Fashionable fastback/crossover mash-up affords an fascinating various to the ocean of SUVs
The Peugeot 408 is a bit of little bit of an oddity within the new automobile market. Not solely is it not simply one other SUV but it surely’s additionally not simply the newest technology of an present automobile. It’s all-new and really a lot its personal factor, theoretically sitting between the 308 and 508 in measurement but additionally straddling a spot between them and the 3008 and 5008 SUVs.
Peugeot claims the brand new 408 is exclusive on the prime finish of the C-segment, which is a bit cheeky on condition that it shares an terrible lot of its origins with the quirky and solely barely bigger Citroen C5 X. The 2 vehicles are basically direct opponents and sit in a peculiar area the place they’re conceivably competing with all the things from the Skoda Octavia to the Kia Sportage.
Whereas Citroen insists the C5 X is a mix of SUV, property and saloon, Peugeot is adamant that the 408 is a saloon. It simply occurs to have a raised trip peak and a few SUV-style cladding. All of it sounds very acquainted however the two vehicles are, on the floor a minimum of, very completely different, which works within the Peugeot’s favour.
Persevering with Peugeot’s pattern for stamping out placing and good-looking machines, the 408 is a riot of sharp angles, neat particulars and Peugeot logos such because the “fang” working lights and triple tail lights. The sharp creases and sharply raked rear display give it a dynamic stance and counteract the SUV-inspired taller suspension and plastic wheel arch cladding. In contrast to some vehicles, the 408’s visible attraction isn’t significantly colour-dependent, though it does look significantly good within the launch Obsession Blue and Elixir Crimson. Additionally significantly eye-catching are the wild asymmetrical 20-inch alloys reserved completely for the GT hybrid fashions.
If the outside look is just like different Peugeots, the inside is a digital copy/paste job from the spectacular new 308. Just like the 308, the 408’s cabin is constructed round Peugeot’s i-Cockpit with a small low-set steering wheel mounted beneath a slimline 10-inch digital instrument show. That show options 3D graphics which sound gimmicky however really work properly at pushing to the entrance key data reminiscent of navigation prompts. Alongside the devices is a second 10-inch central touchscreen tilted in the direction of the driving force and with an extra row of customisable touch-sensitive shortcut panels beneath it. These embrace a brand new ADAS shortcut that permits you to deactivate sure settings with a single press (I’m taking a look at you lane hold help) – most welcome. It’s all very neat and logical with a concentrate on easy trendy design and commendable materials high quality.
Due to the 408’s packaging, there’s no transmission tunnel in there rear so there’s footroom for 5 but it surely’s clearly supposed as a four-seater. There’s beneficiant rear legroom and the dipping roofline will solely be a difficulty for significantly tall passengers, however shoulder room isn’t beneficiant sufficient for a 3rd row passenger. Behind the passenger compartment petrol variations provide a 536-litre boot, which is reduce to 471 litres in hybrid fashions.
So from inside it looks like a barely bigger 308, with the most important distinction being an improve in noise insulation, partly due to thicker acoustic glass designed to deaden outdoors intrusion. There’s a bit of little bit of tyre roar at excessive speeds however general the sound isolation is fairly good. Mixed with a properly composed trip which strikes an honest steadiness between comfy and managed, it makes the 408 a fantastic motorway cruiser however one which doesn’t collapse on trickier A roads due to pretty fast steering and first rate physique management. Within the 408, sport mode additionally makes a distinction. It’s not transformative however the sharper throttle and further weight to the steering do convey an added contact of dynamism that’s lacking from the C5, though at almost 1,800kg the hybrid isn’t any lithe light-weight.
The 408’s engine line-up follows a now-familiar sample. There’s no diesel however a single 1.2-litre petrol or a alternative of two plug-in hybrid powertrains. The entry stage petrol is the tried and examined 128bhp PureTech. Whereas we haven’t examined it within the 408, our expertise of the identical setup within the Citroen C5 X revealed a keen engine on the limits of its skills. The hybrids provide extra energy – 178bhp or 222bhp – and as much as 40 miles of all-electric motoring on a single cost.
Each hybrids use a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine and 81kW electrical motor, with the Hybrid 225’s further energy courtesy of a unique engine map. That offers it the quickest 0-62mph time (7.8 seconds) however the Peugeot is at its finest once you’re not wringing its neck. Consistently mash the throttle and also you’ll immediate indecision from the hybrid setup and eight-speed auto however drive with a bit of extra reserve and it’s a clean and refined drivetrain that may slip largely unnoticed between its electrical and petrol modes. Overlook in regards to the nonsense 270mpg claims however use the PHEV correctly and 50+mpg ought to be completely attainable.
As customary the hybrids include 3.4kW charging however you possibly can improve to a 7.4kW on-board unit that may recharge the 12.4kWh battery to full in just below two hours. Subsequent 12 months we’ll see an all-electric model arrive which, with its on the spot responsiveness, would possibly deal with the occasional hesitancy of the PHEV.
There’s no phrase on how a lot that may price however the present vary begins at £31,050 – pricing it barely increased than its Citroen sibling. That cash will get you 1.2-litre Attract trim, with Attract Premium and GT above beginning at £32,715 and £34,650 The hybrid provides £7,150 to these costs. That’s a hefty price ticket however comes with a hefty tools listing as customary starting from the dual 10-inch screens with nav and wi-fi Android Auto and Apple Carplay to auto dipping LED headlights and a 180-degree parking digicam. Splurge on the top-spec GT, which we examined, and also you’ll get adaptive matrix lights, hands-free powered tailgate, heated steering wheel and a bunch of styling and materials upgrades, together with extra superior driver help programs.
The Peugeot 408 is an uncommon proposition in a world dominated by identikit hatchbacks and crossovers. That would spell catastrophe but it surely’s to Peugeot’s credit score that the 408 stands out for all the fitting causes. It’s a trendy and spacious leftfield alternative that balances first rate driving dynamics with consolation and refinement.
Peugeot 408 GT Hybrid 225
Worth: £43,200; Engine: 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, turbo, petrol with 81kW electrical motor; Energy: 222bhp; Torque: 226lb ft; Transmission: Eight-speed automated; High pace: 145mph; 0-62mph: 7.8 seconds; Economic system: 211.3-269.5mpg; CO2 emissions: 28g/km; EV vary: 40 miles