Peugeot prove that style is still in fashion with the 408

A stylish offeringA stylish offering
A stylish offering
It shouldn’t come as any great surprise that the new 408 from Peugeot looks rather unlike previous models from the French company.

After all, the motor industry is going through rapid and unprecedented change. Models are disappearing at a staggering rate and new ones are arriving equally quickly as the world becomes accustomed to electric power.

And new models are taking on a boxier shape as designers are forced to accommodate bulky batteries.

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The 4 series – the 405, 406 and others – have long been known for space and value for money and have competed with various big car rivals from Ford, Vauxhall and co.

The 408 takes a somewhat unpredictable form. It is a mix between saloon and SUV form, which is a style that rarely turns out well.

But Peugeot have come up trumps creating a model which looks good and works well. OK, it’s expensive but cheap cars are very few and far between.

SUV-saloons are often bulky but this car feels good to drive and looks leaner and meaner than should be possible, given its dimensions.

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Notchback crossovers, as they are sometimes called, are becoming more common because they offer space for passengers and luggage and a big enough chassis to accommodate the engine and electric motors which are the prerequisite of most modern vehicles.

Peugeot has always had an eye for style. The 205 and its later versions were always sweeter than its Fiesta and Corsa rivals and so it is with this dashing vehicle.

The 408 comes with a choice of two plug-in hybrid powertrains, a smaller one emitting 150bhp and a bigger one putting out 179bhp. Both are linked to an 81kW electric motor.

A full charge can be achieved in three hour 25 minutes when connected to a 7.4kW wallbox, which has now become a more important figure than the 0 to 60mph time or miles per gallon.

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These petrol-electric link-ups are pretty sophisticated. You can choose to drive in hybrid form, in electric only for 40 miles or in sport mode which uses all of the power of internal combustion and electric engines for maximum performance.

Sport modes are often just for show and don’t really deliver much extra performance but this one is very effective.

The 408 is described by Peugeot as having a “novel silhouette”, which is accurate. But for me it’s the styling details such as the grille which make this car stand out impressively.

The look of this elevated fastback is completely new and it reinvents the hatchback by adding typical SUV features for a bold new look.

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Despite its racy sloping profile, the vehicle architecture also offers remarkable second row space and boot space.

It is more than just a good-looker. It features a high-quality interior, combined with connectivity that incorporates the latest technologies to make the driving and travelling experience more intuitive and rewarding.

It comes with the latest driving assistance systems that combine serenity and safety - another example showcasing the brand’s excellence across the board.

It comes as Allure, Allure Premium and GT, the latter of which is tested here.

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The 408 stands out thanks to its sharp lines and alluring profile. Measuring 4.7m long, 1.5m tall and with a 2.8m wheelbase, the new 408 has a unique shape that benefits aerodynamic efficiency.

It has the latest i-Cockpit with an advanced infotainment system. All models come as standard with a 10in digital instrument panel, with GT models benefitting from 3D technology.

Also included is a 10in central touchscreen which comes with wireless Mirror Screen for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It also benefits from a range of convenience and safety features. As standard, new 408 models are equipped with a 180-degree colour reversing camera, rear parking sensors and ‘Smart beam’ High Beam Assist, while safety is improved via advanced emergency braking as well as traffic sign recognition.

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A range of further safety features are available across the various trim levels, including long range blind spot detection and “rear cross traffic alert” on Allure Premium models, and full matrix LED headlights and “lane position assist” on GT models.

Inside, GT models come with aluminium door and boot sill trims, while Ambient Lighting with eight colour choices is also standard. A heated full grain leather steering wheel with ‘Adamite’ green stitching and ‘GT’ badging adds to comfort and styling, while the roof lining is finished in a ‘Forum Jersey’ ‘Mistral’ black cloth for added ambiance.

Technology upgrades include the 10-inch instrument panel display featuring 3D technology, while ‘Clean Cabin’ Technology improves air quality.

A Driver Sport Pack adds steering, throttle and gearbox modes which enhance feedback and response, while the engine sound can also be digitally enhanced. Peugeot SOS and Assistance and Lane Positioning Assist improve safety and driver convenience.

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Meanwhile, the Peugeot 208 was the best-selling car in Europe on the passenger car market in 2022 and its 100 per cent electric version, the e-208, was also the best-selling car in Europe in the electric B-Segment. Peugeot as a brand takes first place in the electric B-segment with the combined success of the e-208 and the e-2008.

With their modern and efficient electric engines, the PEUGEOT e-208 and e-2008 offer driving pleasure amplified by a full range of driving aids, innovations that satisfied more than 76,000 customers in Europe in 2022.

Peugeot 408 GT Hybrid 225

Price: £43,895. Hybrid range starts at £31,225

Engine: The test version comes with a PureTech 1,590cc four cylinder engine generating 179bhp combined with a 81kw electric motor. It manages 40 miles in electric form.

Performance: Top speed 145mph and 0 to 60mph in 7.8 seconds

Economy: from 211.3mph to 269.5mpg on a combined route

Emissions: 26g/km

Insurance: Group 31E

Warranty: Three years’ unlimited mileage warranty

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