Peugeot may have described the 408 with words like harmony, elegance and dynamism. But it does not take a keen eye to notice the slightly awkward proportions resulting from thick C-pillars. That said, the 308-based 408 sedan has a more flowing profile compared with the 206-based 207 Sedan. Measuring 4680 mm in length, 1815 mm in width and 1525 mm in height, the 408 is about the largest C-segment sedan there is, boasting the longest wheelbase of 2710 mm and the largest boot space of 562 litres, which can be expanded by 40/60 split-fold rear seatbacks if the 33 litres of cabin storage space proves insufficient.
Sharing a dash layout with the 308 hatchback, the 408 is a mode of clarity inside and comes well-appointed with premium leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an instrument panel LCD, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, four one-touch power windows with anti-pinch function, automatic dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, and a six-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 playback capability coupled with USB/Bluetooth connectivity.
Needless to say, the equipment list is much lengthier than the above-mentioned. Both variants are fitted with sensor-activated headlights and wipers, “Follow Me Home” headlight function, cruise control with speed limiter, and automatic retractable side mirrors. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard fare, but with notable differences: the 408 2.0 wears five-spoke Rinjani alloys and 215/50 tyres; while the 408 Turbo wears eight-spoke Melbourne rims wrapped in wider 225/45 tyres. A choice of six colours is offered: Alpine White, Velvet Silver, Metropolis Bronze, Aster Grey, Bourrasque Blue and Premium Black.
The list goes on, covering the crucial safety aspect. Features available for both 408 variants are dual front airbags, the full suite of braking controls (ABS, EBD & BA), front seatbelt pretensioners, and two Isofix locations. The 408 Turbo is set apart with additional items including two side and two curtain airbags, anti-skid regulation (ASR) and dynamic stability control (DSC). What’s more, the 408 Turbo’s suspension is tuned with a bias for sportiness, so expect a firmer ride.
The 408 2.0 is driven by a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, capable of generating a maximum of 147 HP at 6000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4000 rpm. Fitted with a rather dated four-speed auto adaptive gearbox with Tiptronic and a sport mode, the 408 2.0 expectedly does the 0-100 km/h sprint in a leisurely 12.5 seconds, and tops out at 195 km/h. That is a good deal slower than the 408 Turbo, which completes the same sprint in 9.2 seconds and hits 215 km/h.
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