When France’s President Macron attended the world premiere of Peugeot’s sophisticated new hybrid 408 crossover at the Paris Motor Show, I was there.
So with first UK deliveries now under way, what better time to get behind the wheel myself?
It’s a smooth operator: chic, comfortable, spacious and practical, with a smart cockpit, compact steering wheel, and clever 3D dashboard screen. As well as the fastback styling, the eye-catching Obsession Blue paintwork of the test car in my driveway drew admiring glances and comments from passing folk.
The stylish new 408 range is priced from £31,050 for the frugal 1.2-litre three-cylinder 120 horsepower PureTech petrol version. There are two plug-in petrol-electric hybrid (PHEV) powertrains priced from £39,900 linking a 1.6-litre petrol engine to an electric motor. Drivers also have the choice of three trims: Allure, Allure Premium and GT. All 50 high-spec First Edition models allocated to the UK and priced from £43,250 have already sold out.
I drove the range-topping 408 GT 225 plug-in hybrid, which costs from £44,700.
Fastback: The new hybrid Peugeot 408 crossover is now on sale in the UK
The combination of the 1598 cc turbo-charged inline four-cylinder petrol and electric motor delivering 225 hp (165k W) of combined hybrid power propelled my car from zero to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds up to a top speed of 145 mph in spirited sport mode.
In quiet electric mode, it has a claimed range of 40 miles but will still manage up to 84 mph before the petrol engine kicks in. In hybrid mode it drives and handles well, and has good pace as a practical grand tourer.
The stylish new 408 range is priced from £31,050 for the frugal 1.2-litre three-cylinder 120 horsepower PureTech petrol version
It’s a smooth operator: chic, comfortable, spacious and practical, with a smart cockpit, compact steering wheel, and clever 3D dashboard screen
First Edition models allocated to the UK and priced from £43,250 have already sold out
In quiet electric mode, it has a claimed range of 40 miles but will still manage up to 84 mph before the petrol engine kicks in
Average fuel economy is a stated 211.3 mpg to 269.5 mpg, with low CO2 emissions of 26 g/km
There are two plug-in petrol-electric hybrid (PHEV) powertrains priced from £39,900 linking a 1.6-litre petrol engine to an electric motor
Drivers also have the choice of three trims: Allure, Allure Premium and GT
Average fuel economy is a stated 211.3 mpg to 269.5 mpg, with low CO2 emissions of 26 g/km — that’s provided you charge it up fully at a dedicated 7.4 kWh wall-box, which should take about 1 hr 40 min.
Peugeot says over the next two years there will be five new 100 per cent electric cars. By 2025 every model will offer at least one fully electric option. And by 2030 all Peugeot’s European models will be 100 per cent electric.
Will it fit in my garage? Peugeot 408 GT HYBRID 225 e-EAT8
On the road price: £44,700
Total price of my car including ‘extras’: £46,550
Colour: Obsession Blue
Style: Petrol-electric Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
Width (with mirrors):2062mm
Engine: 1598cc turbo-charged inline 4-cylinder petrol
Combined hybrid power: 225hp (165kW)
Transmission: 8-speed Efficient Automatic Transmission
Top speed: 145mph (in Sport mode)
Top speed in electric mode: 84mph
0-62mph: 7.8 seconds
Electric Range: 40 miles
Fuel economy: 211.3mpg – 269.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 26g/km
TikTok for Mercedes-Benz
Just as the European Commission and U.S. federal government has banned staff from using the Chinese-owned social media and video app TikTok over cybersecurity concerns, Mercedes-Benz is introducing it into its latest cars.
The German car giant is giving drivers and their passenger the chance to watch — and soon to make — their own TikTok videos using the car’s own in-built camera and video ‘selfie’ tech.
It is an integral part of the new ‘immersive’ interior of the next generation E-Class, featuring a giant touchscreen and interior selfie camera.
‘Immersive’ interior: Mercedes-Benz is introducing TikTok into its latest cars
To avoid driver distraction, image transmission ‘is not activated while driving’, says Mercedes-Benz.
But it comes as the European Commission this week ordered its employees to delete by 15 March the Tik Tok app from all work phones and devices, plus personal ones using the commission’s apps and email, to protect ‘against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks.’
In the US, TikTok has been banned on all federal government devices, and most US states have imposed similar bans.
Last summer, lobbying by Conservative MPs resulted in the closure of the @ukparliament TikTok account.
Other countries including Holland are considering restrictions on government employees using TikTok.
China’s Tik Tok has criticised the decision as ‘misguided’.
Car thefts on rise
As the cost-of-living crisis bites, car thefts have risen by nearly a third.
And the AA has warned of worse to come as more people are tempted to turn to crime to make money.
The number of stolen cars soared by 29 per cent between September 2021 and the same month in 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Warning: As the cost-of-living crisis bites, car thefts have risen by nearly a third
A shortage of vehicle parts is also making mainstream cars more tempting for thieves. The new ONS statistics reveal that just over 72,000 vehicles were reported stolen in the 12 months to September 2022. It also highlighted a 14 per cent rise in vehicle crime to 391,613 cases, including theft from inside cars and vans.
The AA says older cars are targeted by ‘smash and grab’ thieves. But modern vehicles are more commonly stolen from owners’ driveways by gangs using keyless technology.
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