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Peugeot 308 SW

Peugeot 308 SW

Peugeot 308 SW

I made a mistake when having the Peugeot 308 SW on a week's test. I should have used it better.

There was a whole load of stuff that needed to go to the dump; then a couple of visits to Ikea would have been in order and, lastly, I should have gathered my four children across two countries and told them to take a decent suitcase each and we would have set off for a week of bonding.

It's that sort of car. It just amazed me how big and accommodating it was. I remember some of its predecessors as nice little estates that just added a bit to the hatchback version.

The current SW seems to be in another dimension, a really impressive load carrier that luckily has not lost any of the dynamics of its hatchback sire. It has the biggest boot in its class and seems more adaptable than other estates I have tested this year.

It is good that this form of family car is growing in popularity. Leg room in the back has grown for the SW but tall passengers will still feel a bit compromised especially if the rather tasty panoramic glass roof is bought as part of an extras pack.

Yet despite a very attractive profile and being very well-specced across the range I did think the 308 SW was rather bland inside - too dark and techy for my taste. It was a car that was useful and likeable rather than ever becoming loveable.

The 308 SW I was testing, which had the ultra-economic 1.6 eHDi engine and the top-of-the-range Allure trim, was priced at just more than €27,000 before p&p. The 308 is the current European Car of the Year, the SW version builds on that platform of success. I wouldn't want one, but I might need one.

*****

Meanwhile owners of diesel-engined cars are in for a tough time in London if Mayor Boris Johnson has his way. Owners of diesels should be given up to £2,000 to turn them into scrap and improve air quality in London, Boris has claimed.

The Mayor of London called for the UK to reward drivers of the most polluting diesel vehicles for switching to cleaner alternatives, to help the capital meet European clean air targets. Mr Johnson has already announced plans to introduce an extra £10 fee for drivers entering the central London congestion charge zone from 2020 to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions. People who were "seduced into buying a diesel vehicle" by tax incentives should now be given cash to switch to cleaner models, he said. "I feel very sorry for them," the Mayor said. "This has been a massive failure of public policy."

Sunday Independent