighting with front and rear daytime running lights, auto lights and wipers, roof rails, keyless entry and start, Nappa leather upholstery with heated and electrically adjustable front seats with messaging and driver’s memory functionality, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, a 10-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio, satellite navigation, a 10-speaker Focal sound system, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, four USB ports, an electric tailgate, heated/auto-folding mirrors that auto-dip when parking and puddle lamps.
Safety equipment includes six airbags, auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, lane trace assist, auto high beam, driver attention monitoring, speed sign recognition, a 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors and semi-autonomous self parking.
Just two options are available for the 508 GT Sportswagon: a $2,500 sunroof and metallic paint, which ranges from $690 (‘Nera Black’, ‘Artense Grey’ and ‘Platinum Grey’) to $1,050 (‘Pearl White’ and our test car’s ‘Elixir Red’). ‘Ink Blue’ is the only no-cost colour available and black is the only interior colour available – the formerly available red leather option has been culled.
Competitors to the 508 GT Sportswagon are the Skoda Superb 206TSI Sportline ($70,990 drive away) and Volkswagen Passat 206TSI R-Line (around $74,000 drive away). Despite its slightly higher ride height the Volvo V60 Cross Country (around $75,000 drive away) should also be considered.
Comparing standard equipment levels gives an edge to the Superb in particular – while full leather with vented front seats is a $1,900 option, it does have features like Matrix headlights, nine airbags, tri-zone climate control, heated rear seats, wireless phone mirroring and automatic rear braking, all for around the same price as the 508. The Superb also has a larger and more powerful engine, all-wheel drive and is a bigger car, meaning that the 508 is well equipped but could be better value for money.
Performance & Economy: 8/10
Under the bonnet of the 2022 Peugeot 508 GT Sportswagon is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 165kW of power (at 5,500rpm) and 300Nm of torque (at 2,750rpm). It’s mated solely to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission and is solely available in front-wheel drive form, unlike its price point rivals.
The 508 GT Sportswagon is no rocket ship with its 8.2 second 0-100km/h sprint time, and the engine’s note is a touch wheezy at low revs, but the engine is otherwise quite willing and a good performer. Its performance isn’t as strong as the 206kW Superb and Passat, yep, but it suits the Peugeot’s luxury vibe quite well. It’s refined and rarely disappoints – only the slow action of the stop start system can annoy.
The only transmission available for the 508 GT Sportswagon is an eight-speed torque converter automatic that’s made by Japanese company Aisin. While it’s not lighting fast like a DSG dual-clutch automatic, its low speed behaviour is far superior and it’s generally quite intuitive when on the move. For extra manual control, it features paddle shifters, which are handily mounted to the steering column.
The claimed fuel consumption for the 508 GT Sportswagon is 6.3L/100km, and in a mix of urban and highway driving, we achieved 7.2L/100km, which is far less than the all-wheel drive rivals like the Passat and V60 Cross Country. The 508 has a 62-litre fuel tank and must use a minimum 95RON premium fuel.
Ride & Handling: 9/10
Based on the same ‘EMP2’ platform as the 3008 and 5008 SUVs, the 2022 Peugeot 508 GT Sportswagon drives very well, which is definitely helped by its lightweight 1,395kg tare mass – a full 413kg lighter than the V60 Cross Country (which is admittedly all-wheel drive, but still). Despite the large 19-inch wheels, the 508’s ride quality is great no matter the drive mode selected, with a slightly firm but well controlled feel to the suspension that loosens up a bit too much for our liking in comfort mode.
It also handles quite well, with quick and accurate steering, and a great chassis as well. The 508’s road noise levels are impressively low, while its active safety systems are well tuned. However, the 360-degree camera leaves a lot to be desired, however – hopefully the 508 receives the latest generation of cameras that feature in the new 308 hatchback and wagon soon.
Interior & Practicality: 9/10
As we’ve seen with all Peugeot passenger cars for the past five years, the 508’s interior is absolutely gorgeous. It’s filled with sharp design, excellent quality, swanky materials while still managing to be quite practical – though its technological features aren’t quite on the same level.
Every surface of the 508’s cabin is covered in a high quality materials – from the soft Nappa leather on the seats to the soft touch plastics atop the dashboard and door tops. Even the lower materials still feel nice to touch. The switchgear also feels great in hand, and it certainly feels more special than the well built but ultimately austere Superb and Passat cousins. Special mention must go to the front seat massaging, which is the best we’ve ever experienced – there are a range of of massage options, from lumbar to even a cat’s paw option, which presses on various parts of your back.
The 508’s cabin is reasonably practical – certainly more practical than French cars of the past. There are reasonable cup holders, a huge bin under the centre arm rest, a tray underneath the centre console (which is not the easiest to access), a useful storage slot on the centre console and nicely-sized flock-lined door bins. The glovebox isn’t huge, though – that’s a typical French design quirk that continues to persist.
Centre of the 508 GT Sportswagon’s cabin is a 10.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite navigation and digital radio. It’s the same system that’s used in other Peugeot models and unfortunately its menu system can be a touch confusing, which takes a bit of getting used to – changing the temperature takes a few presses of buttons, for example. The screen quality is good though, and the 10-speaker Focal sound system is excellent, as is the 12.3-inch digital driver’s display.
The back seat of the 508 isn’t huge – especially compared with the huge Superb – but it’s definitely comparable to the V60 with reasonable leg and headroom for six-footers. It’s well featured with air vents, two USB ports, map pockets, a centre arm rest with cup holders and door pockets – though not the separate climate zone and heated seats that rivals feature.
The boot of the 508 Sportswagon is well featured and sized at 530-litres, which expands to a huge 1,780L with the rear seats folded – a large space, but the more practical Skoda Superb wagon offers up 660L with the seats up and a massive 1,950L with them folded. The 508 also has bag hooks, underfloor storage, a 12V socket, a storage strap, releases to fold the seats and a space saver spare wheel.
Service & Warranty: 8/10
Peugeot gives its new cars in Australia a five-year/unlimited km warranty with five years of roadside assistance. The 508 GT has once-yearly/20,000km service intervals, and five years/100,000km of servicing costs an expensive $3,384 ($677 per service). However, buyers can choose a five-year service pack at the time of purchase, which costs a more reasonable $2,400 ($480 per service).
Volvo and Volkswagen both give their cars five-year/unlimited km warranties, while Skoda boasts a standard seven-year warranty. The Superb, Passat and V60 all feature slightly shorter 15,000km/yearly service intervals, and cost $3,262, $3,963, and $2,500 respectively for five years/75,000km of servicing – you can buy a service pack for $2,000 for the Superb and $3,000 for the Passat.
The 2022 Peugeot 508 GT Sportswagon DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.2/10
Without a doubt, the 2022 Peugeot 508 GT Sportswagon is not the most practical, nor the fastest or most cost effective mid-to-large wagon on the market. However, despite that, it is one of our favourites. It strikes a great balance between style, luxury, standard equipment, practicality, solid driving dynamics and did we mention style?
It’s not perfect with a smaller interior than rivals, an expensive entry price, servicing that’s not cheap and a centre screen that needs updating, but aside from those issues, there’s a lot to like about the 508. If you’re looking at a family wagon – or even SUV – under $80,000 and don’t consider the 508, it really is your loss because there’s a lot on offer here. Missing an opportunity to purchase something this handsome is just silly, in our opinion – and the rest of its attributes are even more reason to consider it.