Peugeot 407

Our 407 coupe is a long-distance favourite, packed with hi-tech kit. But a couple of incidents make us think it's sometimes too clever by half

  • Engine: Refined but punchy, the V6 diesel is a real asset. A trip to Scotland has boosted average economy from 22mpg to 31mpg, but I’m still looking for more.<BR><BR>Sat-Nav: Set-up has proved its worth in jams, suggesting then quickly finding alternative routes.<BR><BR>Wheel Changes: It couldn’t have been easier to swap the Coupé’s tyres after a flat. I’ve had trouble loosening wheel nuts in other cars, but this was a breeze.<BR><BR>Boot Space: For a two-door, the 407 is practical. The luggage bay swallowed up loads of gear on its week-long Scottish trip.
  • Parking Sensors: While this kit is a good idea, the sensors are too eager to please. I blame the damage to the alloys on them!<BR><BR>Dimensions: The 407 Coupé is a big car, and can be tricky to manouevre and park in the city – so this Lion is by no means the king of the (urban) jungle.

Knowledge is power, or so they say. That’s why I regularly have my head buried in a book trying to cram in as many facts and figures as I can.

But a little knowledge can also be a dangerous thing, according to the famous quote. And I can’t help feeling that our Peugeot 407 Coupé proves this conclusively.

Don’t get me wrong. The Lion is a clever car. It regularly flashes up nuggets of useful information on its centre console screen. Low tyre pressures? The driver is the first to know. Heavy traffic? The sat-nav simply plots an alternative route.

It even alerted me to a puncture on my driver’s side rear tyre before I’d become aware of it! I’d noticed the ride getting harder, but it was only when an on-screen warning flashed up that I investigated, and found a screw lodged in the tread. Cue one quick wheel change.

But sometimes, the Peugeot is too smart for its own good. Take, for example, the parking sensors, which should be a real boon in the city on such a big car. Unfortunately, at the front there are sensors on the wings which regularly go into a frenzy every time the 407 passes through one of London’s many traffic-calming width restrictions.

The natural reaction, of course, is to move in the opposite direction in a bid to stop the bleeping. But twice I’ve gone too far, and ended up scraping the wheels on the kerb on the other side. So, the sensors are now switched off permanently.

It’s once out of the urban jungle that the Peugeot really proves its worth. A recent 800-mile round trip to the north of Scotland for a wedding highlighted what a comfortable and refined cruiser this model is on the motorway.

The 2.7-litre V6 diesel really is excellent. It’s quiet, but delivers more than enough power to glide happily along at the legal limit.

And few cars are as relaxing to drive. As a six-footer-plus, getting comfortable at the wheel is a big priority for me, and there are no complaints with the 407. The auto box makes long trips effortless, and while the Peugeot isn’t as sporty as its looks suggest, it delivers more than enough fun to satisfy me. I just wish it wasn’t such a smart alec!

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