THE PEUGEOT 408 has an adventurous look – fusing SUV design with fastback styling.

The cabin also grabs your attention for the right reasons, with sharp digital displays and premium materials providing a feeling of real quality.

The new 408 has taken Peugeot further down the road of having an electrified line-up.

It’s available with two plug-in hybrid powertrains, as well as an efficient PureTech petrol version. All models are front-wheel drive, with transmission coming courtesy of Peugeot’s eight-speed EAT automatic gearbox.

Somerset County Gazette: Peugeot 408 hybrid

My test car’s hybrid powertrain put out a combined 225hp along with a meaty 360Nm of torque.

That makes for a 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds, which feels quite swift.

The turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol unit combines well with the 12.4kWh battery to offer smooth acceleration.

An all-electric range of 40 miles is quoted, with a full charge taking five and a half hours on a domestic 3-pin socket (2.3kWh) and an hour and 40 minutes on a dedicated wall box (7.4kWh).

The steering is a little light and lacking feedback, but is quick enough for the car to feel nimble when cornering. Body roll is well-contained and the suspension strikes a nice balance between comfort and a degree of sportiness.

Somerset County Gazette: The 408's bright paintwork and sharp creases catch the Bradford sunlight

If you’re in the mood, you can opt for Sport mode, which brings about quicker changes from the automatic box and encourages more urgency in terms of throttle response.

So the 408 doesn’t quite deliver the sporty drive to match its looks, but you can at least have a bit of fun while driving it.

Inside the cabin, there are plenty of soft-touch materials and styling flourishes.

The small i-Cockpit steering wheel might not be to everyone’s taste, but is typical of the flair and individuality Peugeot has sought when designing the interior.

A configurable digital instrument cluster is crisp and impressive, while a 10-inch i-Connect Advanced touchscreen sits in the centre of the cabin.

Somerset County Gazette: Peugeot 408 hybrid

The touchscreen offers excellent graphics and comes with wireless Mirror Screen for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Configurable virtual i-Toggles are positioned below the central touchscreen to provide shortcuts to air-con controls, phone contacts, and apps.

The system also brings Connected Navigation, with Live Traffic updates as well as ‘over the air’ updates, while natural voice recognition gives safe access to all infotainment features.

The 408 is 4,687mm long, 2,062mm wide and 1,478mm tall. That makes for very good legroom front and back, although headroom is a little reduced due to the sleek roofline.

The 536-litre boot is among the very best in class, further enhancing the car’s practicality for families.

The 408 has plenty of safety features, including 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 Extended Traffic Sign Recognition.

In conclusion, the 408 is a stylish machine - both inside and out - with plenty of practicality and enough sportiness to keep a keen driver interested.


Peugeot 408 Allure Premium HYBRID 225 e-EAT8

PRICE: £42,225 on the road

ENGINE: 1598cc, in-line petrol with electric

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed auto, front wheel drive

TOP SPEED: 145mph (in sport mode) | 84mph (in electric)

0-62MPH: 7.8 seconds

ECONOMY: Up to 269.5mpg and 26g/km