FRENCH FANCY Peugeot’s just announced that it has produced an astounding 50 million cars since the company started in 1889, comprising no less than 160 models and 34 ranges. Evidently keen to hit the next majestic production milestone, Peugot has been busy tinkering with their ever popular 407 range
For 2009, the 407 has received some subtle interior and exterior changes, a new trim level, plus an updated 2.0-litre HDi engine with 6-speed manual gearbox. On first sight of the new cars lined neatly for our test, it was rather a case of ‘err, what changes? It’s only when you’re up close and personal, you’ll notice a bolder new air intake, body-coloured rubbing strips with chrome trim, and a new rear bumper that incorporates a diffuser style number plate surround. Oh, and there are redesigned rear light clusters. Front parking sensors are new, and are standard equipment on SE models and above. Dimensionally, there’s only a slight increase to the rear overhang to report. Enter the new 407 and you’ll spot a new ‘piano black’ finish applied to the centre console, air vent surrounds and door handles, plus a greater use of chrome which is a pleasing improvement. There’s a new SR specification, aimed at the fleet market, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels, SmartNav satellite navigation and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity to the specification already present on the entry level S models.
Possibly of most interest is the new updated 2.0-litre engine. Fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, the revised unit sees power increased from 136 to 140bhp. CO2 emissions have reduced from 155g/km for the saloon to a respectable 150g/km, and from 159g/km to 154g/km for the SW. This means that the saloon drops one car tax band, meaning a £25 reduction in annual car tax. The new powerplant also meets the new Euro 5 emissions standards. The rest of the 2009 Peugeot 407 engine range remains much the same, and it is important to note that all Peugeot diesel engines are capable of running on 30 per cent biodiesel, without modification.
On the road, the 407 doesn’t feel too much different to the previous model, and it bowls along capably, albeit in an uninspiring way. The revised 407 is available from September, with new 2.0 HDi 140 models arriving in November.
RIVALS: FORD MONDEO ESTATE ZETEC 2.0 TDCi, RENAULT LAGUNA SPORT TOURER DYNAMIQUE dCi 150
- Engine: 1997cc, 4-cylinder turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 140bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 236lb ft at 4,000rpm
- Max Towing Weight: tba
- Combined Consumption: tba
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 154g/km
- 0-62mph: 11.0secs
- Max speed: 126mph
- Insurance Group: tba