Peugeot's 307 sedan is one of the most attractive of the currently-fashionable monobox designs.
Its mix of wedge shapes and softened edges works particularly well.
The five-door sedan range has been joined by a long-wheelbase version, the SW, which has a station wagon body.
The SW is 217mm longer and rides on a 100mm longer wheelbase than its sedan stablemate. It's also a little taller and a little wider.
The SW is a well-proportioned five-door with a side profile that rises in a steady and elegant line from the low-set nose to the peak of the roof before tapering slightly into the tailgate.
It has the distinctive slanted headlight look introduced on the 206 and now a Peugeot trademark.
Peugeot offers the SW in only one form - a 2.0-litre automatic.
The 307 SW's 1997cc four cylinder motor develops 99kW at 6000rpm and peak torque of 190Nm at 4100rpm.
That gives 0-100km/h acceleration of 12 seconds for the auto-only SW (the auto sedan takes 11.9 seconds for the benchmark sprint). Top speed of 196km/h is only 6km/h lower than the auto sedan's.
The twin cam motor has four valves per cylinder and Magnetti Marelli sequential fuel-injection.
Though peak torque is developed at 4100 revs, 170Nm is available from 1800rpm which endows the car with strong, smooth acceleration from relatively low speeds.
That helps fuel consumption. Peugeot quotes highway cycle fuel consumption of 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres and urban cycle fuel use of 13.1 litres/100km.
Performance is brisk and the 307 SW will cruise effortlessly at 100km/h. The automatic gearbox changes smoothly. It can also be shifted manually using a sequential Tiptronic system.
The power steering offers good feel and accuracy.
Handling is biased towards mild understeer, but the SW will tackle winding roads with aplomb and a very high level of roadholding.
Ride is in the usual Peugeot style - smooth and absorbent. The cabin is a very comfortable place to be, either at open road or commuter speeds.
The fuel tank carries 60 litres and the SW will tow a 1500kg braked trailer.
Standard wheels are 16-inch steel with trims; 17-inch steels are optional. The spare wheel is full sized.
The 307SW is 4419mm long, 1544mm high and 1757mm wide. Front track is 1505mm and rear 1497. The wheelbase is 2708mm. Kerb weight is 1355kg.
Front suspension is by inverted pseudo MacPherson struts and at the rear is trailing arm crossmember with load-sensitive variable shock absorbers.
Like the sedan the wagon has thermoplastic front guards which resist minor impacts and a lightweight aluminium bonnet.
The SW has a huge tinted glass roof - it measures 1.33 square metres - that extends back from the windscreen. It finishes flush with the rear seat row. An electrically-controlled blind can be triggered to cover the glass roof and provide additional sun protection.
A climate-control air-conditioning system is standard. It includes an air-conditioned glovebox where drinks can be kept cool.
The wagon comes standard with five seats. Sixth and seventh seats can be bought for $800 each. All have three-point, lap/sash seatbelts.
Both rear rows of seats are raised to provide passengers with a good forward view.
There are airliner-style fold-down tables on the back of the driver's and front passenger's seats.
They have cupholder recesses and can carry a weight of up to 3kg.
The standard second row of seats carries three passengers. It can be completely removed from the car or the seats can be folded to increase cargo space to 1539 litres. The minimum amount of luggage space is 137 litres with the full seven seats in place.
Standard equipment includes chrome-finish roof rails that are mounted on posts and are around 1.7 metres long.
The Compact Disc sound system has a five-disc stacker.
Windows are wound electrically, and the heated exterior mirrors are electrically-adjustable. They fold flush with the side windows when the car is locked.
There are the usual Peugeot-does-it-for-you features like automatic switching on and off of headlights depending on light levels; and windscreen wipers that come on automatically when it starts to rain.
There's remotely-controlled central door-locking and the car is fitted with an immobiliser.
Passive safety equipment includes front and side airbags for the front seat occupants. Curtain airbags run down both sides of the cabin and are triggered in severe side impacts.
There are luggage nets in the cargo area, including a standard high load retaining net.
Active safety gear includes strong four-wheel disc brakes - 283m at the front and 247mm at the rear - and an ABS anti-skid system.
There's plenty of on-board storage space: a roomy lidded glovebox, bins in the front and rear doors, boxes beneath the front seats and storage spaces in the centre console.
A load-hiding tonneau blind is standard.
The SW's front bumper is identical to the saloon's, but the rear is unique to the wagon.
The tailgate is controlled electrically and locks automatically once the car reaches 10km/h. It unlocks when a side door is opened.
The 307 SW is a roomy, comfortable, versatile car with excellent space for passengers or cargo. The seats are comfortable, the performance brisk and ride and handling good. The level of passive and active safety if very high indeed.
We had reservations about the durability of some of the cabin plastics and levers and there was the occasional trim rattle.
But the SW is an appealing and immensely practical family car with an impressive list of standard equipment.
It sells for $41,990
Story by Mike Stock. Photographs by Peugeot.