Peugeot 607

27 Jan, 2004 2:58pm

You've got to hand it to Peugeot, it's persistent. Despite the decreasing popularity of large mass-market executive cars in the Nineties, the French giant still launched one in late 2000.

You've got to hand it to Peugeot, it's persistent. Despite the decreasing popularity of large mass-market executive cars in the Nineties, the French giant still launched one in late 2000.
With styling inspired by the popular 206, plus a plush, roomy interior, it had plenty of appeal. It also boasted low prices and loads of equipment.
However, in a sector where image is all, the 607 failed to attract buyers. This is despite spec which, on V6 models, extends to electronic suspension and a built-in phone. Even the base 2.0-litre models have climate control. Early handling woes led to the addition of electronic driver aids, and these, along with a four-star Euro NCAP rating, ensure it's a very safe car. And all for the price of a brand new 206!
Checklist
* Electrics: Problems are not unknown - so make sure all the gadgets work. Multiplex wiring means a slight operation delay if many devices are on. Column stalks are flimsy.
* Engine: diesel HDi engines suffer fuel pump and clutch faults. With the latter, ensure the pedal works smoothly (without judder) and not at the extremes of its travel.
* Brakes: the 607's heaviness can lead to rapid brake wear. Check discs for scoring and grooves. Also ensure the brake pad wear warning light goes on and off at start-up.
* Mobile phones: post-Sept 2003 models include Bluetooth wiring for hands-free mobile use through the stereo speakers. V6 models have a built-in phone, but check the paperwork to avoid unexpected bills.
* Bootlid: many nearly new models will be low-mileage ex-dealer principal motors with plenty of margin for haggling. All 53-reg cars should feature the electric bootlid.
Driving impressions
Passengers get plenty of room, luxurious leather seats and an impressive ride. Strangely, cheaper models are more comfortable than the range-topping V6, due to its large wheels and roll-reducing electronic suspension.
The V6 sounds nice but needs to be worked hard - go for the punchy, smooth 2.2-litre HDi instead. The 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0 HDi diesel are OK, but the 2.2-litre petrol is not much more economical than the V6.
Glass's View
The 607 has sold in very small num-bers since its launch. And despite the fact that the car is well put together and has a good level of specification, consumers continue to show resistance to buying non-prestigious executive motors, preferring BMWs or Mercedes instead. As with most large cars, diesels are favoured over petrol variants. Peugeot's HDi oil-burner is particularly good, and is the focus of demand. V6 petrol versions are hard to shift and depreciation is steep. Jeff Paterson, Snr Cars Editor, Glass's Guide
Life With A 607
My 607 is a company car, and I'm glad I don't own it because the depreciation is horrific. The Peugeot is a bit quirky and very comfortable, but I prefer the Citroen XM I had before it. Ged Butterfield, Weymouth, Dorset
I've had electrical problems with my X-reg 2.2 HDi, but it was a real bargain used - cheaper than a similar-aged Ford Mondeo and more luxurious. Graham McNally, Bishop Auckland, Durham

Verdict

In terms of performance, refinement, space, driver appeal, build and kit, Peugeot has greatly improved its executive challenger. Pricing will significantly undercut rivals, too, making it a potential hit with canny buyers. But we can't see the 607 making a major impact on the executive scene, as the Peugeot badge carries little kudos. Image is everything in this market, and the quirky-looking 607 is destined to lag behind class leaders from BMW and Audi.

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