We were underwhelmed by the Peugeot 308 hatchback we drove in last year’s tests, but the 308 SW is a big improvement.

The estate model is more stable at speed than the hatch, and data from the Al-Ko ATC system shows very little movement from the caravan when slowing down from high speeds. Only when the wind picked up did the 308 feel a little less secure. In the emergency lane-change test the Peugeot showed great composure. Only on the third and fastest run did the caravan slide much, and the 308 SW had no trouble pulling it straight again.

It coped well with the hill-start test, helped by the electronic parking brake which held car and caravan still and released smoothly once we were ready to pull away. The strong engine and automatic gearbox made it easy to tow to the top of the 1-in-6 gradient. And it’s not just the hill start that underlines the strength of the 2.0-litre diesel engine. With 273lb ft of torque to call upon, the Peugeot accelerated from 30-60mph in just 13.6 seconds.

The Peugeot is a practical tow car as well as a quick one. We found room for a full load of holiday luggage in the boot. However, there’s not as much space for rear-seat passengers as you’ll find in the Skoda Octavia Scout, for example.

Running costs should be affordable, with an official combined economy figure of 67.2mpg. That’s very impressive for an automatic. Just remember to ask for a discount, as What Car?’s Target Price research suggests big discounts are available.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

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Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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