Grand Designs: Peugeot’s 407 Coupé has received a shot in its arm courtesy of an improved, more powerful 2.0-litre HDi engine. Ian Robertson tests the new 163bhp variant
Peugeot has quite a reputation of producing coupé version of its 4 series cars, with coupé versions of the 404, 406 and now the 407. And while the 405 Rally car was never actually sold to the general public, it looked damn sexy and helped Peugeot seal many a victory in international rallying. The 406 coupé that followed on, boasted svelte Pininfarina designed lines and a loyal following amongst Peugeot enthusiasts. When it came to the next generation car, the 407, Peugeot took the design in-house, and unveiled a sharply styled, bold iteration in 2005, featuring a choice of HDi turbodiesel engines when it went on sale in the UK in January 2006.
Now, three years on, Peugeot has revealed the latest versions of its large coupé, and in this guise, boasting a 163bhp version of the well respected 2.0-litre HDi engine. And what a gem the new engine is, delivering 27bhp more power than the outgoing unit, while producing CO2 emissions of just 140g/km (down 14g/km). Fuel economy is improved as a result, achieving 52.3mpg on the combined cycle, compared to 48.0mpg previously. Out on the road, the extra oomph is immediately noticeable, with plenty of punch right across the rev range. Handling is safe and predictable, with the feeling of grand tourer, rather than outright sports car. Wind and road noise are well contained, although the engine can get boomy at certain points in the rev range. A little more sound insulation would no doubt cure this particular issue.
Inside, the cabin is well appointed with a classy feel. Its overall design is starting to show its age, but that doesn’t detract from the decent build quality and impression that it is built to last. The piano black centre console is a nice touch, looking fresh and modern, while the metal fillets in the door add to the premium look and feel. Space up front is generous, while there is room for four, with respectable legroom for rear passengers. Headroom is a little tight though, thanks to the curvaceous roofline. Visibility is pretty good for a coupé, and boot space is generous, with 400 litres of available space.
The 407 coupé resides in an unhappy middle ground, where it lacks the image required to truly convincingly compete against the BMW 3 Series and other premium coupé’s, yet is more expensive than its home grown rival, the Renault Laguna Coupé. Its French rival admittedly offers less power, yet fights back with keener pricing and similar levels of equipment, particularly in newly launched special edition TomTom trim.
RIVALS: Audi A5 Coupé 2.0 TDI, BMW 320d SE Coupé, Renault Laguna Coupé GT dCi 180
- Engine: 1997cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel with particulate filter
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max power: 163bhp at 3,750rpm
- Max torque: 255lb ft at 2,000rpm
- Max towing weight: 1,520kg
- Max speed: 137mph
- 0-62mph: 9.5secs
- Combined consumption: 52.3mpg
- CO2 emissions (taxband): 140g/km (E)
- Bootspace: 400litres
- Insurance group: 34
Low emission, good economy, punchy engine, decent quality cabin
Dated look to the interior, above average engine noise, on the expensive side