Meet Peugeot’s super-sized rival for the Citroen C4 and Renault Arkana, the 408, which blends a mid-size car’s footprint with a liftback profile and an SUV’s seating position.
The 2023 Peugeot 408 has been revealed, ahead of an Australian launch at some point after its overseas showroom arrival early next year.
Slotting between the 308 hatch and 508 liftback in Peugeot’s range, the new 408 takes the shape of a coupe-styled SUV, with a sloping liftback roofline, a higher driving position and a choice of petrol, hybrid or (eventually) electric power.
While Peugeot says it competes in Europe’s C-segment – home to everything from Toyota Corollas to RAV4s – the 408 measures 4.69m long, making it the second-longest car in Australia’s mid-size SUV segment, and 330mm longer than a 308 hatch.
Measuring 1480mm tall and 1859mm wide, with a 2787mm wheelbase, the 408 offers five seats, up to 536 litres of boot space with the rear seats up, or up to 1611 litres with the bench folded.
The 408’s styling takes a step beyond the current 308 range, with Peugeot’s signature ‘claw’ vertical daytime-running lights integrated with matrix LED headlights, a body-coloured grille, and sporty lower air intakes.
LED tail-lights and a black rear bumper – designed to “visually absorb” the rear overhang – feature at the rear, joining a bold set of 20-inch wheels, sharp surfacing across the body, and a choice of six colours.
Inside, a 10-inch central touchscreen joins a 10-inch digital instrument cluster, while Peugeot’s latest interior design cues feature: a compact steering wheel, configurable toggle switches below the touchscreen, and a metallic switch-based gear selector.
The i-Connect infotainment system incorporates wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-connection Bluetooth, TomTom satellite navigation, over-the-air updates and an ‘OK Peugeot’ voice assistant.
Technology inside the cabin includes wireless phone charging, four USB-C ports, ambient LED lighting, an electric panoramic sunroof, hands-free power tailgate, heated windscreen and steering wheel, and a 10-speaker Focal sound system.
The seats are trimmed in fabric, Alcantara, standard leather or nappa leather depending on the variant, with flagship models offering contrast stitching, 10-way driver and six-way passenger power adjustment, two driver memory settings, heating and massaging.
The rear seats can fold down 60:40 to load items up to 1.89 metres long, aided by a ski hatch and, in the boot, LED lighting, a luggage net, a 12-volt socket, and bag hooks.
Powering the 408 at launch is a 96kW 1.2-litre turbo three-cylinder petrol engine, or a choice of two plug-in hybrids, both combining a 1.2-litre petrol engines with electric motors and 12.4kWh batteries.
The entry-level Hybrid 180 offers 132kW from a 110kW petrol engine and 81kW motor, while the Hybrid 225 ups the petrol engine to 132kW for a total of 165kW. All 408s are front-wheel drive, with eight-speed automatic transmissions.
The PHEVs support AC charging (but no DC fast charging), capable of delivering a full battery in one hour and 55 minutes with the optional 7.4kW onboard charger, or three hours and 50 minutes with the standard 3.7kW charger (from a home 7.4kW wallbox).
An electric ‘e-408’ will follow at a later date, likely to be twinned with an electric version of the new 308 hatch.
Under the skin, the 408 rides on Peugeot and Citroen’s familiar EMP2 platform, as used under the 308 hatch and wagon, 3008 and 5008 SUVs, and the 508 sedan – one step above the 2008’s CMP (formerly EMP1) chassis.
Peugeot quotes a turning circle of 11.18 metres, and a drag coefficient of 0.28.
A suite of advanced safety features are available, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, a 360-degree camera, driver attention alert, an infrared ‘night vision’ system, and auto high beam.
Also available will be a ‘Drive Assist 2.0’ package, which expands adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist with semi-automatic lane changing, and an ‘anticipated speed recommendation’ function.
The 2023 Peugeot 408 is due in European showrooms at the start of 2023, with production to occur in France initially, before expanding to China later on for that market.
An Australian launch has been confirmed, however arrival timing is yet to be locked in.
“It is with great excitement I can confirm that the new Peugeot 408 will launch in Australia. We are currently working closely with the factory on launch timings for our market and look forward to sharing more information in due course,” said Kate Gillis, managing director of Peugeot Australia.