There is no shortage of station wagon enthusiasts around the world. However, these cars still have a stigma that they can't be too stylish. Peugeot wants to change that perception by introducing the all-new 308 SW.
Instead of the traditional upright look, Peugeot opted to go for a sleeker and more swept-back design. The result is a load-lugger that looks more like a shooting brake than a station wagon. Despite the rakish design, Peugeot claims that it is still as practical as ever.
From its nose to the front doors, it looks much like the hatchback version that was revealed a few months ago. However, the rear end was re-engineered and looks nothing like its shorter counterpart. This isn't just a hatchback that's been elongated to add more cargo space at the back.
The 308 SW rides on a stretched wheelbase and has specifically designed doors to accommodate the change. It also has well-defined character lines on the doors and fenders to give it more distinction. As for the rear, it presents a new take on the "lion claw" taillights. It's slimmer than before and has a simpler design compared to the previous-generation 308 SW. For easier loading and unloading, Peugeot made sure to make the tailgate opening as wide as possible.
How practical is the new 308 SW? After all, this is a station wagon we are talking about, so cargo volume will make or break this model. Without folding down the second-row seats, this wagon can carry up to 608 liters of luggage, rivaling the area of some similarly-sized crossovers. Fold the rear backrests and that expands up to 1,634 liters.
Inside, the 308 SW shares the same design as the hatchback version. It features Peugeot's latest interpretation of their i-Cockpit design. The digital instrument cluster is set high, and the compact steering wheel gives an unobstructed view of the road ahead. Touch panels replace most of the buttons, although there are still some left for the climate control system. An electromechanical gear selector is standard for automatic transmission-equipped models. As for the look of the cabin, the dashboard is expansive with curved door cards for a wraparound design.
As for powertrain options, the redesigned 308 SW is available with turbo gas, turbodiesel, or hybrid power. The gas engines both use a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder mill with the base version making 110 PS and the other making 130 PS. There is only one turbodiesel available, namely a 1.5-liter unit with 130 PS. As for the plug-in hybrids, one version has 180 PS, while the top-spec model doles out 225 PS. The diesel might be a good choice for the country, along with the 225 PS version of the plug-in hybrid.
Like the redesigned 308 hatchback, the new wagon is something we'd like to see in local showrooms soon. We were impressed with the outgoing model's power, performance, and practicality, so we have high expectations for this model should Peugeot Philippines bring it in.
Peugeot Philippines has been very quiet for the past couple of years. Perhaps if this model will also be made in Malaysia (alongside the hatchback), it might even come with a competitive price tag. Besides, it's not like there is an abundance of station wagons in the Philippines.