Yes, even a layer of autumnal dirt on this fastback can’t take the metaphorical shine off the experience.
This month I’ve largely been around and about home, meaning I’ve not been clocking up as many miles, but rather been able to make the most of the 408 plug-in hybrid’s electric range. Though Peugeot claims 40 miles, I do a lot of rural driving and have so far found this a bit ambitious.
I’m usually getting somewhere around 25 miles from a full charge, which might not sound a lot, but it’s remarkable how much of my daily driving can be done without the range. A return trip to the gym, the supermarket, the nearby pubs (we live quite in the sticks) can all be done without troubling the engine, and as a result, the fuel economy has been climbing dramatically.
I like electric cars and sometimes find plug-in hybrids a bit of questionable mid-ground, but this month I was very glad to have this Peugeot PHEV. Some extremely heavy rain brought some local electric lines down recently, meaning we were without power.
Though the house electricity was quickly back on, where I charge the 408 is with the charger in an outside shed. The rain had been so heavy that it had done something to the outside electricity, which couldn’t be fixed for several weeks, essentially meaning I couldn’t charge the car.
If I’d had a fully electric model, it could have proven problematic, but with the plug-in hybrid, I was just able to run the Peugeot around as if it was a petrol. It’s not what these cars are meant for, but it shows if you really have to run it without charging, it’s perfectly fine.
I’ve also been testing the 408’s practicality this month, both for passengers and for biking. Changing cars every few months, my one and only requirement is that I’m able to get my large mountain bike in the boot. Though it’s quite a big car, I was worried the 408’s sloping roofline would mean the bike’s handlebars wouldn’t even squeeze through.
But I needn’t have worried, as it’s easy to forget just how big this Peugeot is. The boot is giant, and with the rear seats folded, opens up a vast load area – ideal for putting the bike in with ease.
I’m used to spending the majority of the time in the car on my own, but this month have had several cars full of people. It’s amazing how many fairly big vehicles are useless at carrying adults in the rear seats. But the 408 excels here. Even with that tapered roof, there’s a huge amount of space in the rear, especially when it comes to legroom. It’s much better than the Volvo XC40 I had before, despite that being labelled as more of a family SUV.
Anyone that’s been in the 408 comes away impressed. The excellent ride quality gets plenty of praise, as does the smart, well-built interior. One friend commented recently that it felt nicer than their BMW inside, and I wouldn’t disagree.