TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range – why the Golf is better

TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs. Volkswagen Golf range – why the Golf is better


In the traditional C segment, we find the Peugeot 308 one of the most beautiful cars. This fully applies to the station wagon version, the 308 SW. But is the Frenchman as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside? And what about space? We compare the no-nonsense Peugeot 308 SW to the business-like Volkswagen Golf.

Unlike in France, where the Family Resort was considered the ideal family car since the 1950s, the station wagon in Germany retained the image of a pack mule for a long time to come. You only buy one if you have to transport a lot of work stuff. Germany – like the Netherlands – fell into a physical form of action later. It still took until 1993 before the first Volkswagen Golf Type came to market.

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If we had given the previous points in this comparison test, Peugeot would have already taken the lead. The 304, the distant ancestor of the Peugeot 308, was already available as a Break in 1969. But in this test in which we evaluate the Peugeot 308 SW and the Volkswagen Golf Variant on their interior and space, they are only current calculations.

TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better

Cargo compartment Peugeot 508 SW vs. Volkswagen Golf range

The striking, upright daytime running lights of the Peugeot 308 are still the signature of chief designer Gilles Vidal, who left for Renault in 2020. He takes credit for his work, because the 308 got a lot of praise for its appearance. But Vidal did not forget about usability. There is room for a minimum of 608 and a maximum of 1634 liters of luggage in the back of the Peugeot 308 SW. That’s slightly less than the highly-designed Volkswagen Golf Variant that has been reserved. That stands only for 611, respectively 1642 liters.

TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better
TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better

The Golf variant gives passengers more freedom of movement than the 308 SW

If we look at the passenger space, then the Volkswagen Golf Variant also has advantages. In all directions, the Golf gives its occupants more freedom of movement than the Peugeot 308 SW. It’s not a world of difference, although two centimeters of extra headroom in the back of the Volkswagen can make the difference between sitting comfortably and suffering.

TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better
TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better

Peugeot nicer inside than Volkswagen

The choice of equipment and the quality of the finish of the Peugeot 308 is at a higher level than in the Golf. Volkswagen can take that into account. The previous generations of the Volkswagen Golf were successful in this segment. The Peugeot 308 SW gets more points for a three-section rear seat, while the Volkswagen Golf Variant has a folding co-driver’s seat. Also good: maximum payload (543 kg) and maximum trailer weight (1400 kg) for the Volkswagen Golf. The driver of the Peugeot 308 SW is responsible for a load of 475 kg and a weight of 1200 kg.

TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better
TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better

There is no quality in ease of use

In everyday use, the Volkswagen is a better organized car, in the Peugeot you face a sloping roof when turning. This blocks the rear view diagonally. Nor does the car fail in ease of use. In Volkswagen, the unusual sliders for climate control are still not highlighted and in Peugeot the volume control does not work well.

TEST Peugeot 308 SW vs.  Volkswagen Golf range - why the Golf is better

And the winner is…

In summary, the Volkswagen Golf takes slightly more points on the test item Interior and Space. So true beauty lies within. That is, if you take measurable parameters as a starting point. That is, centimeters and kilograms. When it comes to taste, in our opinion, the Peugeot 308 SW takes the top score.

Want to know how the Peugeot 308 SW and Volkswagen Golf Variant stack up when it comes to performance, comfort and driving characteristics? That’s in Car Review 9/2022 – now on sale.