Peugeot has high hopes for the new 308 SW despite many customers deserting compact station wagons for SUV-styled crossovers. The 308 SW was No. 9 in its segment in Europe last year (see chart below) but Peugeot hopes that the 2014 European Car of the Year award won by the 308 hatchback will boost the wagon variant, along with better fuel efficiency and improved dynamics compared with the current 308 SW.
Peugeot's crossover fighter
Is Europe's compact wagon segment still relevant?
Peugeot says wagons account for 10 percent of Europe's compact-segment sales. It said wagon buyers, who are mostly male, are younger and more dynamic than hatchback buyers.
How has the new version of the 308 SW improved compared with its predecessor?
Peugeot says new lightweight suspension components combined with the advantages from the new EMP2 chassis have improved handling, agility, comfort and road holding.
How is the new wagon different from the previous model?
At 4585mm, the new 308 SW is 84mm longer but weighs up to 140kg less, depending on the variant.
What upscale features does the 308 SW have?
Peugeot says it made significant investments in the 308 SW's exterior and interior design by reducing the number of lines and breaks in the panels. Like the 308 hatchback, LED lights and a chrome finish on the front grille are key style elements.
Launch date: April (France)
Base price: 22,350 euros (France)
Where built: Sochaux, France
Lowest CO2 emissions: 85g/km (1.6 BlueHDi 120)
Main rivals: Wagon versions of VW Golf, Ford Focus, Renault Megane
Peugeot has also added technologies found in more upscale models, such as automated parking assistance.
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“The 308 SW offers the utility and simplicity of a station wagon with features found in premium-class cars,” said Vincent Devos, the 308 line’s product chief.
The 308 SW is underpinned by parent PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2), which helps to make the car lighter than the current model, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions.