Peugeot 308 SW wagon looks about as good as its big 508 sibling

Crossovers represent a significant percentage of Peugeot’s annual sales (and, well, a lot of automakers’ sales), but the Paris-based firm is not leaving the station wagon segment behind. It unveiled the long-roof version of the third-generation 308, a Volkswagen Golf-sized hatchback sold primarily in Europe, and it packed the model with tech and style to give it a fighting chance.

Like the hatchback, the 308 SW (which, you guessed it, stands for “station wagon”) proudly wears Peugeot’s new design language. It’s defined by sharper lines, a bigger grille with 3D-like inserts, and a generally more upscale appearance, though keep in mind the variant shown in press shots certainly isn’t a base model. Designers aimed their dart at the middle of the form and function Venn diagram by giving the roof line a slight rake while positioning the hatch almost upright. Peugeot notes the SW offers 21.4 cubic feet of cargo space with five passengers on board and an SUV-rivaling 57.7 cubes with the rear bench folded flat. Don’t look for a third-row seat, however.

The 308 is reasonably spacious, but at 182 inches long it’s also relatively big (at least by European standards). Inside, it falls in line with an approach to design Peugeot calls i-Cockpit. It receives a new version of the small, almost go-kart-esque steering wheel the company puts in most of its cars in 2021 and up to 20 inches of screens facing the driver, including a digital instrument cluster positioned higher up on the dashboard than you’re probably used to. Various electronic driving aids (like semi-automatic lane changes) are optionally available.

Turbodiesel technology remains an important part of the range. Buyers can order the SW with a 130-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder called BlueHDi that spins the front wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. Alternatively, a 1.2-liter three-cylinder with 110 or 130 horses on tap is available, and two plug-in hybrid systems (with 180 and 225 horsepower, respectively) are positioned near the top of the range. 

Peugeot dealers across Europe and in a handful of other global markets will begin receiving the 308 SW before the end of 2021. Nothing suggests the wagon will be sold in the United States, a market the Peugeot brand left in 1991 and is unlikely to return to soon. On the bright side, at least the SW exists. Crossovers are taking over the European market, and Stellantis is orienting its product portfolio accordingly. It only sells six-ish wagons across the pond: the 308 SW, the 508 SW, the Fiat Tipo, Opel’s Astra Sports Tourer and Insignia Sports Tourer (plus their Vauxhall-branded twins), and maybe the Citroën C5 X, depending on what segment(s) of the market you want to wedge it in.

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