We thought we had seen it all. The raised station wagon. The lowered SUV. The coupe sedan. The 5-door coupe… Yes, but once again shuffling the car segmentation card game, some realized that the raised coupe sedan had never been seen. It is now done with the Peugeot 408, phew! 

And if Peugeot chooses to embark on this new niche, it is indeed that this new 408 is likely to be a hit as the car is expected. As proof: 25% of the cars sold at the 2022 Paris Motor Show on the stand of the Sochaux firm would have been Peugeot 408s! 

After being able to discover it last June, ahead of its official presentation, the time has come to take control of this newcomer on the roads of Barcelona and its region. A first contact at the wheel of the most powerful and most expensive version of the catalog, the 408 plug-in hybrid of 225 horsepower, in GT finish. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

Not so SUV as that

Even though we were able to take a detailed (and video) tour of the Peugeot 408 a few months ago, we were longing to finally see it out of a studio, in natural light. And the first thing that surprised us was that it didn’t seem that high to us. The SUV effect is obviously accentuated by gigantic wheel arches in exposed plastic. However, it clearly leans more on the side of the coupe sedan than the SUV, with its fastback roofline that extends to the stern. And then it is only 4 cm higher than a 308.

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

For the rest, the 408 is still as aggressive, muscular, cut to the billhook. Attention, because it is not a small size: it is 4.69 meters long, more than a 5008! It is also about ten centimeters longer than two models that could be related to it: the Renault Arkana of 4.57 meters long, and the Citroen C4 X of 4.60 m. 

The competitors of the Peugeot 408:

While all of the models that were available for our test were fitted with 20-inch wheels, with asymmetrical rims that give a striking effect when the car is in motion, other vehicles opted for 19-inch rims with a simpler design. But which do not distort the sporty side of the vehicle. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

A trunk with (very) variable volume

Inside this 408, those who come from the latest 308 will not be out of place. We find indeed the whole of the presentation of the compact, with the central screen of 10 inches and here the “i-Toggles”, marketo-barbaric name to designate the numeric and configurable keys which are just below. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

A few physical buttons remain, such as the volume wheel, a very practical shortcut key to vehicle settings and in particular driving aids, defrosting or even warning.

We go to the rear seats and the large doors allow easy access, while once installed on the bench seat, the legroom is very good. Above the head too. On the other hand, the central tunnel does not help to find a good position in the center, which will mainly serve as a place of repair. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)
Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

As for the trunk, if it announces a nice volume of up to 536 liters, it loses a significant part of it when the car is hybrid, the battery being under the trunk floor. From then on, the 408 only offered 471 litres. Ah! And with the excellent 690W Focal sound system and the subwoofer which has the good idea of ​​being housed in the trunk, we still lose around twenty liters or 454 litres. So when choosing, be aware that electrification and good sound will make you lose 82 liters. It’s up to you to determine your priorities! 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)
Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

On the road

Our first laps are behind another Peugeot 408. And this Lioness in front of us actually makes us think of a Taurus. This metaphor actually refers to Lamborghini, rather incongruous during a Peugeot test, but there really are Lamborghini Urus tunes. Lovers of transalpine cuneiform art will appreciate. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

Except that we have to come back to reality, no V8 and even less 650 horsepower under the hood. It will be necessary to be “satisfied” here with an engine already proven at Peugeot, and more widely within the Stellantis group, namely the rechargeable hybrid of 225 horsepower. It consists of a 4-cylinder PureTech 180 horsepower, and an electric motor of 81 kW, all being sent to the wheels via the EAT8 automatic transmission.

If on paper Peugeot announces up to 64 km of autonomy in all electric, our car displays 38 km of autonomy, yet recharged to 100%. By default the car goes into Hybrid mode and we therefore start on electric. Very soflty. As well for the silence of rolling as for the first speed bumps, not brittle with our 19 inch rims. And then the comfort of the seats is also felt immediately. Both the seat and the backrest are particularly soft without being soft: you immediately feel that you can travel far in very good comfort in this 408. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

Leaving town, the pace quickens and we head for the highway: the hybrid mode then launches the heat engine in an almost imperceptible way. Even if the all-electric mode is capable of climbing up to 135 km / h, at the cost of an autonomy which is reduced to a trickle. The insertion on the Spanish four-lane limited to 120 km / h is done with ease, the 225 horses of the 408 are voluntary if we do not rush them. Go slowly. Because a well-supported toll exit and the 4-cylinder starts to howl, while you really feel the weight of the car.

A mass that we also feel on small roads, even if the chassis of the 408 is still very balanced, and the ride height does not really accentuate the lack of rolling sensation. It must be said that the 408 is equipped with the modular EMP2 platform which already underlies a good part of the range and whose qualities are well established. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

Note, however, perhaps a latency time between pressing the pedal and accelerating slightly reduced compared to other vehicles with the same engine. In particular a 508. On the other hand, the engine approval, if not to be able to drive without a sound when the car is 100% electric, is not really there. We feel that the car delights much more in linearity than in the kick in the buttocks. Which perhaps contrasts with his hyper aggressive physique. 


Last word on consumption, which on our 183 km journey on the motorway and small national roads, on 19-inch rims, was 5.4 l/100 km for an average speed of 59 km / h. Starting with a 100% charged electric battery and fully discharged at the end of the journey.

On the other hand, starting with a completely discharged battery and using the e-Save mode to partially recharge it on the way, thanks to a forced operation of the internal combustion engine, on our second 86 km trip, at an average speed of 51 km/h, our average was 7.4 l/100 km/h. Hence the interest of properly recharging your plug-in hybrid vehicle, the raison d’etre of this type of motorization. 


If the Peugeot 408 seems to have a bright future, it will undoubtedly be above all due to its very special physique which sets it apart from everything else on the market. Standing out from the statutory side displayed by the 508, it gives a facelift to the range of the Sochaux brand. 

Test Peugeot 408 (2022)

But that his aesthetic choices do not overshadow his skills on the road and his dynamism which we were afraid would suffer from the deliberately raised height of the vehicle. It is not so, Peugeot knows how to make chassis, and this 408 based on the famous EMP2 adapts to it without worries.

On the price side, the entry-level Peugeot 408, with a 130 horsepower petrol engine, starts at 37,350 euros. But our test version increases the bill to more than €51,000, a difference of around €2,000 with a 508 with equivalent engine and finish. In favor of the 408. With a risk of cannibalism between the two models? Not possible…

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