Just take your time. To fully understand the Peugeot 408 (and my thoughts on it), you should definitely check out the first Peugeot 408 presentation article and the Peugeot 308 test drive. These two materials will be the basis for your perception of the Peugeot 408. However, believe me – a deep dive into the topic around the Peugeot 408 is worth it.

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Design: unique fastback cross

The exterior style of the Peugeot 408 is a combination of different elements that suddenly form one interesting picture. At first, we used the fastback body type, first seen on the Peugeot 508: it looks like just a regular 5-door liftback with a large sloping trunk lid – but the dynamic design fully justifies the word “fast”!

Then they added the latest Peugeot design trends: a body-colored grille, narrow headlights with vertical “fangs” and translucent lights, a new logo (even on the doors), and lots of black and glossy decor. And as if that weren’t enough, the car was raised above the road and covered with plastic protection on the lower part of the body. This is a unique fastback crossover!

New Peugeot 408 looks thirsty for adventure and emotion. Did you crank it up too much? The predatory “look” and sharp corners suggest dynamics, speed, and agility on the road. But the black protective plastic and good ground clearance (189 mm) hint that the fun can continue beyond the asphalt. In detail, the Peugeot 408 resembles the Peugeot 308 308: headlights with “fangs”, red stripes in the translucent headlights, additional side logos, and the shape of the mirrors. Although the difference in size is considerable, especially in the length of the body (4.69 meters); the wheelbase (2.79 meters) and height (1.48 meters) are also noticeably different; but the width (1.85 meters) is identical. And personally, the Peugeot 408 reminds me of the Citroen BX, remember it? The proportions of the 5-door body with a strongly sloping rear window, numerous “sharp” lines, and an emphasized, separated lower part are similar.

Inside, we again recall the Peugeot 308, because we have an identical front end – and it’s great! Incredibly spacey design, high-quality materials, good practicality and ease of use. It’s like a touchscreen display in the cabin – but with physical switches and an additional touch panel on which you can display the desired “virtual” buttons. Here is the “designer” center console – but there is a place for the joystick, cup holders, a shelf-niche, and wireless charging. Here is a digital instrument panel – but with numerous settings and 3D display of information. Finally, I’d like to note the colored background lighting and corrugated metallic decor as if from the world of “premium”. I won’t repeat and describe a lot, because all the details have already been analyzed on the example of Peugeot 308. I’ll just say this: the front of the cabin is gorgeous!

And now for the main differences between the Peugeot 408 and the Peugeot 308, and all of these features are behind us. First, it is a significantly increased space for second-row passengers. If the headroom and width of the cabin are approximately the same, then the Peugeot 408 is frankly in a higher class when it comes to legroom/knee room – there is a good amount of space, you can freely place your legs. Thanks to this, you can also slightly “move down” on the seat and thus have more space above your head. Plus, the expected comfort points: armrest and cup holders, ventilation deflectors, large doors for comfortable seating.

Secondly, it is worth noting the significantly larger trunk – the Peugeot 408 offers 505 liters versus 422 liters in the Peugeot 308. And it’s not just about increasing the numbers. For example, there is a better organization of space: there is a pocket and side locks, there are a couple of hooks for packages. Plus, the trunk is easier to load through a large opening.

The interior of the Peugeot 408 is simply magnificent: a good combination of original design and thoughtful details that provide daily convenience. Yes, you will have to constantly wipe the displays and gloss – but this is the case in almost all modern cars today. However, not every one of them can offer such high-quality materials for the money. And there is so much space for passengers in the back and such a large trunk.

Technology: more centimeters, more power

A few important figures about the Peugeot 408 that will allow you to understand all the features of its design. First, the dimensions. As it has already become clear from the above, the Peugeot 408 has gained significantly compared to the Peugeot 308: the length has increased by 32 cm, the wheelbase has grown by 11 cm, and the rear overhang has also stretched significantly (plus about 21 cm). It is worth noting that the impressions of the interior space of the Peugeot 408 for rear-row passengers also arose for a reason: according to the branded measurements, we have a plus of about 6 cm compared to the Peugeot 308.

Now for the second important point – the engine and power. For the Ukrainian market, the Peugeot 408 is offered with only one power unit: a 1.6 PureTech gasoline engine, also known by the EP6 family designation or the name Prince. This engine has four cylinders, direct fuel injection, and a turbine: all of which together produce 215 hp (at 5,500 rpm) of power and 300 Nm (at 2,000 rpm) of torque. There are other powertrain options for the Peugeot 408 on the European market – smaller gasoline engines, more powerful hybrids, electric versions – but none of these are offered in Ukraine.

The Peugeot 408 is based on the EMR2 platform: a load-bearing body and front-wheel drive, transverse engine installation, plus independent front suspension (MacPherson) and semi-dependent rear suspension (based on a U-shaped beam). However, the main features of the car are its considerable size and a rather powerful 1.6-liter 215-horsepower PureTech turbo engine, which works together with an 8-speed automatic. This pair promises us acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds, a top speed of 220 km/h, fuel consumption in the city of 9.2 liters per 100 km, and fuel consumption on the highway of 5.7 liters per 100 km. What will we get in reality?

Behind the wheel: good dynamics on asphalt, willingness to go beyond it

This is my second encounter with the Peugeot 408, and it always gives me interesting observations and emotions on the road. The first thing I’d like to mention is the engine: it starts cautiously, but continues to be powerful. In the sense that up to 2-2.5 thousand revolutions there seems to be a little traction and smooth acceleration, but already in the range of 3-4 thousand it becomes more fun and lively, and at 5-6 thousand the engine generally turns into a raging volcano! Thanks to this character, you can drive safely in city traffic jams and be sure that there is always a reserve “underfoot” that may be needed during a sharp maneuver or when overtaking on the highway.

Speaking of sharp maneuvers. The steering wheel makes almost three turns from stop to stop, so there’s no question of sharpness here. And the body roll in sharp turns is quite noticeable. At the same time, the car still responds to the steering wheel, and there are almost no inappropriate pauses in the handling. But there is good comfort provided by the suspension and long wheelbase. Thanks to the extended wheelbase, all the bumps are not so noticeable: disturbances and vibrations are not felt so sharply and somewhere far, far away…

Once again, the Peugeot 308 is not to be missed, because frankly speaking, the Peugeot 308 hatchback feels better on perfect roads. It offers better comfort, is very careful and even “gentle” on bumps. It has a similarly medium steering sharpness, but less roll in the corners. And in the turns there is no feeling of this “backpack on the shoulders”, thanks to the shorter rear overhang. And to finish with the disadvantages: a little too much noise from the wheels – especially considering the luxurious interior you are inside when you perceive this noise. However, I’m not specifically writing about the car here, because the comments about sound insulation actually apply equally to both models: Peugeot 308 and Peugeot 408.

However, all these advantages of the Peugeot 308 can be appreciated on perfect roads. When the roads are bad, the Peugeot 408 will start to win back its position: the higher ground clearance allows you to easily and confidently drive over pits where the Peugeot 308 is whispering; and the energy-intensive suspension of the Peugeot 408 allows you to “fly” over a series of bumps. So, in the world of perfect roads, the raised and stretched Peugeot 408 loses to the “well-trained European” Peugeot 308 – but the 408 knows exactly how to win back in the world of real roads.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t allow us to measure the dynamics; but from my previous experience with the Peugeot 408, I know for sure that on standard tires and on dry, clean, warm roads, it shows the promised “eight seconds to 60” dynamics: the powerful gasoline turbo engine delivers! The “SPORT” driving mode adds a sharper response to the accelerator pedal, which perfectly matches the overall dynamic mood of the car. However, be prepared to pay with the level of fuel consumption: in winter it is consistently 10-11 liters; although in summer and with the “ECONOMY” mode, we managed to keep within 9-9.5 liters – that is, the passport characteristics are confirmed. By the way, on the highway as well: one of my 500-kilometer trips showed a stable 5.7-5.8 liters when driving at a speed of about a hundred.

Price: how much does the Peugeot 408 cost and who are the rivals

So, in Ukraine, the Peugeot 408 is always offered with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and an 8-speed automatic, and the customer can choose only the Allure or GT trim.

The Peugeot408 1.6 PureTech 215 AT-8 ALLURE costs from UAH 1.23-1.3 million or about $31.5-33 thousand (depending on the date of production/delivery and the exact list of equipment). At the same time, the equipment is immediately good: six airbags, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, Peugeot i-Cockpit interior with a 10-inch digital 2D instrument cluster, 10-inch touchscreen center display, Fractil trim with leather inserts, EcoLED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, and more.

The Peugeot 408 1.6 PureTech 215 AT-8 GT costs from UAH 1.4-1.45 million or about $36-37 thousand (depending on the date of production/delivery). Compared to the previous model, the GT trim level additionally offers the following: electric trunk lid with opening sensor under the rear bumper, 360-degree all-round view, AGR seats and back massage function, instrument panel with 3D surround image, FULL LED matrix headlights, ALCANTARA leather trim, dark interior ceiling, etc.

The Peugeot 408 test car was presented in the maximum GT configuration plus additional options. For example: matrix headlights and 18-inch wheels, AGR seats with electric adjustments, massage and all-round view are all mandatory equipment for the GT version. But the night vision system (45 thousand UAH), FOCAL audio (30 thousand UAH), and NAPPA leather (75 thousand UAH) are options. Yes, they are not cheap; but they are almost exclusive for cars of this class.

And just a couple of paragraphs about the rivals. At first glance, it seems that the closest competitor is the SKODA Octavia: similar body format, overall dimensions, equipment and price ratio. But in terms of the type of buyer, these are completely different cars: Peugeot 408 will be chosen for its emotions, while SKODA Octavia will be chosen for its moderation.

Then who is a competitor? For example, the crossover CUPRA Formentor: interesting design, good handling, high level of equipment, all-wheel drive – but it is more expensive and cannot boast such a bright interior. I’d also like to mention the crossover hatchback DS 4 Cross: similar technology and engines, luxurious interior, but less space inside and a higher price tag. Another competitor is the Toyota C-HR crossover with a powerful hybrid. But the model is now changing generations, so let’s wait until we get to know the new car.

Peugeot 408 test drive results

Did it sound emotional? That’s because Peugeot 408 is about emotions! And in the story about the Peugeot 408, the Peugeot 308 was constantly mentioned… That’s because the Peugeot 308 hatchback is a great car; but the new Peugeot 408 is even better for me personally!

It perfectly combines an increase in practicality (interior space, larger trunk, cross-clearance) and an increase in the level of emotion (powerful engine, overall design). And all this is offered for relatively reasonable money. Do you want to summarize the general conclusions in one thought? The new Peugeot 408 brings back those glorious days of the Peugeot 406, when maximum aesthetics and sincere emotions were offered for the money of ordinary middle-class cars. So don’t miss this new “automotive diamond” from Peugeot.

The car was provided by the representative office of Peugeot in Ukraine