Peugeot 407 Coupe Road Test -
It’s not uncommon to see me salivating over certain things – new gadgets, my mother’s baklava and even scantly clad women. Up until now I had never actually salivated over any cars – that was until I drove the Peugeot 407 Coupe.
Peugeot’s idea of style is often a wacky set of angles that don’t always meet everyone’s tastes. The 407 Coupe on the other hand is one of those cars that I could stare at day in, day out. Up the front, there is a gaping intake where the Diesel’s intercooler lies, whilst along the sides lay a set of gills – purely for aesthetic purposes.
There’s no doubt that the 407 Coupe has the ability to entice visually, does that ability extend to decent on-road manners though? I hit the road to find out.
The inner –
One of the first things you notice when opening the driver’s door is the amount of effort required. Heaven forbid needing to open the door when the car is on an opposing angle; it’s almost a case of getting legs involved to pry the door from its comfy closed position.
Once inside though, I was simply awe-struck. The test vehicle I was driving had an almost white interior that looked quite stunning. The seats were accommodating and hugged both driver and passenger to ensure minimal movement through corners. They were electrically adjustable and were heated to increase comfort levels.
The centre console is common 407 ground. A flurry of buttons and switches control the various aspects of climate, audio and auxiliary features, whilst a little hatch at the bottom of the centre console provides storage space. The LCD centre console display that houses driver information can be adjusted to all sorts of colours to personalise the driving experience. A stellar JBL sound system with subwoofer headlines the audio system, whilst a 6-stack in-boot CD-changer facilitates for playback of golden oldies.
The dials in the driver cluster look quite elegant and upmarket and set the difference between 407 and 407 Coupe. Rear seat occupants enjoyed a decent amount of leg and head room, much to my surprise. Folding the driver’s seat forward enables an electric cycle that shifts the driver’s seat forward to gain entry to the rear seats. Once housed, you can then flip the driver’s seat back into its upright position and it will electrically return to its original position. Rear seat room is strictly limited to two passengers; there is no third seat, or third seat-belt.
Boot room is quite impressive due to the car’s total length, allowing for a substantial amount of luggage space to suit everyone’s needs. Visual and audible warnings are available via the centre console LCD screen, this is assisted by six front mounted and four rear mounted parking sensor doodads.
The outer –
As I mentioned earlier, the 407 Coupe’s styling is near perfection. The lines that the vehicle follows from front to rear cease to amaze, whilst the image the 407 Coupe boasts while in motion is equally impressive and attention grabbing.
The windscreen wipers tuck in under the bonnet so they only become visible when in motion, adding to the minimalist approach of the vehicle’s design.
18” 235/45 wheels fill the wheel arches, whilst four wheel disc brakes (with front discs ventilated) dominate each wheel’s profile. There’s no doubt that the 407 Coupe is designed to look like it’s meant to move, the curved sculpture cuts the vehicle a line through the air and looks aerodynamically sound.
On the road –
Nailing the throttle in the 407 Coupe is like opening up a can of proverbial whoop-arse. The twin-turbo Diesel unit requires a moment before it unleashes a massive amount of torque through the front wheels.
From the exterior, the 407 Coupe looks big and too cumbersome to tackle corners with any level of pedigree. Oh, how wrong I was. Hitting the sport setting on the dashboard firms up the suspension – quite considerably – and enables this two-door Pug to corner like it’s on rails – literally. It was nigh on impossible to push the 407 into understeer, the body was extremely composed and the tyres were fantastic – 235/45, 18” wheels all round.
Driving the 407 Coupe through our regular sports car test route unearthed an uncanny experience. There was seldom a chance to look down at the speedo to see just how quick I was going; the Coupe was ploughing through corners with little hesitation. The test vehicle was still a baby. With only around 2000km on the clock, the Diesel engine still wasn’t in full swing. None the less, keeping the 6-speed automatic transmission in Sport mode was the ideal way to fly through a set of corners with the most pace. Sport mode inherently kept the revs in the Diesel’s sweet spot and in turn provided an amazing amount of torque and barely any turbo-lag out of corners.
To further help the cause, the 407 Coupe’s brakes were on par with some of the best I have sampled in a standard production vehicle. The brakes remained strong and composed throughout the entire torture session and provided excellent feedback throughout all facets of driving. The steering was also sublime; the wheel was the perfect size for nipping out of corners with minimal fuss, whilst the feedback through the wheel kept the driver informed of every single bump and abrasion on the road.
I must sound like a Peugeot employee here with such a level of praise, trust me, I’m not. The 407 was simply a pleasure to drive. Despite an intrusive A-pillar and a slight lack of visibility out the back window, the 407 Coupe is really the wolf in sheep’s clothing that Peugeot has been yearning for. With remarkable economy from the twin-turbo Diesel unit and handling to put many other vehicles to shame, it’s hard to believe that it carries the Peugeot branding.
Under the hood –
The motor isn’t a stranger to the Peugeot family. In fact, I tested the 407 Touring earlier with the same engine, which is also used in some Jaguar vehicles.
The 2.7-litre, twin-turbo V6 Diesel unit produces 150kW at 4000RPM and an impressive 440Nm of torque at just 1900RPM.
The 67-litre fuel tank allows the 407 HDi Coupe to sip through 9.2-litres/100km on a combined cycle (6.5 highway and 11.9 city).
Price, options and features –
The 407 Coupe is available in two guises – Petrol and Diesel. The petrol model is available for $65,990 in manual form and $68,190 in automatic form. The Diesel on the other hand is only available in automatic form and retails for $72,500 (being test driven).
As one of the most expensive vehicles in the Peugeot range, the 407 Coupe is loaded with features, such as: Central locking; auto-locking hijack protection; cruise control, plus speed limiter; electric windows; auto-dimming rear vision mirror; heat reflective windscreen; front and rear parking sensors; tyre pressure sensors; JBL 6-disc CD player stereo; dual-zone climate controlled air-conditioning; pollen filter; trip computer; leather interior; 18” alloy wheels; metallic paint; adaptive Bi-xenon headlights; front and rear fog lights; rain sensing windscreen wipers; electric seats and heated front seats.
Safety features include: Driver and front passenger airbags; front side airbags; full length curtain airbags; steering column airbag; ABS brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); Emergency Brake Assist with Electronic Stability Program (ESP); traction control; active front headrests and automatic activation of hazard lights during emergency braking.
The Peugeot 407 Coupe took me by total surprise. On first glance, although the vehicle’s design is quite breathtaking, it didn’t strike me as a vehicle that had capable sporting agility. But, after taking the 407 Coupe for a good old thrashing, it became obvious that it was so much more than a gorgeous vehicle.
Its manners during regular driving were quite impressive, and its ability through corners, even more so. The sport suspension setting firmed the suspension up to a point where the suspension literally forced the vehicle to stay flat when pegging through a corner. The fact that the 407 Coupe was designed with sporty ability in mind also helped the situation, providing a rigid and compliant body.
There are an endless amount of features associated with the car. Therefore, there’s not doubt that it also carries an equivalent price tag. In the grand scheme of things though, there aren’t many other Euro vehicles that can offer the same level of features, sporting agility and such a compliant body for the same price.
At the end of the day, the new Peugeot 407 Coupe is literally a steal at $72,500. I personally wouldn’t bother with the petrol model; the Diesel provides astonishing power and economy, whilst also allowing for the odd brisk drive. There is enough room to carry four adults in style and comfort, while there are enough features to keep the best of people happy. If you’re still not convinced, I dare you to take a test drive, after steering the 407 Coupe there’s no going back to normal vehicles.
CarAdvice Rating out of 5:
- Paul Maric