Peugeot 408 long-term test: report 4

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

Jonty with Peugeot 408 at red light

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 11,922 List price £34,695 Target Price £31,347 Price as tested £28,085 Official economy 48.1mpg Test economy 37.2mpg

19 February 2024 – What grinds my gears

My Peugeot 408 is a brilliant cruiser, offering a composed ride and hushed interior at 70mph. It’s so good, in fact, that I genuinely look forward to long trips in it – which is handy, since I get to do plenty of them in my role as one of What Car?'s videographers.

However, it’s not so great on short trips around town, and that’s because of its automatic gearbox.

408 at red light

You see, the eight-speed gearbox can take an age to wake up when you move off from a standstill. So if I spot a moment of opportunity at a roundabout, there’s an alarming pause between my input from the accelerator pedal and any actual forward movement.

I’ve found that putting the car in Sport mode makes the gearbox feel slightly more alert, but I don’t want to constantly drive around in Sport because it will make my fuel economy worse. My solution is reaching for the drive mode button every time I get to a junction, which isn’t ideal.

Jonty pressing Peugeot 408 drive mode selector

Once you’re on the move, the actual shifts themselves are seamless and quick. But it is frustratingly hesitant at low speeds.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read about more on our long-term 408 >>

Read about more long-term test cars >>

Buy a new car with What Car?

Like the sound of the Peugeot 408?

If so, check out the latest Peugeot 408 deals available through our free New Car Deals service.

Our network of What Car? approved dealers use our Target Price discounts (the most our mystery shoppers think you should pay) as the basis for their savings.

Also consider