There is something of a feeling of luxury about the Peugeot 407. Perhaps this is unsurprising as it sits near the top of the Peugeot range, but it certainly delivers in looks and feel. The styling may not be to everyone’s taste; the exterior in particular is typically Peugeot, all pointy curves with a feline finish, but it is unmistakeably a French car. Here, that carries a certain amount of kudos against many Asian and US brands.
Inside the seating is comfortable and the look is of good quality. The instrument cluster is attractive, though the positioning of the supplementary controls on a stalk behind the steering wheel, rather than being incorporated into the wheel itself, takes some getting used to. There is plenty of storage, a good amount of legroom, and a high safety spec to ensure you ride in comfort and with peace of mind
Peugeot have long held a reputation for the quality and performance of their diesels, bringing them to market here as long ago as 1978. As with all their vehicle models, it is the diesel HDi that sits at the head of the 407 pack. The 2.7L twin-turbo V6 engine is shared with the Jaguar S-Type twin-turbo diesel model, giving an indication of the superior company it keeps. Fitted in the 407, it gives 150kW of power and a whopping 440Nm of torque at 1900rpm – plenty enough to power the rather weighty 1917kg body without a murmur. The top speed of 226km/h and acceleration of 0-100km/h in 8.8 seconds are impressive enough, but it is only really when you get behind the wheel of the 407 that you really appreciate what the diesel has to offer. The twin turbochargers deliver plenty of power with no lag and the 6-speed automatic gearbox is responsive – especially in its ‘S’ sport setting.
Fuel economy in the diesel is more than decent considering the power it delivers, returning a combined rate of around 8.5L/100km.
Petrol engines are not really what Peugeot are all about; however, there are, of course, several petrol options. These include the entry-level ST four-door sedan with its 2.2L engine and 4-speed automatic gearbox, delivering 116kW of power and 217Nm of torque and achieving 0–100km/h in 10.7 seconds and drinking around 9.0L/100 km combined. The 3.0i in SV wagon and sedan or coupe form delivers 155kW of power and 290Nm of torque, achieving 0-100km/h in 8.4 seconds and drinking around 10L/100km.
The 407 sits high up the Peugeot range and comes with plenty of kit as standard. In fact amongst other cars of its type, the 407 probably offers more standard kit than just about any other. While this stacks up well on paper and certainly adds to the kudos of the car, there is a slight feeling of Peugeot working through their checklist of ‘must haves’ rather than considering the overall feel and balance of the car.
The range-topping 407s pack in full leather trim, a leather steering wheel, electrically operated and heated front seats, memory functions to the driver’s seat, an electronically controlled sunroof blind to match the roof liner, climate control air-conditioning with features such as humidity sensor and pollen filter, and a high-quality sound system. In fact, there is so much included with the top-end 407s that there is little to choose from as extras; however, those in the market for a used model may come across the addition of Xenon headlights, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and cruise control.
There was little to compete with the 407 from the Peugeot stable until the introduction of the 508, the first 5 series car for some years and a direct successor to the 407. Other competition comes from the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Mondeo, and Renault Laguna, all of which offer a lower entry price but also deliver less in terms of performance and kit. The Volvo V50 is another that may cross the path of a potential 407 buyer, while German competition comes in the form of the Audi A4 and BMW 3 series – both of which offer greater kerb appeal but a little less in terms of space and kit.