Peugeot 408 Access 2.0. Naveed Mushtaq finds another one…
From making Coffee Mills and Bicycles, to become one of Europe’s biggest car manufacturers. Peugeot has achieved a lot in its 200-year history. However, the winds of change spare no one and evolution is the key to success. This is where they have outwitted most of their rivals. With worldwide assembly plants to region-specific models, Peugeot now competes in more than 70% automotive segments globally.
This is where our test of the Peugeot 408 steps in. Introduced in 2011 as a small sedan competitor in emerging markets, the 2014 408 is now available locally to bridge the gap between the fleet specific 301 and the luxury flagship 508, thus completing their sedan line-up in the UAE. The current model range is, however, restricted to ‘one’ specification, the 408 Access, but don’t dismay as dealers are aware of our voracious appetite for all things luxury and Peugeot does not disappoint.
The Frenchmen-Design – 7/10
The 408 is essentiality a saloon derivative of the very successful 308 hatchback. Typical three box design is dominated by the handsome trademark Peugeot front, which is distinct with the lion marque. The feline inspired headlights stretching harmoniously across the bonnet. With two central ribs running the length of the bonnet around the chrome surround Lion Badge. This really does set the styling apart adding a typical French feel to it.
Our test car came in a lovely Metallic Pearlescent White complimented by a dual tone interior. Soft-touch materials all around give the car an upmarket feel. Subtle touches like the Air-conditioning vents carved out of the dashboard emphasis on the thought in design and ergonomics. The fabric seats were in a hue of white and beige and were highly recommended as they give the interior an aura of airiness and richness.
The Soul – 6/10
The 408 Access comes with a class leading 2.0 litre engine mated to a Six-Speed Auto transmission. Equipped with Peugeot’s own version of Continuous Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) the engine produces a 147bhp at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,000 rpm. OK now, we aren’t going to get any pulses racing here, but during my test-drive the car felt very capable on its home turf. Highway driving and rush-hour traffic were dealt with ease thanks to the abundance of torque. Even the occasional heavy right foot did not result in any unwelcome torque steer (typical of most FWD cars), and the vehicle would just propel itself forward with poise. NVH is also kept at a minimum at various speeds.
The 408 punches above its class category in terms of cabin space. A 2.7m long wheelbase and short, front and rear overhangs provides a spacious cabin for all occupants and a 562 litre boot space easily beating all of its direct rivals in terms of practicality.
Safety – 8/10
Peugeot 408 is not Spartan by any means. Equipped with rear parking sensors, front and rear fog lights, ABS and dynamic stability control shod with 16” alloys to enhance driving feel. 6 Airbags in the cabin ensures safety of all occupants in the cabin, and a five-star Crash Protection rating does invoke confidence.
The Bottom line: Value – 6/10
Priced at steep AED 72,500, the Peugeot 408 Access, come nicely equipped with all things required. Power options, a MP3/USB capable audio system, and dual-zone climate control. It is a competent alternative to other small sedans in the market and undercuts some by quite a margin. Attractive packages are also available for servicing and extended warranty making it an interesting proposition for many. Distinct designs followed by extensive hot weather testing, Peugeot is striving hard to make further inroads into the UAE. Not content with their current 1% market share they have also launched a foray of models, including the achingly gorgeous RCZ.
Here’s the bottom line: The Peugeot is not trying selling a fast or even a sporty small sedan. They do have a hot hatch as 308. Overall, the 408 is recommended and is worth considering for anybody considering with an intend of practical Euro small sedan in the future for daily chores. It’s a small car with a big heart…and space…562 liters of it.
This Post is Contributed by Naveed Mushtaq