Peugeot 408 Review 2024

Peugeot 408 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Weird and wonderful new Peugeot 408 has a big boot and upmarket cabin. It's good to drive, too, with a relaxed nature and desirable plug-in hybrid engines.

+Interesting alternative to mainstream SUVs like the Volkswagen Tiguan. Efficient engine range with an electric model to follow. High quality and spacious interior.

-A conventional SUV is still a more versatile family car. Plug-in hybrids are quite expensive. Heated seats only available as part of an expensive options pack. Four-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Niche models are no longer limited to premium brands like Audi and BMW. Volkswagen's at it with the Taigo, the Renault Arkana is the obscure coupe-SUV no one asked for - and now the new Peugeot 408 is set to fill a gap between conventional hatchbacks and the hugely popular family SUV class.

The Peugeot 408 takes a similar approach to the new Citroen C5 X. It's a high-riding hatchback with a bold design and none of the compromises of an SUV. That's the theory, anyway.

Under the bonnet, the most affordable Peugeot 408 models come with a 1.2-litre petrol engine. This 130PS unit is sprightlier than you'd expect in a car this size, although we still think a lot of buyers will be looking at the plug-in hybrid motors instead.

There are two plug-in hybrids, each combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. Crucially, they provide an electric-only range of up to 40 miles - good news for company car drivers seeking the tax advantages of long-range plug-in hybrids. If a pure-electric car appeals, there's also an all-electric Peugeot e-408 on its way later in 2023.

The Peugeot 408 feels a bit sportier than the Citroen C5 X, but that doesn't really come at the expense of comfort. It rides well, while its interior feels suitably upmarket for a brand that's attempting to steer customers away from premium brands.

You can choose from three core models: the Peugeot 408 Allure, Allure Premium and the top-spec 408 GT. We reckon the mid-spec Peugeot 408 Allure Premium makes the most sense - there's no need to spend serious money on a Peugeot 408.

Talking of which, you'll pay upwards of £31,000 for an entry-level car, while the plug-in hybrids are nudging £40,000. We're already seeing pre-reg discounts on Peugeot 408s, though, and we reckon the left-field approach will be good news for bargain hunters a few years down the line (if not for the first owners taking the depreciation hit).

If Peugeot's serious about tempting buyers out of their SUVs into a high-riding hatchback, the 408 needs to pack a punch in terms of practicality. And it certainly ticks that box - it's quite a long car, so the boot's pretty vast (although not as huge as, say, a Skoda Superb Estate's). You don't sit as high as you would in a 'proper' SUV, but neither can you feel the tarmac beneath your seat.

The most impressive thing about the new Peugeot 408 is the interior quality. It looks and feels pretty special, while the new 10.0-inch infotainment system (standard across the range) looks smart and is pretty easy to operate. We like the digital instrument cluster, too, although not so much the 3D dials fitted to the Peugeot 408 GT.

We reckon the Peugeot 408 will be overlooked by a lot of buyers searching for their next family car, but it certainly isn't without its merits. We love the interior, think it looks pretty sharp and its hybrid engines make it a pretty interesting alternative to mainstream competitors. We reckon the upcoming electric powertrain will only add to the 408's appeal.

What does a Peugeot 408 cost?