2023 Peugeot 408 Makes Global Debut in Paris, Parades Muscular Fastback Body

2023 Peugeot 408 15 photos
Photo: S. Baldauf/ G. ten Brink
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Back in 2010, Peugeot gave the 308 hatchback a longer wheelbase and a trunk, shipped it to China, and called it the 408. Come 2022 and the French company has a brand-new 408 in showrooms. But it's not an update of the Chinese sedan. Instead, the French made a compact hauler aimed at the crossover coupe market.
Not exactly a surprise, given that most automakers (Ferrari included) have jumped on the fastback SUV bandwagon, but Peugeot has done a great job design-wise. This people mover is not only sleek but also decidedly stylish. And surprisingly muscular when compared to its European competitors. It also looks the part in metallic blue, the color it was showcased in at the 2022 Paris Motor Show.

Launched online earlier in 2022, the 408 slots between the 308 hatchback and the 508 sedan. Yup, that's where the 408 sedan would sit if it wouldn't be exclusive to the Chinese market. But hey, this crossover looks far better than the sedan wearing the same badge.

Sharing many features with the Citroen C5 X, the 408 is 4.7 meters (184.6 inches) long and stands only 1.48 meters (58.3 inches) tall. And despite the coupe-style rear end, it's large enough to offer 536 liters (18.9 cubic feet) of luggage room with the rear seats in place. When the latter are folded flat, the trunk extends to a more cavernous 1,611 liters (56.9 cubic feet). That's a bit more than the BMW X4.

And you know, it's actually on par with the recently unveiled Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, which is supposed to be of the midsize variety.

Depending on the market, the 408 is available with up to three drivetrains, starting with a base 1.2-liter gasoline three-cylinder good for 130 PS (128 hp/96 kW). The other two options are plug-in hybrids that combine Puretech gas mills with electric motors for total outputs of 180 PS (178 hp/132 kW) and 225 PS (222 hp/165 kW).

All engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the hybrids feature 12.4-kWh lithium-ion batteries that can be charged in 7.5 hours on domestic sockets and one hour and 55 minutes on 7.4 kW wall boxes.

The crossover is already available in a limited Hybrid First Edition model in GT trim that retails from £43,250 in the U.K. In France, the same model comes in at €49,850.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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