22 May 2012

Peugeot 408 finally launched - 2 variants, from RM109,888

After months of pounding Malaysian streets and spied on many occasions, Nasim Sdn. Bhd finally has launched its C Segment contender, the 408. Codenamed T73, the new sedan is manufactured at Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) plant at Gurun, which is meant to be the Peugeot manufacturing hub for many countries in the nearby region. Two variants are offered for Malaysian buyer; an entry level 2.0L naturally aspirated and a turbocharged 1.6L.

Peugeot 408 was conceived to redefine the C Segment car in Malaysia. Seems that this segment is becoming increasingly competitive where the range starts from sub RM60k with Proton Preve ( with its C Segment size and B Segment level in all other things), moving up to Naza Forte ( genuine C Segment in everything but B Segment price), Inokom Elantra ( similarly deeply engineered like Forte, but slightly more expensive), a bunch of also-ran in between these gaggle (like Chevy Cruze & Mazda3) and the segment stalwarts like Toyota Corolla Altis and Honda Civic. Capitalizing on the similarity of taste between us and other conservative market like China, thankfully there's suitable model for the masses here. Build on the lengthened Peugeot 308 platform, the wheelbase was extended to 2,710mm from 2,612mm originally. Other vital dimensions are 4,682mm, 1,815mm and 1,525mm for length, width and height respectively. Peugeot 308 basic packaging but with an additional boot can only mean one thing, a massive boot space which stands at 562L!

In terms of exterior styling, Peugeot 408 adopts the semi-update of the Peugeot contemporary look. While it is not in the same league as the newer Peugeot 508 and 208, particularly around the front end design, Peugeot 408 still features Peugeot’s trademark feline headlights, thin chrome strips on the radiator grille, and sculptured lines on the bonnet that flow naturally into the wide, slopping windscreen. Meanwhile, the sides of the 408 feature carved wheel arches while the plunging body line from the rear lights to the front wing illustrate the image of a dynamic, modern and robust vehicle. The rear lights of the all-new 408 are ruby red that are trimmed with a clear white strip that hint at a lion’s claws within the cluster in Peugeot literature speak.

To combat with the C Segment leader aforementioned, Nasim has equipped the Peugeot 408 quite generously. Both versions of Peugeot 408 comes with an automatic dual-zone climate control system, rear aircond vents, 6 speakers sound system that plays CD/MP3, USB and Bluetooth, tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, one touch power window with anti-pinch for all four windows, cruise control with speed limiter function, 17" alloy wheels, Follow Me Home light function, automatic light and wiper and automatic retractable side mirror. The more expensive 408 Turbo gets additional luxury touch such as premium leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with aluminium inserts, auto-dimming rear view mirror and a rear armrest with two cup holders. More details after the jump.

In terms of safety, both variants feature two smart airbags, ABS, EBD and EBA. Opting for the 408 Turbo version will get you front side airbags, front and rear curtain airbags, electronic stability programme (ESP) and anti-skid regulation (ASR).

In the drivetrain department, two hugely different package are offered. The cheaper alternative is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0L engine with output of 145bhp@6,000rpm and 200Nm@4,000rpm of power and torque. The transmission is of a cost-conscious automatic 4 speeder with Tiptronic and Sports Mode. Performance can be described as leisurely with 12.5s century sprint and 195 km/h of top speed.

Speed junkie should opt for the turbocharged 1.6L version which is powered by the familiar 1.6L THP unit. However, the unit in the Peugeot 408 is of the latest revised version of the said unit, featuring an upgraded ECU and a redesigned piston. Output is 163bhp@6,000rpm and 240Nm from 1,400rpm. The 100km/h milestone can be reached in 9.5s while the top speed is quoted as 215 km/h.

For the chassis, Peugeot 408 is suspended by McPherson struts at the front and the rear end is taken care by the deformable U-shaped cross member (sound like torsion beam!). Braking power is provided by a disc setup all around. Each version is setup differently where the 408 Turbo is more sporty-oriented while the 2.0L majors on ride comfort.

Pricing wise, Nasim has pitched the 408 somewhere in the Honda Civic pricing range. However, the much larger body and higher equipment level of the Peugeot could give it some fighting chance to those who appreciate intelligent value instead of subjective brand kudos. Peugeot 408 2.0L is priced at RM109,888 while the 408 Turbo is more expensive at RM125,888. Nasim is also offering 5 year warranty with unlimited mileage.

Peugeot 408 Turbo interior - leather seat, piano black trim & silver garnish

Peugeot 408 2.0L cabin - fabric upholstery, silver console and ungarnish steering

More real life photo coming soon!

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