Peugeot 407 Coupe review (2006-2011)
A great cruiser, the Peugeot is nevertheless outclassed by German alternatives in terms of image and quality.
Driving The 407 Coupe comes with a 2.2-litre four-pot petrol, a 2.0-litre HDi diesel and a 3.0-litre V6 petrol – but it’s the 2.7-litre V6 diesel that impressed us most. Twist the key and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at the wheel of the petrol model; it’s one of the quietest cars we’ve ever tested. And the engine’s talents don’t end there. It revs smoothly and silently all the way to the red line, and never loses its composure. This relaxed powerplant suits the 407’s grand touring aspirations. The Peugeot never pretends to be a sports car – so owners are unlikely to be disappointed by its limited pace in a straight line. However, overtakes must be planned carefully, and the standard auto is slow to respond. Fittingly, the Peugeot glides effortlessly over most road surfaces. Chassis composure is good on the whole, too – body roll isn’t an issue, and even when pushed hard, it takes a lot to provoke understeer. It’s just that, when driven energetically, the Peugeot can become ragged and start to lurch; bumpy roads upset the front-wheel-drive 407.
Marketplace Peugeot has been building a flagship coupe for years. Like its more exclusive rival, the BMW 3-Series, it’s built on saloon underpinnings, but has unique styling. It’s certainly sleek and striking, though it could be better-proportioned – the long front overhang makes it appear nose-heavy, heightened by the short wheelbase and unnecessarily large headlights. The range consists of a straightforward series of models, all in Sport guise. While volumes in the UK are low, the Coupe does boast considerably better residuals than the 407 saloon. It’s also almost unique in being a non-German mid-sized coupe.
Owning The Peugeot is a heavy car, but the weight hasn’t come as a result of quality fixtures and fittings. True, you get leather as standard on the seats, door panels and instrument binnacle. But even this can’t mask the fact the Peugeot doesn’t have the pedigree of German rivals. The cabin layout, shared with the saloon, is plain. Although steeply raked A-pillars and plush, well bolstered seats give it some individuality, the pedals are too far up the footwell, compromising the driving position, and the complex centre console isn’t easy to use. At least the rear cabin, accessed through long doors (and front seats that slide electrically) is accommodating. The boot isn’t bad either, though the small aperture and high sill isn’t that convenient. The Peugeot is great value though. It costs many £thousands less than its German competitors, yet comes fully-loaded with equipment. It holds on to a good proportion of this after three years too – its exclusivity ensures a retained value 20 per cent better than the saloon. Factor in inexpensive servicing and decent economy, and the big Peugeot Coupe shouldn’t be an expensive proposition to run.