Peugeot is an uninhibited brand. To those who still doubted it, the 408 address could not be more emphatic winks. This family looks like a coupe, is adorned with some attributes of the virile genre and is aimed at those who have returned from the SUV without wanting to reconnect with the classicism of the sedan, but want it to be noticed. Because the new Peugeot makes tons of it.
In the wake of the Renault Arkana and the models of the German manufacturers, Peugeot has taken the measure of the success achieved by bodies with curved shapes associated with increased ground clearance. This mixture of genres generally gives birth to bulky vehicles, very generous in terms of roominess and trunk volume, but with lines that we will describe as debonair, not to say clumsy. The 408 ticks all the boxes except for stylistic restraint.
From its recognizable bow to the optics in the shape of a loophole framing a gaping grille to its stern (on) loaded with trim pieces intended to muscle the silhouette, this fairly low car seeks to catch the eye. Its unusual length (4.69 m or 32 cm longer than a 308, from which it is derived) accentuates the deliberately spectacular side of the 408. This inherits the interior trim of the 308, with a small steering wheel and instrumentation digital installed in high position.
Comfort and road holding qualities
The mechanical part is set back from this displayed sportiness. It will be necessary to be satisfied with the usual three-cylinder developing 130 horsepower, a little stiff and noisy but rather economical, which does not free it from an ecological penalty of between 330 and 400 euros. Despite its size, the car does not lose in agility compared to the 308 and retains the qualities of comfort and road holding dear to the manufacturer. Only the maneuvers in the car parks become more delicate.
It is nevertheless possible to have 225 horsepower under the accelerator pedal, but it will be necessary to opt for a plug-in hybrid version. The solution seems rather unconvincing, even frankly cavalier, since the electric motor is asked to temporarily boost the car’s acceleration capacities rather than improving its overall efficiency. No intermediate proposal is available, because a more powerful gasoline engine would explode the amount of the penalty. It will be necessary to wait until 2024 to order the electrified version.
Prices for the 408 start from 37,350 euros, which is 6,000 euros more than Renault’s Arkana, and some 8,000 euros more than a 308
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