what are the competitors for the Lion crossover?

A true melting pot of genres, the Peugeot 408 defies classification. Classic or elevated sedan, SUV coupe, Adventurer station wagon? What are the competitors for the new Lioness?

The just-revealed Peugeot 408 surprises with its genre-blending style and performance, balancing between dynamic sedan and elevated crossover. It seems a little different in the range, but also in the current car market. Therefore, it is not easy to find a competitor for him, and this causes controversy even in the editorial office. Put it in front of a traditional sedan or in front of a classic station wagon? How about a coupe-type sedan like the Mercedes CLA? Or should we prefer taller vehicles, be they coupe-SUVs or station wagons for adventure?

The latter bodywork is fairly common among premium manufacturers (Audi Allroad, Mercedes All-Terrain, Volvo Cross Country, etc.), but few brands have tried the elevated sedan experience. Volvo is one of them, but quickly closed the case after the bitter failure of its 2015 S60 Cross Country. A few years later, Peugeot tried this unprecedented 408 again. Technically, it is close to the 308, from which it borrows the stretched EMP2 platform, hood and optics. But the crossover is still 32 cm longer than the 5-door sedan! With a length of 4.69 m, the 408 occupies an intermediate position between the 308 SW estate (4.63 m) and the 508 sedan (4.75 m). These two models are also one of the closest rivals…

Strong internal competition

The 508, which has been on sale since 2018, can really suffer in comparison to a newcomer. Despite an identical wheelbase of 2.79m, the 408 outperforms it in terms of onboard space thanks to its higher headroom and slightly more horizontal roofline. First contact with the 408 also shows very good legroom and access is via large doors. As for the trunk, it is also larger: from 522 to 1611 liters on the 408 (or from 471 to 1545 liters on the plug-in hybrid) compared to 487 to 1587 liters on the 508. On the other hand, the threshold of the 408 is quite high, which does not help with loading luggage. The Peugeot 308 SW wagon is better in this respect and will therefore be the brand’s second model to suffer from this domestic competition. Although it is 6 cm smaller, the boot volume is slightly larger: from 610 to 1660 liters.

In the Stellantis group, one of the designated competitors could be the Citroën C5 X. It looks like a cross between a sedan, station wagon and SUV. it is based on the same EMP2 platform, but differs in a larger size of 11 cm. (4.80 m), with the same width and height (1.86 m and 1.48 m). Citroën also offers more room, thanks to a nearly identical 2.78m wheelbase, which means a royal welcome in the rear seats and a roomy trunk: from 545 to 1,640 litres. The car has 130 and 180 hp petrol engines. and a plug-in hybrid with 225 hp but doesn’t use diesel…like the Peugeot 408!

Arkana in the viewfinder

A big box in France, where we had over 12,000 units sold between January and May 2022 (9th best selling car), the Renault Arkana could be one of the Peugeot 408 targets. Of course, it is slightly smaller, at 4.57m long, including a wheelbase of 2.72m. But this SUV coupe already demonstrates good family capacity, despite the leaky roof, and a solid trunk volume (513 liters, 480 liters for a hybrid). In terms of engines, the Renault coupe-SUV is only sold with petrol engines (140 or 160 hp) and E-Tech non-rechargeable hybrid (145 hp). Like the Captur it’s based on, it ignores diesel.

An alternative to breakaway station wagons?

The category of wagons for adventure lovers, as we said above, is rather represented by top models, in particular the Mercedes C-Class and E-Class All-Terrain, the Volvo V60 Cross Country or the Audi A4 and A6 Allroad. However, there are also some in the lower categories and among generalist manufacturers. Such is the case with Skoda, which has offered the Octavia Scout for generations. The current one, released in 2020, is currently only available from stock until the bodywork is phased out at the end of 2023. Based on the platform of the MQB Group (VW Golf, Seat Leon, Audi A3, etc.), it is stretched like the 408 and has the same length but a 10cm (2.68m) shorter wheelbase. The range is made up of one gasoline unit with a capacity of 150 hp. (tractor) and two 2.0 TDI diesel engines with a power of 150 or 200 hp. (4×4).

The Volkswagen Golf cousin also offers an Alltrack version, as does the Passat. Decorated with raw plastic skid plates, chrome skid plates and increased ground clearance, The Golf Alltrack is 4.64 meters long. (including wheelbase 2.68 m). Therefore, it offers slightly less space on board than the 408 for rear passengers. The trunk, on the other hand, is roomy thanks to the long overhang: from 612 to 1642 liters. The elevated VW Golf SW comes standard with a 200hp diesel engine, 7-speed DSG transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive.

And why is there more classic sedans in all this?

If you don’t like SUVs and other rugged station wagons, why not consider a more classic sedan? Some manufacturers have dropped this category, but other manufacturers offer low and sleek coupe sedans. The best example is the Mercedes CLA/CLS duo. The second one is excluded here due to its size (length 5 m) and its much higher price position. But with its 4.69m and price starting at €36,549, the “small” CLA practically matches. It is even available in a Shooting Brake version for those who prefer this body style and offers a wide range of engines: 136, 163, 224, 306 and 421 hp. on gasoline, 116, 150 and 190 hp diesel or 218 hp hybrid. On the other hand, the trunk (trunk, not tailgate) is less practical and less bulky at 460 liters.

Photos: DR.

Read also on Auto-Moto.com:

Peugeot 308 SW GT test: driving the coolest compact wagon ever

The future of the DS6: a raised sedan to take on the Peugeot 408?

Mercedes C-Class 220d All-Terrain test: what is an all-terrain adventurer worth?

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