What happens when you couple Japanese build quality and four-wheel drive technology with European diesel power, design and elegance? You get the Peugeot 4007.
- Peugeot 4007; 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel; six-speed automatic; SUV – $54,190*
Firstly, it's not read as Peugeot four-double-o-seven, as good as that sounds the folks behind James Bond made a few phone calls and made sure that it's officially read as Peugeot four-zero-zero-seven.
Peugeot is not known for producing four-wheel drive SUVs, the French company has found its niche in small to medium cars and as such has successfully created some of the best selling models in the world. Nonetheless with the compact SUV market consistently growing, Peugeot finally decided to jump in.
From the outside the Peugeot 4007 may appear to be nothing more than a Mitsubishi Outlander with a different front and rear end but it only takes a short drive to notice the difference.
All Australian delivered Peugeot 4007s are powered by the French company's own 2.2-litre HDi diesel engine that manages 115 kW and 380Nm of torque. Power is put to the ground via a new Getrag 6-speed DSC automatic gearbox. This combination results in fuel economy figures of 7.3L of diesel per 100km (7.0 for the six-speed manual).
Despite all the changes to the outside, engine and gearbox, once you sit inside there is far too much resemblance to the Outlander cabin.
From the steering wheel, stereo and even Mitsubishi's rather tedious voice recognition system (which at one stage managed to change the language from English to French despite my best efforts to tell it otherwise) to the hard plastic dashboard, the Peugeot 4007 can really benefit from a more French feel inside. The high-spec 4007 SV can also really do with Satelite navigation.
Despite the similarities, being built on the Outlander platform does have its advantages. It means the 4007 is a capable soft-roader, transferring power form the front to rear wheels when needed or staying in permanent four-wheel drive if selected.
- Two-wheel drive mode (2WD) - Power goes only to the front wheels and it's best used for tarmac driving on dry roads - also the most fuel efficient.
- Automatic four-wheel drive mode (4WD) - Power is distributed mostly to the front wheels unless needed due to loss of traction or hard acceleration. The 4007's computer works out the best way to distribute power between the front and rear wheels. The safest way to drive if you can sacrifice a bit of extra fuel consumption.
- 4WD locked mode - Best used at low speeds on loose surfaces where torque to the rear-wheels is critical. In these conditions the 4007 will send 50% more torque to the rear compared to 4WD automatic mode.
Switching between the modes is easy as it can be with the switches controlled via a basic knob near the gear lever. For the majority of the road test I left the 4007 in two-wheel drive but with rain covering Brisbane, automatic four-wheel drive mode was also used.
You might expect the Peugeot to behave the same as an Outlander but with the diesel engine pushing out a reasonable 380Nm of torque (of which 300Nm is available from a low 1,500 rpm), there is a tiny bit torque steer on initial acceleration in 2WD mode, a non-existing issue when automatic mode is selected.
In regards to the engine, the power and torque output is adequate but can be improved. The 2.2-litre French diesel is beaten by Hyundai's diesel (same capacity) in the Hyundai Santa Fe R (145kW and 436Nm).
The highlight of the package is by far the dual-clutch system (DSC) automatic transmission which changes gear so smoothly you have to concentrate to notice. The gearbox is built by German company Getrag which has built gearboxes for a whole range of manufacturers.
It works the same as most other dual-clutch automatic transmissions, by making use of two clutches to transfer engine torque. The first clutch manages even-numbered gears and the second clutch takes care of odd-numbered gears. This means the previous or next gear is always ready to go and a gear shift takes milliseconds.
Despite being a complete automatic, you can always choose to change gears via the gear selection paddles behind the steering wheel. Thanks to the DCS the paddles are no loner just a gimmick, allowing for instantaneous gear changes.
The front seats are rather comfortable but the rear leg room is not as spacious as you might expect given the car's overall look. Five adults might be pushing it if you're going from Brisbane to Sydney. In case you're wondering, the 7 seat option proved a disappointment given the difficulty in assembling the third row. It even took a Peugeot salesman five minutes to show me how to do it (of course, it becomes much easier once you understand how it works).
When the time comes for maximum storage the 4007 has a load volume of 1691 litres with the second row fully retracted, however even with the second row in place, it can hold 589 litres.
The split opening tailgate allows for easy access to the cargo area and also the lower part of the tailgate can be used as a bench (can hold up to 200kg - perfect for two adults).
The 4007 is built to drive more like a car than an SUV and as such it handles just as smoothly. It corners with ease (given its size) and the slightly higher driving position is an added bonus. Surprisingly it does feel a little more smooth and stable than an Outlander but that may be due to the power delivery from the European built diesel.
In terms of safety, the 4007 is equipped with Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and a range of other electronic systems. Airbags are also a plenty with six standard (two front, two side and two curtain airbags). Child safety is taken care of thanks to Isofix mounting points in all three row-two seats.
The Peugeot 4007 is available in two variants, ST and SV, (similar to the variants on the 407 sedan and Touring wagon). Both variants use the same 2.2-litre engine, however the ST comes standard with a six-speed manual but can be optioned with the six-speed DCS that is standard on the SV variant.
The five-seat 4007 ST is priced at $45,490 and comes standard with 16” alloy wheels, six airbags, ESP, cruise control, electronic rear park assist, climate control air-conditioning and combined sports cloth / leatherette trim. An extra $2,500 will get you the automatic option.
Interestingly there is no manual seven-seater available in the range. The starting point for a seven-seat 4007 ST is $49,190. Moving up the range the 4007 SV gains 18” wheels, rear privacy glass, chrome door sill kick plates and window surrounds, Xenon headlights, leather trim plus electric and heated front seats, the driver’s seat also features electric adjustment. You can get all of that for $54,190.
Overall the Peugeot 4007 is a very reasonable European styled compact SUV. It's also the only European SUV with seven seats that retails below $50,000. It combines the essence of Japanese quality and 4WD expertise with European diesel technology, German gearbox and design dynamics. It can improve greatly by differentiating itself from the Outlander inside.
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