Peugeot 407

What a pane! Just as we were falling for our new Peugeot 407 coupe, it was hit by a stroke of bad luck...

  • Easy access: there's plenty of room in the back, and electric front seats make entry simple.Styling: the Peugeot's exterior design certainly cuts a dash. It's attracted a lot of envious looks.Cabin: red leather trim creates a wonderfully decadent feel. And there are lots of hi-tech gizmos to keep me occupied.
  • Doors: they're big... too big! A few months of opening and shutting these monsters, and I'll have the muscles of Arnold Schwarzenegger.Fragile window: there's no way the glass should have shattered so easily. And a £610 quote for the repair is ridiculous.Auto box: not a major problem, but this isn't the smoothest system I've ever used. There's definitely some room for improvement.

A smashing start... that's all we can say about our Peugeot 407 Coupé's introduction to life on the Auto Express fleet.

Staff photographer Pete Gibson and I were out shooting a few pictures when the most innocuous freak incident managed to tame this particular Lion.

As Pete gently shut the passenger door with his light deflector behind it for a few snaps, there was a crunching noise and the unmistakable sight of a broken quarterlight window.

It seems the slight pressure had proven too much for the... wait for it... double-glazed glass, and it had shattered. What's more, our astonishment turned to dismay when it became clear how much it will cost to repair. With Autoglass not stocking the replacement glass, we'll be going through a Peugeot dealer, and have been quoted a mind-boggling £610 for the work.

Elsewhere, the 407 Coupé is also struggling to prove itself as king of the urban jungle. Around town, fuel consumption is heavy, while at 4,815mm long, the car is tricky to park, although the very excitable sensors do lend a hand.

Enough of the gripes, though. The 407 has plenty going for it, and has already demonstrated enough class to prove that it's going to be a real asset.

First of all, there's practicality. As I'm more than six feet tall, the very mention of the word coupé normally sends a shiver down my spine. In the Peugeot, however, there's none of the drawbacks normally associated with a 2+2's interior layout.

Driver head and legroom are excellent, there's plenty of space for two adults in the rear, and everyone who has been in the car loves the way in which the front seats glide electrically forward to improve access.

On the road, the 407 is an effortless motorway cruiser, with the V6 diesel engine providing more than adequate punch.

And the lovely, leather-clad, equipment-packed cabin ensures I'm looking forward to piling on the miles in comfort over the coming months - once we get the window sorted, that is.

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