Don’t hate on the 408 Peugeot

in Motoring Insight

I think it is fair to say that in the past few years Citroën, Peugeot and DS, formerly part of the PSA Group, and now part of the much larger global Group Stellantis have produced some fairly dull and bland cars, call it playing safe if you want.

But recently they have definitely changed the styling theme, whether that’s new designers within the Group, or the people who do all the drawings have been given a more free hand to come up with what they like, and not trying to please those in higher positions. I really don’t have the answer, but what I do know is the cars are now very bold and handsome.

I recently had a Peugeot 408 on test from Peugeot UK Press Office. I had seen photos of it, and liked the looks, but when it arrived, it was so much better than the pics.

The 408 I had was the Allure Premium, powered by a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine that produced 130hp, coupled to a very smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox. Now on paper, the small size of the engine didn’t suit the large size of the car. But it had more than enough power, and went from 0-100kph in 10.4 seconds, certainly not the quickest car I’ve driven, but plenty quick enough for normal, everyday driving. 

The list of standard equipment on the Allure Premium goes on and on… and on. It’s jam-packed with lots of nice things, and has lots of safety features.

The 408 follows in a long tradition of “40” models, with the first, the “401” being introduced in 1934, the “404” in 1960, and the very popular “405” in 1987.

I took the 408 to a Guild of Motoring Writers event, and our President of the Group, Nick Mason (yes, that drummer) had a good look round it, and really liked the design, especially the large “haunches” over the rear wheels, very supercar-like, he commented.

The Peugeot 408 is certainly a great looking five-door hatch, and I take my hat off to the design team, for creating a handsome and muscular car, and of course the engineers for being able to press the metal to form those crisp lines on the body panels.

The UK on-the-road price of the test car is £32,175

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