Peugeot 406 Review and Specs

Peugeot 406 Review

Pros

  • Good-looking in a typically French way
  • Roomy in the cabin with plenty of boot space for your luggage
  • Solid ride and handling
  • Good fuel economy around town and on the open road

Cons

  • Most models now feature more than 100,000km on the clock
  • Entry-level petrol engine struggles to deliver, though diesel options fare better
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Overview, Look, and Feel of the Peugeot 406

Peugeot is a strong name in French vehicle manufacturing. Their cars are noted for distinctive styling, with plenty of feline curves, and the 406 is unmistakeably from the Peugeot stable. Introduced in 1996 as a successor to the popular 205 model, it was slightly larger than its predecessor and offered more headroom and legroom.

Peugeots are well known for being cars that are comfortable to cruise in for long distances, and the 406 is no exception. The increased interior space makes it a popular choice for those who are likely to pile away the kilometres, and the boot is generously sized to accommodate plenty of luggage as well as a full-size spare wheel.

In comparison to the 205, the 206 is generally acknowledged to be quieter to travel in, more stable to drive, and more comfortable for long journeys. In general, Peugeots have earned themselves a reputation for reliability and many used models from this era are still running strong with well over 100,000km on the clock.

The Peugeot 406 remained in production until 2004 when it was superseded by the updated 407 model.

Peugeot 406 Engine Specs and Performance

The 406 came to market with a 4-cylinder 2.0L double overhead camshaft engine, giving 100kW at 5500rpm and 187Nm at 4200rpm, powered via the front wheels. The engine is relatively modest given the overall size and weight of the car and consequently feels a little as though it has to work relatively hard to deliver. An alternative option is the 3.0L V6, which gives a more sprightly 144kW at 5500rpm and 267Nm of torque at 4000rpm. Both models were offered with a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy varies from model to model but is generally somewhere between 7.0L/100km on the open road and nearer 9.0L/100 km around town.

A diesel model came to market in 1998, which remains a decent choice if fuel prices are a factor in your buying decision. The turbodiesel option was a 2.1L 8-valve single overhead camshaft engine giving 82kW of power at 4300rpm backed up by an impressive 251Nm of torque at 200rpm, upgraded to a 1.9L HDi turbo diesel in 1999.

The 406 cruises comfortably in traffic around town and equally so out on the open road. The suspension swallows up very effectively minor road bumps and general changes in terrain, providing a comfortable ride all round. Behind the wheel, it is smooth and responsive right through the rev range. Braking is smooth and progressive yet powerful nonetheless when a quick response is required.

Standard Equipment and Options for the Peugeot 406

Aimed at the executive market, the 406 came with a fair amount of kit as standard to justify its position in the Peugeot line-up. The ST sedan was the entry-level 406, which came complete with a velour trim, air-conditioning, ABS, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, power steering, and an 8-speaker sound system. Dual airbags came as standard across the full 406 range.

The SV sedan boasted the addition of alloy wheels, automatic air-conditioning, an engine immobiliser, front and rear foglights, automatic windscreen wipers, exterior temperature indicator, engine oil level indicator, lumbar control on the driver’s seat, and a higher quality wood grain interior trim. An additional option package offered full leather trim, additional armrests, electronic driver and passenger seat adjustment, and 2-position memory setting on the driver’s seat.

The SV was also offered in a coupe format and as a station wagon with the addition of cruise control and a CD player.

Peugeot 406's Competition

Competition to the 406 comes in the form of its predecessor and successor, the 405 and 407 respectively. If you are set on a Peugeot, you may also want to consider the slightly smaller but equally good-looking 307. Buyers with a penchant for French cars will also like to place a medium-size Citroen or Renault on their shortlist. Alternatively, consider the popular BMW 3 Series or Honda Accord from the same era, or if you are considering the top-of-the-range Peugeot SV, you may want to weigh it up against the Audi A4.

Peugeot 406 Engine Specs and Performance

The 406 came to market with a 4-cylinder 2.0L double overhead camshaft engine, giving 100kW at 5500rpm and 187Nm at 4200rpm, powered via the front wheels. The engine is relatively modest given the overall size and weight of the car and consequently feels a little as though it has to work relatively hard to deliver. An alternative option is the 3.0L V6, which gives a more sprightly 144kW at 5500rpm and 267Nm of torque at 4000rpm. Both models were offered with a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy varies from model to model but is generally somewhere between 7.0L/100km on the open road and nearer 9.0L/100 km around town.

A diesel model came to market in 1998, which remains a decent choice if fuel prices are a factor in your buying decision. The turbodiesel option was a 2.1L 8-valve single overhead camshaft engine giving 82kW of power at 4300rpm backed up by an impressive 251Nm of torque at 200rpm, upgraded to a 1.9L HDi turbo diesel in 1999.

The 406 cruises comfortably in traffic around town and equally so out on the open road. The suspension swallows up very effectively minor road bumps and general changes in terrain, providing a comfortable ride all round. Behind the wheel, it is smooth and responsive right through the rev range. Braking is smooth and progressive yet powerful nonetheless when a quick response is required.

Standard Equipment and Options for the Peugeot 406

Aimed at the executive market, the 406 came with a fair amount of kit as standard to justify its position in the Peugeot line-up. The ST sedan was the entry-level 406, which came complete with a velour trim, air-conditioning, ABS, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, power steering, and an 8-speaker sound system. Dual airbags came as standard across the full 406 range.

The SV sedan boasted the addition of alloy wheels, automatic air-conditioning, an engine immobiliser, front and rear foglights, automatic windscreen wipers, exterior temperature indicator, engine oil level indicator, lumbar control on the driver’s seat, and a higher quality wood grain interior trim. An additional option package offered full leather trim, additional armrests, electronic driver and passenger seat adjustment, and 2-position memory setting on the driver’s seat.

The SV was also offered in a coupe format and as a station wagon with the addition of cruise control and a CD player.

Peugeot 406's Competition

Competition to the 406 comes in the form of its predecessor and successor, the 405 and 407 respectively. If you are set on a Peugeot, you may also want to consider the slightly smaller but equally good-looking 307. Buyers with a penchant for French cars will also like to place a medium-size Citroen or Renault on their shortlist. Alternatively, consider the popular BMW 3 Series or Honda Accord from the same era, or if you are considering the top-of-the-range Peugeot SV, you may want to weigh it up against the Audi A4.

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