Test Model: 2006 407 Touring SV HDi – 2.7 litre Twin Turbo V6 Diesel!
Options fitted: The only option on this car: Metallic paint! At a not unreasonable $700, and with absolutely everything else standard, I’d have no hesitation in ticking this box.
Recommended Retail Price: $64,990 however, the 407 Touring range starts at $47,990
On Road Price: Near enough to $70,000
Where it sits: Not surprisingly, this powerful Turbo Diesel model tops the range out.
Not only the most distinctive and stylish wagon on the road, the Peugeot 407 Touring SV HDi offers more power and luxury kit, than most cars costing twice the price.
Peugeot know a thing or two about building cars, they been doing it with two and four wheels since 1882. Armand Peugeot in collaboration with Leon Serpollet, introduced a three-wheeled steam-powered car in 1889.
Peugeot have always considered design paramount with the brand, so much so, that Ettore Bugatti (The Bugatti Veyron is currently the world’s fastest car) designed at least two Peugeots in the early 1900’s.
They were keen on performance too, and Peugeot cars won their fair share of prestigious races including the ACF Grand Prix in Dieppe in 1912, where Andre Boillot won in a Peugeot, with the world’s first engine with four camshafts and four valves per cylinder. They also took out the Indianapolis 500 in 1913 with Jules Goux at the wheel.
Peugeot have always been at the forefront of Diesel engine design producing their first model in 1928. In recent times, the giant French car company PSA Peugeot Citroen formed a Joint Venture with Ford to develop a family of high tech common rail diesel engines. The partnership has been a huge success with Ford now using these engines in its Ford, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover brands while PSA uses them in Citroen and Peugeot cars.
When it came to designing the high performance 2.7 litre Twin-turbo V6 engine that powers 407 Touring SV HDi, Jaguar played a key hand, after all, it’s the same engine which powers the svelte Jaguar S-Type Twin-turbo diesel. It puts out 150kW of power and a phenomenal 440Nm of torque and that’s a lot of power for a family wagon. The fact that the 407 Touring weighs in at a hefty 1917kg is really a mute point. With this much torque on tap at just 1900rpm, there are no problems whatsoever in getting this car to go. Top speed is 226km/h and 0-100km/h comes up in 8.8 for the Touring, but it definitely feels quicker than this on the road.
Driving the 407 Touring SV HDi for the first time is a revelation, and one that would convert even the petrol only die-hards across to diesel power. If you’ve ever owned a powerful V8 or worse still a V12, you know what I mean when I say that at times when you feel the “need for speed” and step on the pedal, you can literally see the fuel gauge falling by the second until you suddenly back off after dollar signs flash before your eyes. There is no such behaviour from the 407 SV HDI. In fact, you start to wonder if the fuel gauge needle is ever going to move off the “full” mark. Combined Highway/City consumption of 8.5 l/100km is nothing short of miraculous for a car which weighs this much and has so much power.
The only time anyone could tell that there lies a diesel engine under the bonnet of the 407 Touring SV HDi, is when you first start the car and idle – just! The moment you engage “Drive” and accelerate, is the last you’ll hear of that familiar diesel chatter.High-tech twin-turbochargers ensure that the massive power reserves are delivered with little or no turbo lag. Gear changes are similarly responsive and are a very smooth affair, via the sequential six-speed automatic gearbox with the Porsche Tiptronic system. As good as that is, I found the “S” for sport selection more than suitable for some spirited driving.
Under hard acceleration you can feel that 440Nm of torque urging this family wagon on to a very rapid pace, but it does so with such refinement, that you would swear blind, a decent size V8 was lurking under the bonnet. After a few days in this car, you start to wonder why anyone wanting a powerful and luxurious ride, would go any further than the 407 SV HDi with this powerplant. Pretty much a no brainer, huge amount of torque, miraculous fuel economy and better performance than you get in many ‘go fast’ petrol cars.
Handling has always been synonymous with Peugeot cars; more so than its sister brand Citroen, who have that ‘ride’ thing going on. If you’ve ever seen the famous French film entitled “Climb Dance” with Ari Vatanen driving a Peugeot 405 T16 at impossible speeds up Pikes Peak in Colorado, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t seen it, and even if you’re not into motor sport, click on the link at the conclusion of this review and I guarantee you’ll be equally impressed and entertained by the driving and the car.
For a family wagon, the 407 Touring SV HDi is particularly sure footed and holds up Peugeot’s tradition of cars that go well in corners without compromising ride quality. Suspension on this wagon is one hundred percent class leading. On the front, you’ve got an aluminium double wishbone set-up and on the rear, a multi-arm design with horizontal dampers which results in excellent tracking and stability.
Peugeot has taken things a little further by adding a variable damping system known as AMVAR in Peugeot speak, which independently controls each wheel’s suspension and adapts the shock absorbers to your driving style. The car is also fitted with that wonderland piece of electronic handling witchcraft, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Traction Control which can keep the car on the road, even during scary crash avoidance manoeuvres.
The car stops as well as it goes, with powerful brakes assisted by more electronic wizardry including; Anti-Lock Braking (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution(EBFD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) ensuring ‘stop on a dime’ braking when you need it.
There are loads of reasons to take a good look at the 407 Touring SV HDi, and fighting for number one spot, is the class winning luxury specification of this model. Other car companies listen up!
It’s as though Peugeot looked at every luxury car in the medium size segment, and said, we’ll have one of each of those, thanks, and put it all into the 407.
Where to start? The roof, well, there is no lined metal roof to speak of; it’s been replaced with this amazing panoramic glass area which extends almost the length of the car. There’s an electrically controlled blind matching the roof liner which you would use during the summer months but for the rest of the year, it would be open sesame. I can’t tell you how many people, especially kids, who have been hypnotised by this feature.
Remember, this stuff is standard kit – only one options on this model. Xenon headlights, Automatic headlight on with rain sensing wipers and Cruise control.
Electronic parking sensors on the rear, but I would like to see these on the front as well, given you can get a set of four after market sensors for less than $150 retail. Electric one-touch front and rear windows with a safety auto-reverse function, electric heated folding mirrors which thankfully, are activated when you unlock the car with your remote fob and fold in, when the car is remote locked.
Of course, there’s full leather trim and leather steering wheel although curiously, Peugeot don’t mount the audio control buttons on the wheel but rather, behind it, on a stalk. You would never know its there and I found myself cursing Peugeot under my breath until I found the gizmo by accident. I suppose I should have read the owner’s manual but to use a phrase from a well know motoring journalist, “the manual is a last resort” given they exist only for those folk who enjoy period novels.
Front seats are electrically operated and heated, with the driver’s seat gaining memory settings. There’s a multi function display along with Tyre pressure sensors, Digital climate control air conditioning with humidity sensor and pollen filter and finally, a Premium JBL sound system on board.
I’ve probably missed a few of the 407’s features, but these represent the A-List.
The driver’s seat is certainly comfortable and reasonably supportive but again, in a car with this much performance and driveability, more side bolster support would not be unreasonable request. Rear seats are equally sumptuous and the patterned aluminium inlays and interior chrome look highlights reflect a technical/sports feel. It’s a pity Peugeot chose not apply this finish to the “metal look” centre console area, but it’s not much of a gripe when all things considered.
The instrument cluster of five, white faced dials with chrome bezels are a good look and are only found on the V6 powered
407 model variants. The rest of the switchgear is nothing flash but it’s well laid out and easy to use.
The styling of the 407 Touring SV HDi turns heads, no question. It’s a car which looks way more expensive than it costs. The main feature is the distinctively large front grille, which hints of the Ferrari 456. Also at home on this car, are the multi-spoked and purposeful 18” sports alloys, supporting some meaty low profile 235/45 rubber.
The windscreen and front pillars are steeply raked and add to the aerodynamic lines of the 407 as do the factory roof racks. The wagon has a wide stance from the rear, although the overall look back there, is not quite as avant-guard as the front of the car. The rear tailgate opens in two parts; the glass window section can open independently of the main bottom piece (a few premium SUV’s have this option) or it can open as one door. It’s particularly handy if you simply want to drop in a sports bag or some light shopping without having to lift the weight of the entire door.
The 407 is not a compact sports wagon such as the Volvo V50, more medium sized so there’s good load space and leg room throughout the car. The rear seats fold almost flat, as does the front passenger seat, opening up luggage space which runs the entire length of the car. Perfect for a mal or short board.
Storage nooks are everywhere and include front and rear door stowage bins and cup holders although, for some reason you only get one of those in the front. However, you do get an air conditioned glove box which will hold two bottles of water and is illuminated. Additional gadget stowage can be utilised in front and rear armrests with the front able to be raised to the perfect height as a more comfortable armrest.
Passenger and pedestrian safety is something Peugeot has put a lot of work into in recent years, after a not so great ‘crash test’ record in the 1980’s. Befitting Peugeot’s efforts, the 407 Touring SV HDi gets the full array of crash protection and avoidance devices and a five star NCAP safety rating.
There’s total in-car protection with eight airbags surrounding front and rear passengers including full length curtain and side airbags protecting head, chest, pelvis and abdomen areas. The front seats are equipped with active anti-whiplash head restraints preventing neck injuries and seatbelts are pre-tensioning with force limiter on front and rear sides.
Another feature on the Peugeot, which should be standard kit on all new cars sold in Australia given its simplicity, is automatic activation of hazard lights when breaking heavily.
The front of the 407 is pedestrian friendly by design, with a nose made mostly of plastic and a large area between the grille and the engine.
When you take a look at the European competition for similar powered sports wagons in this segment, and there’s not much, you can see why the 407 SV HDi represents one of the best prestige buys in Australia at the moment, especially for those folk wanting out of the large SUV herd. For example, the offering from Mercedes-Benz, the E 280 CDI Estate, has a starting price of $101,500 and both Audi and BMW do not sell diesel versions of either the 530d ($115,000) or A6 3.0 TDI ($101,700) in this country.
Summing-up by saying the 407 Touring SV HDi is an excellent value for money proposition, simply does not do this car justice. Astonishing power, superb handling, class leading fuel economy, and more luxury than you’ll find in a suite at the Paris Ritz, does!
Link : Climb Dance