Car Test   R0279
November 2002
  Peugeot 307 SW
Printer Friendly Page Featured model: 2.0HDi 110 SE
The SW is an ingenious idea. Peugeot has taken its 307 Estate and fitted it with three back seats that slide, tumble-fold and take out, just like in an MPV. But there’s more. For an extra £165 each, you can buy two individual seats to form a third row. Et voila! – a versatile seven-seater without the bulk and inconvenience of your actual full-size people carrier.
   There are snags, though: those rearmost seats are only suitable for the likes of Toulouse-Lautrec without his bowler, and with seven up, luggage space equals the square root of zilch.
   In other respects, though, the news is brighter – especially from above, thanks to the huge glass roof panel – it’s fixed, but has an electric blind. There’s a wide range of seating/luggage space permutations, of course, but there’s no clever Zafira/Meriva seat folding in this case, just the old mark-one removal and storage job. However, although at 16kg the chairs are fairly weighty, they snap in and out very easily. It’s only a matter of moments, therefore, for the SW to be transformed from minibus to cargo-carrier.
   In five-seater mode, it’s three-abreast-cosy for big blokes in the middle row, but by removing the (narrower) centre chair and repositioning the other two further inboard, you’ve got a really roomy four-seater. Headroom and foot space are particularly good, but leg-stretching space isn’t anything to write home about.
   Power, in this case, comes from Peugeot’s smooth and torquey two-litre HDi engine in 110bhp form. It suits the car well, with its eager mid-range pulling power and quiet motorway cruising, thanks to the appealingly long-legged top gear that also helps to give up to 52mpg economy. Not surprisingly, fifth won’t pull smoothly from much below 30mph, but the easy gearchange makes downshifting no hardship.
   Thirty-per-cent-stiffer rear suspension and 55-Series tyres do the ride no favours. It’s acceptably absorbent on major main roads, but becomes jittery and, indeed, quite thumpy on broken tarmac. We’ve no criticism of the SW’s cornering prowess, however, with good tyre grip and a reassuring, go-where-you-point-it feeling to the steering.
   Both front seats have inboard armrests and ratchet-type height adjusters, but annoyingly, the higher you sit, the less thigh support you get. Otherwise, we liked the driving position. The wheel is adjustable for reach and rake, the switchgear and controls are sensibly arranged, and generous window space aids vision and takes the guesswork out of parking. We’re also impressed by the inventory of safety features, even on the lower-priced S model.
  considering size, price and rivals
Overtaking Ability
Fuel Economy
Safety Euro NCAP
Security, theft of
theft from
  • dent-resistant plastic front wings
  • clear central cluster of warning lights
  • head restraints lower well into seatbacks
  • lots of cubby holes, trays, drawers, pockets
  • versatile load net with six securing eyes
  • fuel guage won't register more than "3/4 full"
  • information display illegible in bright light
  • unwiped strip alongside driver's pillar
  • no left footrest
  • speedometer calibrations inadequate
So does this ingenious SW idea of Peugeot’s work? Up to a point, yes, but the rearmost seats are too cramped for adults and there’s no luggage room with seven people on board. Where the SW is pre-eminent is as a five-seater – albeit with an indifferent ride – when its estate car versatility and MPV musical chairs adaptability make it a clever and useful all-rounder.

engine 1997cc, 4-cylinder, turbo-diesel; 110bhp at 4000rpm, 188 lb ft at 1750rpm; belt-driven single overhead camshaft, 8 valves   transmission 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive; 29.5mph/1000rpm in 5th, 23.7 in 4th
suspension front: independent MacPherson coil spring/damper struts, anti-roll bar.
rear: torsion beam with trailing links, coil springs, anti-roll bar
  steering electro-hydraulic power assistance; 2.9 turns lock-to-lock; 11.0m diameter turning circles between kerbs (15.5m for one turn of the wheel)
brakes ventilated discs front, solid discs rear, with standard anti-lock, brake force distribution and brake assist functions   wheels/tyres 6.5in alloy with 205/55R16V tyres (Dunlop SP Sport 2000E on test car); full-size (steel) spare

size and type mid-priced 5- and 7- seater MPV-style estate car   trim levels S, SE
engines petrol: 4cyl/1.6 litre/110bhp, 4/2.0/138
diesel: 4/2.0/90, 4/2.0/110
  drive front-wheel drive, 5-speed manual (4-speed stepped automatic available on 2.0 petrol)

HOW THE 307 SW COMPARES engine (cyl/cc/bhp) revs at 70mph (rpm) 30-70 through gears (sec) 30-70mph in 4th/5th gears (sec) fuel (mpg/CO2) brakes from 50mph (kg/m) maximum legroom - front (cm) typical leg/kneeroom - rear (cm) steering turns/circle (m) overall length (cm)
Peugeot 307 SW 2.0 HDi 110 (7) 4/1997/110 2370 12.8 18.1/25.6 45/143 20/26 106 94/69c 2.9/11.0 442
Citroen Picasso 2.0 HDi (5) 4/1997/90 2840 14.0 18.6/27.0 50/147 16/26 106 95/72 3.3/12.0 428
Fiat Multipla 1.9 JTD (6) 4/1910/110 2740 13.3 19.2/27.5 43.5/170 18/28.5 106 114/83 2.8/11.1 399
Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 16v (7) 4/1598/100 3630 13.1 18.8/27.0 35.5/200 18/24.5 103 102/75b 3.2/11.0 432
Renault Scenic 1.9 dCi (5) 4/1870/105 2670 12.7 17.6/26.4 46/157 14/28.5 108 102/76b 3.5/10.7 417
Seat Alhambra 1.9 TDi (7) 4/1896/115 2075 13.1 15.9/21.6a 41/176 15/25 105 105/85b 3.3/11.4 463
  . maximum seating capacity in brackets  a 6th 33.6  c mid row fully back/72 with picnic table up  b mid row fully back

Plenty of seat/wheel adjustments and good all-round vision - though mirrors 'bijou'. Hi-fi switches (duplicated on column pod) and heater/air-con controls easily fathomed. Smooth clutch, fluent gearchange.
Fluid, nicely weighted steering and clingy tyre grip give the SW a surprisingly responsive and reassuringly wieldy feel through bends for a load-lugger. Permanent traction control kills wheelspin in the wet.
Ride marred by stiffer suspension: fidgety on B-roads and crashes over potholes. Better when main-road motoring. Front seats spoilt by losing thigh support when raised. Competent heating/air-con, super glass roof.

Though not exactly a firebrand, this 110 is an amiable engine that's competitively brisk when spurred into action. It's inflexible below 1500rpm, but high overall gearing gives easy-going motorway cruising.
  acceleration in seconds through gears# 3rd gear 4th gear 5th gear
  20-40mph 3.7 5.9 11.6 no
  30-50mph 5.0 5.6 8.4 13.5
  40-60mph 6.4 6.4 8.2 11.7
  50-70mph 7.8 7.8 9.7 12.1
  30-70mph 12.8 13.4 18.1 25.6
  max speed in each gear (# using 4200rpm for best acceleration)
     gear      1st#      2nd#      3rd#      4th#      5th
     speed (mph)      24      44      71      99      111 (3760rpm)

Don't expect to match Peugeot's optimistic mpg figures - we couldn't, but 50mpg possible if you're gentle. Easy-filling tank gives long range between top-ups. Trip computer only on SE model. Low CO2 rating.
  type of use (air conditioning off) AA test (mpg) 
    urban (heavy traffic) 28
    rural (gentle driving) 52
    overall mpg 45
    realistic tank capacity/range (litres/miles) 55/545
    official mpg (urban/extra urban/combined) 39.2/64.2/52.3
    CO2 emissions 143g/km
    car tax band B

Worthy features, including front, side and curtain airbags, active front head restraints, seven 'proper' seatbelts, retractable steering column and brake pedal, automatic hazard lights. Decent brakes, too.
  for 307 Hatchback (SW not yet tested)
  from 50mph (with brake assist/ABS)
front impact     75%
side impact     100%
overall     88%
overall safety rating    
pedestrian rating    
pedal load     stopping distance
unhurried 10kg     27.5m
sudden 20kg     26m best stop
+ 4kg ie 24kg     26.5m ABS on
fade resistance/consistency    
Euro NCAP = European New Car Assessment Programme: independent crash safety tests evaluating protection for occupants and pedestrians in an offset frontal collision, side impacts and pedestrian strike conditions
click here for more NCAP details/test results etc.

Versatile MPV-style interior, but no clever hide-away seat folding. Chairs are easy to remove, though. Superb as a four-seater plus lots of luggage space, but cramped with seven up, when boot space disappears.
  in centimetres (5-door MPV-style estate)
  length 442
  width - including mirrors 200
    - mirrors folded 179
  height (inc roof bars) 155
  load sill height (inside/outside) 0/53
  turns lock-to-lock 2.9
  turning circle (metres) 11.0
  easy to park/garage?
  front - legroom 85-106
    - headroom 98-103§
  middle - legroom 94
    - kneeroom 69c
    - headroom 98
    - hiproom 133
  rear - typical legroom 73b
    - typical kneeroom 60b
    - headroom 86b
    - hiproom 102b
  load area (7:5 seats in use)
  load space
(litres/cu ft)
  load length (7 seats/5/2) 25/91/172
  load length to facia 267
  load width 101
  load height (to shelf/top of aperture) 52 90
§ no conventional sunroof  c mid row fully back/72 with picnic table up  b mid row fully back

No alarm, in fact, SW unimpressive in NCSR ratings despite rolling-code immobiliser and deadlocks. There's a locking glovebox and a coded stereo system, though, and the tailgate locks automatically as you drive off.
central locking  
remote control  
remote window closing  
alarm (perimeter + interior)  
self-locking (static)   
two-stage unlocking   
attack-resistant glass   
boot locks in motion   
AA load area security rating
=standard    =option    =not available
NCSR - "theft of"
NCSR - "theft from"
NCSR = New Car Security Ratings: a 1 to 5 star system which rates anti-theft protection, both of the car itself and the theft of valuables from within the car
Visit for more details
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