Categories: Tests

Peugeot 408 (2022): the new cross-sedan on trial!

After taking his first steps in Paris Motor Showthe Peugeot 408 finally arrives in the dealerships. But what is this newcomer to the lion’s range worth, with its specific silhouette and its false airs of an enhanced 308?

It must be said that this cross-berline“, as we like to call it at AutoPlus, has something to question. Halfway between a sedan and one SUV-coupePeugeot is delivering an entirely new car that does not replace no other model in the range.

Since the release of the 508 II in 2018, the French manufacturer has operated a upscaling strategy quite noticeable. Confirmed with the arrival of the 308 III last year, the lion is continuing its momentum with its new 408, which is a logical continuation of the process. This premium aspect is highlighted both in terms of the general style, the finishes and the technologies on board. All while keeping Peugeot’s DNA, namely a driving pleasure assumed and embodied on our test model by a 225 hp hybrid engine, a small steering wheel and a well-balanced chassis.

Although it presents some striking similarities with the 308, with which it shares the same platform (EMP2), we are going to see how this 408 stands out concretely, with in particular its ground clearance 4cm raisedin steep stern, or his 30 cm extra length

Design: mix between a sedan and an SUV-coupe

In terms of design, this Peugeot 408 definitely does nothing like the others and inaugurates an entirely new style. This is placed in a segment still not very popular with French women, that of cross-sedans, halfway between a raised sedan and one Fast-back SUV. Understand by this, an SUV adopting a very inclined stern. You see the recent Renault Arkana ? Won.

The lines are even more aggressive than on the 308, with which it also shares a body part in common: the bonnet. On the front, there is a similar grille, although this is widened to the headlights and painted in body color on our GT finish. The optics, very tapered, are also almost identical and take up the LED signature in “croc” of the lion.

On the sides, many edges stand out, as on the front door or under the quarter panel. At the rear, the very sloping window comes to rest on a prominent spoiler. A very wide bumper, in dark plastic, completes the rear look of this 408. We love it or we hate it: it must be said, this newcomer challenges and has a real personality!

Our test model is fitted with the largest rims available. This is a model 20 inch alloy entitled “Monolith”, reserved only for hybrid models. Two other sizes are available, 17 and 19 inches. In terms of dimensions, the 408 is 30 cm longer than a 308: the raised sedan makes 4,69 mde long pour 1.86m wide et 1.48 meters high. Finally, the wheelbase is 2.79 meters, leaving portend a good habitability on board.

At the front: we take the same and we start again

With the 408, Peugeot wanted to simplify things. On the menu, only three trim levels are available, apart from the launch edition. We therefore find: Allure, Allure Pack and finally GT.

Once seated behind the wheel, it is impossible to be faulted. The interior is very similar, not to say identical, to that of its little sister the 308. And it is rather very good news since the latter offered an almost faultless level of general presentation. The set is very qualitative, the materials are well chosen and the foamed plastics for the most part. The imposing center console (the same as on the 308), the rather “sunken” driving position, and the small, fairly sloping windshield add a special feeling on board this 408. Nevertheless, after a few turns of the wheel, you does it without worries.

The saddlery, offered in a tri-material finish (Fraxx Knit / TEP / Alcantara mesh), offers good support while being quite firm. As an option, black or blue “Nappa” leather will be available at an additional cost of €2,640.

Side digital instruments, we find the same duo present on the 308 with a 10 inch touch screenaccompanied by the famous i-Toggles located just below. Real tactile digital keys, these allow you to customize up to six different functions according to your preferences.

Finally, behind the small Peugeot steering wheel, theécran 3D i-cockpit takes place under the eyes of the driver. Note that the “3D” function on the screen can be deactivated if it bothers you, via the menus. Practice !

In the back: room for the legs but more just at the head

With this unprecedented cross-sedan, Peugeot is announcing record rear-seat roominess. But once seated in the back seat, the findings are mixed. First good news, thelegroom is very generous. No doubt, large templates will not be bothered even with a driver’s seat set quite far back. The sunroof, charged at €1,070 as an option, also adds a lot of light to the cabin. On the other hand, the space at the head is still not satisfying. Sloping roof obliges, the height under ceiling is a little tight for large jigs.

Finally, as regards the trunk, the Peugeot 408 offers a volume of 536 liters in thermal version and 471 liters for the two hybrid engines. In comparison, the 308 offers 412 liters in thermal and 361 liters for hybrids. Only the estate version (SW) does better, with up to 608 liters of volume.

At the wheel: a very versatile 225 horsepower hybrid

On the menu of engines, Peugeot has also played the card of simplicity with the 408. In pure combustion, the choice is… unique. Only the 1.2 PureTech the 130 ch with box EAT8 is available to order. In plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the choice is between l’HYBRID 180 where the 225. The Sochaux manufacturer therefore does not offer no diesel engine. Good to know, a fully electric model will be announced next year.

Our test version, equipped with the most powerful hybrid engine, shows particularly fun to drive. In all-electric mode, the 81 kW (110 hp) engine offers silent driving for 62 km, or 20 km more than the 308 with the same hybrid unit. This is made possible by a 12.4 kWh battery. Once the “Hybrid” driving mode is engaged, the 408 proves to be even more versatile. We move smoothly in the streets, thanks to a reinforced and laminated glazing and to rolling noise particularly contained. As soon as you press the right pedal a little more or move on a high-speed axis, the internal combustion engine starts up, smoothly, and offers a range of over 500 km.

Finally, the “Sport” mode allows you to take full advantage of the 225 hp accumulated, with a sharp acceleration and a 0 to 100 km / h shot in just 7.8 seconds. Not too bad for 1,706 kg on the scale ! On more winding roads, the chassis is well balanced and we take pleasure at the wheel of this 408, the small steering wheel contributing a lot to this feeling. On the other hand, the steering is not the most incisive and lacks a bit of precision.

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Verdict: the price of novelty!

For the entry-level version, with the PureTech 130, this 408 is trading from 37 350 €. If you want the plug-in hybrid models, the note climbs and starts from 45 450 €, always with the basic “Allure” finish. For the 225-horsepower hybrid, it will cost nearly 48 300 € with the “Allure Pack” finish. As for our test version in GT, the latter starts from 51 400 €with many options checked for this price.

In the end, with this 408, Peugeot signs a successful new model, with a bold design and offering satisfactory driving pleasure. It remains to be seen whether the price, which is around €4,000 more than a 308, with an equivalent engine and finish, can justify these few cm in addition to the rear or the additional 100 liters of the trunk. It will be up to the consumer to decide…!

Data sheet of the trial version:

  • Version : HYBRID 225 e-EAT8
  • Finish: GT
  • Prix : 51 400 €
  • Bonus : – 1 000 €
  • Engine type: Hybrid (1.2 L, 4-cylinder + 81 kW electric motor)
  • CV : 10
  • Power: 225 hp
  • Couple : 360 Nm
  • Fuel: Gasoline + electricity
  • Transmission : Traction
  • Gearbox: 8-speed automatic (e-EAT8)
  • Tank: 40 liters
  • Builder Acceleration: 7.8s
  • Length: 4.69m
  • Width: 1.86m
  • Height: 1.48m
  • Poids : 1 706 kg

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