Peugeot 408 long-term test: report 2

Can the sleek Peugeot 408 deliver substance to match its style? We're living with one to find out...

Using the 408 Load Lip

The Car Peugeot 408 1.2 Puretech GT Run by Jonty Renk, senior videographer

Why it’s here To prove that an executive car can turn heads and still be a fantastically comfortable and practical companion for long journeys

Needs to Be spacious enough for both passengers and video equipment, frugal in town and on the motorway, and as inspiring to drive as it is to look at

Mileage 9396 List price £28,085 Target Price £26,475 Price as tested £28,085 Official economy 48.1mpg Test economy 39.6mpg

16 January 2024 – Big and brilliant boot

In most cases, the swoopy styling of coupé SUVs doesn’t come for free. Having such a dramatic descending roofline at the rear means they often have to compromise on boot space compared to more traditionally-styled boxy SUVs – even if the trade-off is that, to my eye, they look fantastic.

I think my Peugeot 408 might be the exception to this rule, however, because it's attractive as well as practical.

My petrol-only variant of the 408 has 536 litres of space behind the rear seats, which is respectable by the standards of the class and more than enough for me and all my camera gear.

Peugeot 408 Boot

My favourite feature of the boot, though, is the hands-free tailgate, which you can open with by swiping your foot below the rear bumper. It sounds like something which could be a gimmick, but even though I haven’t had my 408 for long, I am already dreading the thought of having a car in the future that doesn’t have this feature. 

It’s a system that’s been around for a while. If you have the key on you, a subtle kick under the rear bumper pops the boot open and raises it electrically. This means you can approach the car carrying all your camera gear (or shopping bags) and open the boot without having to put everything down and hunt for the key in your pockets. The same action closes the boot as well.

Peugeot 408 boot lip

Some other cars with this feature can often be a faff to get to work properly. Lots of them require you to kick in a very specific area, otherwise it won’t open, which means you end up inadvertently doing a jig at the back of the car while holding all your shopping.

The 408's setup is very simple to operate, though. As long as you aim centrally, I’ve not had any problems with getting it to open.

While I’m talking about the rear, the bumper under the bootlid sticks out quite far – and I’ve found this incredibly useful. I’ve often used it as a seat or platform for putting on walking boots and tying laces. It’s made of tough plastic too, so I’m not worried about damaging any fancy paintwork.

Peugeot 408 full boot

I will be taking the 408 to the lake district shortly loaded with people and bags, which will be a real long-haul test for the car – but I’m quietly confident it’ll be more than fit for the job.

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