Read Caroline’s Peugeot 408 GT hybrid review for everything you need to about buying Peugeot’s top-of-the-range 408 plug-in hybrid with 225hp.

The Peugeot 408 arrived in Ireland earlier in 2023 and is a new model for the French car brand. Styled as a fastback, the new 408 expands Peugeot’s range of compact cars and SUVs that already includes the 308 hatchback, 308 SW and 3008 SUV.

Priced from €39,995, the new 408 is available with petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

A fully electric version will join the range at a later date.

But is it worth it? I took the 408 plug-in hybrid for a test on Irish roads to find out!

The Peugeot 408 GT on test for Changing Lanes
The Peugeot 408 GT on test for Changing Lanes

What’s so special about the Peugeot 408?

The Peugeot 408 is something completely different for the compact segment. Even within Peugeot’s own range, this car stands out as something very unique and exclusive.

While it’s built on the same platform as the 308, Peugeot got very adventurous with the styling. At the front, the 408 bears its family resemblance to the 308 but the grille design is a little wider and more flamboyant in its design.

The 408 also sits a little bit higher off the ground than your average hatchback, giving it a natural presence.

But it’s at the back where things get really interesting. The 408’s roof slopes down like a coupé, proving to be a refreshing alternative to the boxy SUV shape that is so popular right now. The whole look is finished off by a large grey plastic rear bumper, which gives the 408 a sporty and aggressive stance.

Overall it’s a car that says ‘wow’ and will have passersby craning to get a better look.

There are a range of nice metallic colours available, some of the best being Obsession Blue and Elixir Red. The Allure model (from €39,995) has 17-inch alloy wheels, while Allure Pack (from €41,995) adds 19-inch.

The top of the range GT trim is reserved for the 225hp plug-in hybrid models (priced from €53,345). On the outside it can be distinguished by 19-inch ‘Graphite’ alloy wheels, matrix LED headlights, and the Peugeot shield logo on the front doors.

The 408 is a sporty fastback for the compact segment
The 408 is a sporty fastback for the compact segment

Inside the 408 GT Hybrid

The 408 features a new generation Peugeot cabin, and shares much of its design, switchgear and in-car technology with the new 308 that launched in Ireland in 2022.

That’s not a bad start at all, and the 408 has a suitably stylish and upmarket cabin. You sit higher behind the wheel than in a 308 so many will enjoy this slightly more elevated driving position and view of the road ahead.

The 408 cabin feels very driver-focused. Peugeot’s trademark sporty compact steering features as does a slick digital instrument cluster for the driver. There’s also a large, glossy 10-inch touchscreen as standard with ‘i-Toggle’ customisable shortcut buttons to popular functions positioned on a panel below.

The quality of the interior is excellent and the 408 feels like nothing other than a plush and comfortable car. There are elegant trim details in the doors and dashboard, and top of the range GT models get beautiful Alcantara seats.

The 408 sits on a longer wheelbase than the the 308 so it offers impressive amounts of legroom in the back. It feels like a much more open and spacious family car. The hatchback style boot opens to reveal 471 litres in plug-in hybrids and 536 litres in the petrol 408.

A powered tailgate is standard on the 408 GT.

The interior of the new Peugeot 408
The interior of the new Peugeot 408

Driving the 408 GT Hybrid

The Peugeot 408 GT is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol electric plug-in hybrid powertrain with a range-topping 225hp. It’s a wonderful match for the 408, offering sublime levels of power and refinement. The delivery of power is effortlessly smooth, while the 408 covers the tarmac with plenty of enthusiasm.

It feels agile and dynamic to drive with lots of grip and responsive steering. The 408’s wider track gives it a more balanced feel in corners so overall it feels like a more mature car than the 308 hatchback.

It’s also comfortable for cruising or taking on the worst of the Irish tarmac. It’s very quiet on the road, helped by standard fit acoustic windscreen.

Being a plug-in hybrid, it is always at its best when the onboard battery is kept charged as much as possible. There is the potential to drive this car using battery power only for up to about 60 kilometres.

There’s a 3.7kW on-board charger with the option of a 7.4kW version for faster AC charging. With the standard charger it will take about 3.5 hours to charge to full from a wallbox or 5.5 hours from a 3-pin plug.

Other engine options include a 1.2-litre petrol with 130hp and the same plug-in hybrid engine with 180hp. All versions come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The new 408 is one of the best cars of 2023
The new 408 is one of the best cars to arrive in Ireland in 2023

Did you like it?

Simple answer is yes. This is an expensive car but feels sufficiently upmarket to command it. The Peugeot 408 is a very accomplished car, offering an innovative design for the compact segment and managing to pull off a big-car feel beyond this class of vehicle.

Peugeot continues their good form in car interiors with the 408’s stylish offering. The 408 surprises even more for the practicality it offers, making it a great car for daily life.

For a long time the 3008 has been the gem of the Peugeot range – but the 408 offers a compelling alternative, with lots of talent on the road too.

Model tested: Peugeot 408 GT Hybrid 2 
Price: From 
1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid
Power: 225hp
Torque: 360Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.8 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year