One thing is certain, Peugeot is a follower of good moves in terms of design. So, after the 208 and the new 308, it’s finally time for the 408. And the least we can say is that it leaves no one indifferent. Although the fashion is for the coupe SUV, not all car manufacturers succumb to it. This is the case of Peugeot, which offers this 408 with a leaking roof of the fastback halfway between raised sedan and coupe SUV… even if the manufacturer refuses to use this last qualifier about its little news.
4.69 meters long, the Peugeot 408 fits between the 308 station wagon (SW) and the 508, which measure 4.636 m and 4.75 m respectively. Higher (1.478 m) than its two companions, the 408 has the same wheelbase as the 508, namely 2.787 m. Thanks to the EMP2 platform.
In terms of design, Peugeot has taken up certain elements that have made the success of the new 308: front and rear fenders on steroids, a long ribbed bonnet, a grille – almost invisible – in the colors of the bodywork, but enhanced by a light signature with Matrix LED headlights reminiscent of the fangs of a Smilodon.
It is when it is in profile that one can perhaps best appreciate the work of the designers at Peugeot. Indeed, the body sports many folds which accentuate the dynamic side of the car, in particular at the level of the black underbody.
The rear is not to be outdone with this receding roof, signature of the bodywork fastback, which ends its race with a very inclined rear window surmounted by a spoiler. Another distinctive element, the two “cat’s ears” located on either side, in the upper part of the trunk. They are used to divert the flow of air over the spoiler from the trunk. On the way, we will admire this rear quarter panel which stretches like a dagger.
Finally, the taillights connected by a black band are based on those of the 308.
As for the volume of the trunk, the latter culminates at 536 liters with seats not folded down (a good score), and climbs to 1611 l for the petrol version. The rechargeable hybrid version sees its capacity reduced due to the battery to 471 l and 1545 l (seats not folded down and folded down).
Interior taken from the 308
The cabin is almost the same as the 308, with the 10-inch i-Cockpit incorporating the 3D display positioned behind the two-flat steering wheel with a huge central hub. The 10-inch touch screen is positioned lower than the handset, but facing the driver who will only have to reach out to access it.
We find the tactile i-Toggles to access the “air conditioning settings, telephone contacts, radio, application launch… configured according to the user’s choice“. Under these shortcuts, piano keys allowing direct access to heating, air conditioning and hazard lights (warning).
Between the two front passengers extends a transmission tunnel supporting the eight-speed automatic gearbox (EAT-8). It comes with the Parking button, the driving mode selector and the Brake button (B), the regenerative brake for plug-in hybrid versions. To all this is added “33 liters of various storage” as well as two USB-C ports (charging and data) and two cup holders. Rear passengers also benefit from two USB-C sockets.
Full of driving aids
In terms of driving aids or ADAS, this new Peugeot 408, which incorporates six cameras and nine radars, embeds the essentials, namely:
- adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go function,
- automatic emergency braking with collision risk alert (operating day and night),
- the active alert of involuntary crossing of line or shoulder,
- extended recognition and display on the digital instrument panel of traffic signs,
- a night vision system,
- blind spot alert (BLIS),
- rear traffic alert via 180-degree HD reversing camera,
- the 360° parking aid.
Regarding semi-autonomous driving, Peugeot will later offer (via a remote update?) the Drive Assist 2.0 pack. He will be “consisting of adaptive cruise control with stop and go function and lane keeping assist“.
Two new functions are also present, automatic lane change (from 70 km/h and up to 180 km/h) and “the anticipated speed recommendation“. This one offers “the driver to adapt his speed (acceleration or deceleration) according to the speed limit signs“.
Two plug-in hybrids and a gasoline; electric for later
In terms of motorization, the 408 imitates its “little” sister, the 308, with two rechargeable hybrids, one of 133 kW (180 hp) and the other of 165 kW (225 hp). This is called “cumulative” power. There is the 110 kW (150 hp) or 132 kW (180 hp) 1.6 Puretech combustion engine for a torque of 250 Nm. It is accompanied by a synchronous electric motor with permanent magnets, placed at the front, delivering power of 81 kW (110 hp) and a torque of 320 Nm.
The set is powered by a battery with a capacity of 12.4 kWh whose autonomy in pure electric has not been communicated. On the other hand, 7 h 05 min will be necessary to fully recharge it from a household socket (8 A with 3.7 kW charger), 3 h 55 min with a reinforced socket (14 A with on-board 3.7 kW charger) and 1 h 40 min from a Wallbox (32 A with 7.4 kW on-board charger).
Finally, the petrol version is fitted with a 130 hp Puretech engine offering a torque of 230 Nm. All this is combined with the eight-speed EAT8 automatic gearbox, the only transmission proposal for the entire range. On the other hand, the manufacturer unfortunately ignores the diesel.
If the 100% electric version is planned within two years, we are surprised not to find the 1.5 turbo hybrid engine with light hybridization present for example in the Alfa Romeo Tonale and the Jeep Compass.
On the price side, no announcement has been made, but logic would dictate that the price list is inserted between the 308 and the 3008 SUV. Orders will be open from July 2022.
With its quirky style, Peugeot has once again succeeded in offering a unique vision of the saloon of tomorrow. The 408 is also a way for the Lion to grab market share in Renault Arkana, which has enjoyed dazzling success since the start of the year.