New Peugeot 408, between sedan and SUV

Peugeot is presenting its new 408, a vehicle of a new kind. It inaugurates a new segment, that of the SUV sedan, which currently has no competition. Peugeot’s aim is to appeal to customers who are tired of SUVs and want to stand out from the crowd with a new body style. It is also taking the opportunity to highlight the manufacturer’s plug-in hybrid powertrains. Is this just a publicity stunt or a real stroke of genius?

A strong style for this elevated sedan

Following the restyling of the 3008 and 5008 in 2020 and the launch of the 308 range in 2021, Peugeot is unveiling a new 408, full of international ambitions. It will be sold in Europe, China and Latin America. The brand’s objective is clear: to impose a new body style and make it a credible alternative for customers who no longer want SUVs. The 408’s style is halfway between a sedan and an SUV. At first glance, its striking front end is full of personality, with a strong, statuesque identity and a feline look. Its 4.69 m stature, 32 cm longer than a Peugeot 308, contributes to the vehicle’s strong presence.

The bodywork is finished in black plastic to reinforce the car’s rugged, solid appearance. The line is completed along its entire length by prominent edges that reinforce the lioness’s dynamism and character. Like it or not, the 408 will not leave you indifferent.

The ground clearance is 4 cm higher than that of the 308.

A spacious, technological interior

There are fewer surprises on the inside, where the dashboard of the compact 308 has been retained. By the way, the 408 was developed at the same time as its little sister, which explains their similarities. The I-Cockpit still delivers the same wow factor, with a small-diameter steering wheel complemented by a high-mounted instrument panel. The new-generation touchscreen is far more modern and reactive than the one found on the 208 and 3008. The whole package is technological and attractive. Its looks and build quality would put many German vehicles to shame. The 408 is also a family car, with a spacious rear seat (the longest legroom in the current Peugeot range). The boot space is not to be outdone, with a load volume ranging from 522 litres to 1,611 litres. For more comfort, the tailgate can be unlocked using a hands-free opening system (optional or standard depending on trim level). On occasion, it can also be used as a small removal van, with the option of a completely flat floor.

Peugeot 408 intérieur
A chic, technological interior with plenty of space.

A range of powertrains focused on plug-in hybrids

Since the 408 is the technical twin of its little sister, it logically adopts its underpinnings and its range of powertrains. The 408 will therefore be mainly a plug-in hybrid. Only one internal combustion engine will remain, the 130bhp 1.2 Puretech. That’s it for the diesel, which will be phased out over the next few years. The majority of sales will be centred on the Stellantis Group’s 180bhp and 225bhp plug-in hybrids. The highly successful EAT8 automatic transmission will be standard on all versions. From 2024, the 408 will also become an electric car, complementing the existing powertrains.

Peugeot 408 recharge
Plug-in hybrids in force.

Available on order

Are you interested in the 408? The good news is that you can now configure and order it on the manufacturer’s website. It’s available from €37,350 in allure trim and up to €50,600 in its limited launch ‘First Edition’ trim. Its many qualities, including a successful exterior style and a very well executed, spacious and technologically advanced interior, should enable it to make its mark. Let’s bet it’s already giving the competition a few ideas. The 408 will be produced at the Mulhouse plant in Alsace, with the first deliveries scheduled for January 2023. Perhaps another success story is on the horizon for the lion’s brand.

The 408 has a typical fastback profile.

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