Why we’re running it: To see if Peugeot can refresh the family car market with an innovative mash-up
Life with a Peugeot 408: Month 1
Welcoming the 408 to the fleet - 13 September 2023
It’s a saloon... It’s an SUV... It’s a Peugeot 408! When a car maker says things like it’s “introducing a novel silhouette to the market” and “reinventing the hatchback”, it can be tempting to snort at the hyperbolic puffery, but in this case such assertions are hard to argue with.
The 408 came out before the closely related Citroën C5 X, and while there’s a whiff of Polestar 2 about the shape, there’s a lot more ground clearance, because the extra body height isn’t due to a floor-mounted battery.
Aye, this is a good old-fashioned petrol. Or rather I should say new-fashioned. It strikes me that Gilles Vidal and his team were very clever here in essentially designing a big family car of the Ford Mondeo ilk but sitting higher off the ground and adorned with some other SUV-esque design touches to almost trick the great uninterested away from all their Nissan Qashqai-a-likes.
I’m all for anything that brings the average height of cars on our roads back down, and especially so when the result looks fantastic, as I believe the 408 does from every angle. Its sharpness speaks of Peugeot’s slight drift upmarket – as does its newly redesigned logo, which several people have said looks quite Ferrari but to this football nerd is rather more FC Sochaux. Oh, hang on...