Peugeot 408 Review & Prices
Practical family car with a lovely interior, but visibility isn’t great and motorway road noise could get annoying
Find out more about the Peugeot 408
This is the Peugeot 408, and it’s a bit like one of those half and half pizzas where you can get a different topping on each side when you’re feeling indecisive. You see, while it sort of looks like a big, chunky saloon, at the rear in particular there’s more than a hint of SUV. It's a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
As a result, this is a tricky car to pigeonhole. It’s roomier than the similarly priced Honda Civic, but it’s hard to imagine these two being on the same shortlist. The Skoda Octavia is a bit more practical than the 408, but again, feels like a loose comparison. There are coupe-SUV options such as the Renault Arkana and Cupra Formentor that are perhaps closer, while the Citroen C5 X – with which this car shares much of its make-up – has a similar oddball shape.
It’s hard to judge the Peugeot 408’s aesthetics, too. There’s no denying that there are some cool details, such as the rear end’s integrated spoiler and 3D flashing lights, but the chunky lower bumper doesn’t look so slick. It starts on 17-inch alloy wheels but these would look lost in the arches; our test car’s 19-inch wheels work well, with 20s as big as they go.
Up front, the big grille looks great with its body-coloured inserts, and the headlights and signature fang-like running lights are also pretty stylish. But when you take the car in as a whole it’s not quite so cohesive, with lots of awkward angles fighting against each other.
Inside it’s another story. Peugeot makes some great cabins, but this might just be its best yet, with a smart dashboard design and high-quality, posh materials. It’s definitely better than you’d find in a Volkswagen or even similarly priced Audis.
The infotainment system is another highlight. The menu design is slick and easy to use, with buttons beneath the main screen that can be personalised to the functions you use the most. You also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Despite all this good, it’s still annoying that you have to press a button to access the on-screen climate controls instead of just having physical buttons and dials.
The Peugeot 408’s cabin is fantastic, and more than a match for what you get from more premium brands
It’s easy to get comfortable in the certified back-friendly seats, but you should definitely try before you buy. Peugeot has cool digital dials with a 3D-effect, but they’re designed to be viewed over the steering wheel instead of through it. Some driving positions mean the top of the rim obscures them.
There’s plenty of space for stuff and things up front thanks to an armrest cubby hole, large cup holders and felt-lined door bins. In the rear there’s loads of legroom and headroom should be fine for all but the tallest passengers. The 408 is quite narrow, though, so fitting three in the back is a squeeze.
Two plug-in hybrid options offer 180hp or 225hp and will appeal to company car drivers because of the low benefit-in-kind rate. Fuel economy will be great if you can keep them charged and drive short distances, but the non-hybrid 1.2-litre petrol is considerably cheaper to buy. We saw 51mpg in mixed driving in the more powerful hybrid, and 36mpg in the petrol.
The 408 looks like it should be a comfortable cruiser, but the suspension is stiffer than you might expect. Around town it handles big bumps and potholes well, but rough roads transmit a rumble through the wheel. It’s smoother at motorway speeds, but road noise is pretty intrusive, which is a shame. We found the petrol to be much more comfortable than the hybrid.
If you like the sound of the Peugeot 408 you can check out the latest Peugeot 408 deals now or browse used Peugeot 408s from a network of trusted dealers. You can also check out their selection of used Peugeots for sale and even sell your current car through carwow.
The Peugeot 408 has a RRP range of £31,775 to £44,720. However, with carwow you can save on average £3,975. Prices start at £29,911 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £328. The price of a used Peugeot 408 on carwow starts at £24,900.
Our most popular versions of the Peugeot 408 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.2 PureTech Allure 5dr EAT8||£29,911||Compare offers|
Considering the Citroen and Peugeot share similar underpinnings, the C5 X is perhaps a little more appealing when you consider it’s a bit more practical, as well as being less expensive. The 408’s cabin is much posher than the Cupra’s and the boot is more spacious, though the Formentor’s sharp SUV styling is less challenging on the eyes.
Select electric mode and it’s very quiet and refined, but low-speed ride quality and high-speed road noise disappoint
The Peugeot 408 looks a long way from an agile sports car, so you’re expecting a relaxing, comfortable ride. However, while it handles potholes and speed bumps pretty well, it seems unsettled over rough, poor quality Tarmac. You regularly feel rumbles through the wheel, which can be irritating, though we did find the petrol version was much more composed over bumps.
It’s a shame, because when you sit in the hybrid 408, see its classy cabin design and pull away in electric-only mode, it gives off a quiet, refined vibe. There are also normal and sport modes that utilise the petrol engine, but the electric mode cuts any use of the engine, so long as you have enough battery charge left.
There’s a ‘B’ mode too, which increases regenerative braking to slow you more when you lift off the throttle and refill the battery. It makes slow traffic easier to navigate but you’ll have to use the brakes to come to a full stop.
Speaking of which, the brakes are fine when you give them a light press, but as you push your foot down further they suddenly get quite grabby. This can make it difficult to make smooth progress.
Visibility is decent looking forward, but looking out the back you’ll struggle to see much at all. The sloping bodywork looks funky from the outside but it means the rear window is small, so you’ll be relying on the cameras while reversing.
On the motorway
Ride quality is fine at higher speeds but it’s here that the intrusive road noise becomes apparent. Wind noise is minimal but the roar from the tyres is noticeable. Our car’s 19-inch wheels are likely partly to blame, with smaller wheels usually being quieter, if less aesthetically pleasing.
The plug-in hybrid engine works pretty well getting up to motorway speeds, but it’s not seamless. There’s the initial punch from the electric motors, then as that runs out of puff the engine is waiting for its turbos to spool before really pushing you on to 70mph.
The petrol doesn't have the same punch as the hybrid as it lacks the electric motor backup, but it will get you up to speed swiftly enough. The gearbox can be a little lethargic in responding when you start accelerating, but once you're on the move the engine thrums quietly away as a happy motorway cruiser.
On a twisty road
The advantage of that stiffer suspension is noticeable when you get to some corners. Where you expect a bit of lean there isn’t, so you’ve got more confidence than you might expect when things get twisty. The steering wheel is tiny and makes the most sense here as it almost tricks you into thinking you’re in a dainty sports car. Almost.
In the hybrid, plonk the car in Sport mode and the engine stays on so you get the full petrol-electric experience all of the time. It makes the 408 feel more responsive, and while the Cupra Formentor is more fun still, it’s genuinely surprisingly good on a country road.
The only real disappointment here is that while you can manually shift gears using the wheel-mounted paddles, the car still takes over and shifts up or down when it thinks it’s necessary.
The 408 is practical in the cabin and boot, but the chunky rear bumper can make loading and unloading items awkward
There’s plenty of space for those in the front, and it’s easy to get yourself in a good position thanks to plenty of adjustability in the seat and wheel. One potential irritant is that, for some drivers, their seating position will make the top of the wheel block their view of the dials, so it’s worth checking this before you buy. The seats are very comfortable, so long distances are a breeze.
Practicality is excellent, with a large bin beneath the arm rest. The top splits, so the driver can keep their arm rested while the passenger accesses the storage. There’s another small cubby in front of that and a slot for your phone beneath the infotainment system, which houses the wireless charger.
The cup holders are a good size and can carry large bottles, as can the door bins. They’re also felt-lined, so anything you put in there won’t rattle around while you drive.
Space in the back seats
Legroom is excellent in the back, with loads of space from your knees to the seats in front, even behind tall drivers. The footwell is also spacious and there’s a good gap beneath the seat so your feet won’t feel cramped.
Headroom is okay, but taller passengers might find they brush the ceiling as it slopes to the rear. The 408 isn’t particularly wide either, so if you need three people in the back seats they’ll have to be okay with getting cosy, and the outer passengers will find their heads right up against the roof. The Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake is roomier for this.
You get the same high quality, comfortable seats in the back as you do up front, and the same roomy door bins. They’re not felt-lined though, while the door materials feel a bit cheaper, so it’s not quite as plush in the back. The central armrest with two cup holders and a load-through chute are further plus points, though.
If you need to fit a child seat, there’s loads of space so even chunky rear-facing seats can be used without the front passenger needing to put their seat too far forward. However, the ISOFIX points are tricky to locate, so getting the seat in in the first place can be a pain.
The 408’s boot is a good size at 536 litres in the petrol, though that drops considerably to 471 litres in the hybrid model because the battery placement eats into space. Opt for the upgraded Focal sound system and you can knock another 30 litres off in the petrol and 20 in the hybrid.
Fold the rear seats down and space increases to 1,611 litres in the petrol and 1,545 litres in the hybrid (or 1,583 litres and 1,528 litres respectively with the Focal setup).
That compares pretty well with most alternatives. It’s a bit smaller than the Citroen C5 X, which has 545 litres in its petrol versions and 485 litres in its hybrids, but it’s much bigger than the Cupra Formentor, which measures 450 litres and 345 litres respectively. Interestingly, the Arkana is a bit smaller in non-hybrid versions at 513 litres, but compare hybrids and the Renault has a bigger boot than the Peugeot at 480 litres.
There’s a small lip that wouldn’t be a major problem when loading heavier items, but the chunky rear bumper means there’s a large ridge to lift items over. You might also get your jeans dirty by leaning on it.
Some nice touches include a lever to drop the seats without having to lean too far into the boot, small nets to store items in, elasticated straps to hold stuff in place and various hooks and handles. Once the rear seats are folded there’s not much of a lip to push luggage over, but the seats don’t go fully flat.
The interior is very plush and the infotainment is excellent, but it’s very dark if you don’t get the panoramic roof option
Jump inside the Peugeot 408 and you’ll be forgiven for thinking this is from a brand with a typically more premium image. It feels more upmarket than other mainstream cars, such as the Volkswagen Passat, and is even a good match for an equivalent Audi, such as the A4 Avant. That being said, regardless of brand appeal the 408 is rather expensive, so this goes some way to justify the price.
Everywhere you look and touch there are high-quality materials, and while there are scratchy plastics here and there, you have to go looking for them. It’s pretty dark inside though, so we’d recommend opting for the panoramic roof if this is a worry, though it’s a £900 option and only available on top-spec GT cars.
Fortunately, there’s no irritating infotainment system ruining the good first impression. There’s a 10.0-inch infotainment display as standard across the range, and it’s really easy to use with crisp, clear graphics. The highlight, though, is the programmable buttons beneath it, which let you create shortcuts to your most-used screens.
That said, Peugeot still insists on keeping the climate controls within its touch screen menus, so even with shortcuts you’re always a button press away from changing the temperature.
The digital dials are another highlight. You get the usual speed, revs and trip information displayed digitally, but Peugeot has created a 3D-effect, which looks great. You can turn it off if you want, but we found it a nice, unique touch.
There’s an optional sound system upgrade available for GT models. The 10-speaker Focal system is relatively good value at £600, which will be barely noticeable on your monthly payments but should be worth it for audiophiles. Remember that it eats into boot space a little, though.
Another neat extra is night vision, which is displayed in the digital dial screen. Although you shouldn’t drive while looking at it, it can pick up on people, animals and other obstacles ahead and warn you before you even see them.
There are three engine options on the 408, all coming with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The range starts with a 1.2-litre petrol engine that makes 130hp and 230Nm of torque. It’s by no means quick, going from 0-60mph in about 10 seconds, but fuel economy of up to 48mpg means it should be cheap to run.
Then there’s the plug-in hybrids. The first is called Hybrid 180 and makes 180hp and 320Nm of torque, while the second, called Hybrid 225, makes 225hp and 320Nm of torque. Both will do 0-60mph in around eight seconds and have an official fuel economy of more than 200mpg. Naturally, achieving this relies on the battery being fully charged regularly – we managed about 51mpg in the 225 in mixed driving.
CO2 emissions are up to 30g/km for both hybrids, so they fall into the lowest vehicle excise duty (VED) bracket besides EVs, though they will be eligible for the over-£40,000 premium. These emissions figures and 40-mile electric-only range also mean benefit-in-kind is low for company car drivers. The petrol is measured at up to 156g/km, making it just above average for VED.
Standard safety kit includes post collision safety brake, lane keep assist and automatic emergency braking. Step up to Allure Premium and you also get the Drive Assist Pack, which adds rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and long range blind spot monitoring.
The Peugeot 408 has been safety tested by Euro NCAP and, perhaps disappointingly, scored four-out-of-five stars. It received 76% for adult occupant protection, where you’d expect most cars to achieve over 80% at the very least. Child occupant safety scored 84%, which is better, but it was marked down further for its safety assist systems at 65%. However, the testing organisation does note that while some additional testing was done for the 408, its score is mostly based on the ‘closely related’ 308.
It’s too early to tell whether there are any ongoing issues with the Peugeot 408. However, Peugeot’s reputation for reliability has been improving recently, which is reassuring. A three-year warranty is included as standard for extra peace of mind, and that’s unlimited mileage for the first two years. It’s limited to 60,000 miles in the third year, though extended warranties and service plans are available for a fee.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.