Review: Peugeot 407 (2004 – 2011)

Rating:

Good, sharp steering and handling. Excellent 2.2 173PS diesel engine.

Big overhang at the front. Rear seats horribly claustrophobic.

Recently Added To This Review

24 August 2019

Report that owner of Peugeot 407 SW recently bought the full set of the latest and updated navigation discs for his 407 SW from a Peugeot dealer in France to find that first thing in the morning (and... Read more

2 December 2015

69k mile 2008/58 Peugeot 407 1.6HDI cut out at 30mph driving in a town. Re-started. Happened again the next day showing "depollution system" fault. Diagnostics showed a fault. Dealer tried replacing... Read more

21 April 2014

Was a brake servo recall in 2008. Now the servo of a 2006 Peugeot 407 that was replaced in 2008 has failed again. Read more

Peugeot 407 (2004 – 2011): At A Glance

Peugeot is very keen to impress on the press that the 407 is a working car. 70% of 407s will sell to fleets. 75% will be diesels. The company knows a 407 can never meet aspirations fulfilled by a 3 Series or a C Class. It’s a business tool, up against Mondeos, Lagunas and Vectras.

And cars as business tools stand or fall on what they can offer the 40,000 mile a year man.

That’s worth thinking about for a moment. At an average speed of say 50mph, 40,000 miles means 800 hours behind the wheel, which is more than thirty-three 24 hour days and almost a tenth of a whole year. So a business car has to do a lot more than simply convey its driver from place to place. It also has to be his communications centre from which he can do deals, arrange appointments and, on Britain’s crowded roads, phone ahead to apologise he’s going to be late.

Whether you go for the small black and white screen satnav, or the full colour screen version, what you get with it is an integrated phone. Slip a SIM card into the dash, programme the system and its voice activation allows you to take or make calls on the move, or even have your text messages read out aloud to you by a synthesised voice (when The News of the World isn’t listening). And that makes a huge difference to what would otherwise be down-time wasted in the car.

So now we’ve covered how you can use the car as your phone, and mentioned the satnav system to make sure you find your way to the next meeting, what’s the car like to drive? 

Peugeot 407 HDI 136 2004 Road Test

Peugeot 307 and 407 SW 2004 Road Test

What does a Peugeot 407 (2004 – 2011) cost?

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What's the Peugeot 407 (2004 – 2011) like to drive?

Peugeot is very keen to impress on the press that the 407 is a working car. 70% of 407s will sell to fleets. 75% will be diesels. The company knows a 407 can never meet aspirations fulfilled by a 3 Series or a C Class. Its a business tool, up against Mondeos, Lagunas and Vectras. And cars as business tools stand or fall on what they can offer the 40,000 mile a year man.

Thats worth thinking about for a moment. At an average speed of say 50mph, 40,000 miles means 800 hours behind the wheel, which is more than thirty-three 24 hour days and almost a tenth of a whole year. So a business car has to do a lot more than simply convey its driver from place to place. It also has to be his communications centre from which he can do deals, arrange appointments and, on Britains crowded roads, phone ahead to apologise hes going to be late.

Since, quite rightly, were not allowed to touch our phones in the car any more, Peugeot has turned its new business car into one.

Whether you go for the small black and white screen satnav, or the full colour screen version, what you get with it is an integrated phone. Slip a SIM card into the dash, programme the system and its voice activation allows you to take or make calls on the move, or even have your text messages read out aloud to you by a synthesised voice (when The News of the World isnt listening). And that makes a huge difference to what would otherwise be down-time wasted in the car.

So now weve covered how you can use the car as your phone, and mentioned the satnav system to make sure you find your way to the next meeting, whats the car like to drive?

A bit special. The one I took out was a 136PS twin-cam 16v common rail diesel with 251lb ft torque on overboost and a six speed manual gearbox. All this is very well matched with a nice spread of torque, a gear for every eventuality and a restful 33.3mph per 1,000 rpm in sixth. In fact all the gears are so long that you are very likely to find yourself following the Institute of Advanced Drivers advice to drive in 3rd gear in a 30 limit.

The steering is nothing short of sensational. It was designed by a young French chassis engineer by the name of Gaitan and you can instantly tell he likes driving. There are no cost compromises in the front suspension. It has double wishbones like the best. But the forces are fed into strut type towers to get the best of both wishbones and struts. So its not only grippy and accurate, it doesnt get upset by bumps, undulations or pot-holes half the way round a corner.

The rear suspension is basically uprated 406 and fully independent too. So while the front end grips tenaciously, the rear doesnt suddenly snap out of line like Peugeots of the past. And on top of all of this the ride is smooth and compliant, in the front seats at least.

The seats are comfortable. No aches or pains after 200 miles of twisting and turning on a route designed to show up deficiencies rather than flatter the chassis. The wipers clap hands, so no more complaints of right-hand drive blind-spots. When you switch on the lights, little red LEDs follow the needles round the rims of the dials. And when you park up the electric mirrors automatically fold up, so theyre still there when you return to the car.

You can buy a 407 as a four-door saloon or, for £1,100 extra, as a sporty-looking lifestyle station wagon appropriately called the SW. The wagon has a useful opening rear window that actually flips up high and wide, making it very practical for dropping things into the load bay. And, for extra long loads, the front passenger seat backrest folds flat. However, unlike the 307, there is no way it can be made to seat 7. Peugeot has left that job to the smaller, more practical 307 SW and its 807 MPV.

The 407 has an awful lot of front, protruding way ahead of the transverse engine and radiator. The reason for this is Euro NCAP. It provides an easily repaired crushbox, so minor collisions dont mean removing the engine to fix the damage. But increasingly important to NCAP, the front is also designed to be pedestrian friendly so anyone fortunate enough to be hit by a 407 should have a happy landing on its soft bonnet. These measures are expected to land the car with five stars for crash and three for pedestrian safety.

So whats wrong? Well, the back seat is definitely nothing like as comfortable as the front. There isnt much legroom behind a very tall driver. The piggy in the middle centre rear seat is raised, so is really for children rather than adults. Yet the combination of huge front head restraints and a massive rear view mirror frame severely restrict forward vision for anyone in the back. Tyre roar, which you cant hear from the front seats, is also very evident.

However, the 40,000 a year man, or even the 20,000 a year man is not likely to notice that. He will be very happy driving a comfortable, sporty, responsive and economical car with a satnav system guiding him to his next appointment and a communications system he can use to keep permanently in touch.

And thats whats going to earn him his bonuses and promotions. Not a propeller or a three-pointed star.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 HDi 53–58 mpg 11.7 s 129–140 g/km
2.0 Bioflex 35 mpg 8.8 s 192 g/km
2.0 HDi 40–58 mpg 9.8–11.7 s 129–189 g/km
2.0 HDi Automatic 42 mpg 10.6 s 179 g/km
2.2 HDi 46 mpg 8.7 s 160 g/km
2.7 HDi 34 mpg 8.5 s -

Real MPG average for a Peugeot 407 (2004 – 2011)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

93%

Real MPG

31–63 mpg

MPGs submitted

116

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Peugeot 407 (2004 – 2011)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

My diesel won't start in the morning - what's wrong?

My Peugeot 407 2.0 HDi won't start in the mornings. If I roll it down a hill it will start and it starts any time when warm. Any ideas?
Failed glowplugs. It's a compression ignition engine which is why rolling downhill starts it and it starts when warm. But needs the glowplugs to glow to start on a level surface from cold.
Answered by Honest John
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