407 Coupe Sport V6 HDI 240
and chic in that sexy way
that only the French can manage,
Peugeots 151mph Coupe is not
only easy on the eyes but, thanks
to a V6 turbodiesel nestling under
its low bonnet, unexpectedly
IN A DOWNSIZING SOCIETY, self-image is still of paramount importance. As the
old maxim has it: you are what you drive. And of all the body styles available,
it is the coupe that's generally perceived as being the most desirable.
Which is the perfect cue for Peugeot's svelte 151mph 407 Coupe, tested here
in its latest incarnation the distinctive Sport V6 HDI 240. Downsizing?
Oh yes, even people with much more expensive cars are downsizing but while they
may have transferred out of a Jaguar XJS or a Mercedes CLK, they'll still want
to retain some of the visual zing of their previous mount. This makes the £28K
407 Coupe all the more appealing. And for those lucky enough to be climbing
the 'ladders' rather than sliding down the 'snakes', the 407 Coupe makes an
admirable aspirational purchase.
While the shark-eyed and shark-nosed Coupe wears the range's '407' numeric ID,
it's a stand alone model so far as looks go the accomplished and aerodynamic
styling cleverly disguises the fact that this four-seater 'grand tourer' coupe
is the largest of the three-model 407 family. For any money but even
more so for under £30K this is one very elegant set of wheels. Fans of
Peugeot's coupes will be aware that previous versions have worn the Pininfarina
'signature' but credit for the added testosterone tangible in this latest generation
must go to the French company's in-house designers.
The Coupe also sports a wider track, accounting for it being just over two inches
broader in the beam. It's also longer, by 5.5 inches, and obviously lower. The
bigger (and structurally stiffer) Coupe weighs in at 1,781kg, optimising this
with an aluminium bonnet, composite boot lid and frameless doors. Offsetting
its kerb weight is the built-in refinement that comes as standard for
instance, heavier laminated glass in the side windows that improves acoustic
While the two-door, four-seater 407 Coupé faces competition from established
premium brands, the Peugeot fields two clear 'aces': exclusivity (only a limited
number are available in the UK) and its comprehensive tally of standard equipment.
The V6 HDi only comes in one specification: appropriately, it's 'Sport'. That
means Speedline cloth interior trim, dual-zone climate control, chilled glovebox,
radio/CD player, 6-disc CD autochanger, 3-stage electric heated seats, power
auto-fold mirrors, one-shot up/down front windows (the rear panes are fixed),
power-fold door mirrors, auto-dimming rear view mirror, high-end 3D colour satellite
navigation system (includes Bluetooth hands-free), cruise control with speed
limiter, rear parking sensors, drive-off auto door locking, laminated side windows,
adjustable electronic suspension, tyre pressure sensors, auto headlights and
wipers and on-board computer.
essential kit includes 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights, ESP and a full
complement of airbags front, front side and curtain as well as a steering
column airbag for the driver's knees along with a five-star EuroNCAP
isnt the reserve
of those sitting up front:
rear passengers can
settle down in individual
sculpted seats offering
plenty of room...
open a door and settle in one of the luxurious-looking, well-proportioned and
well-bolstered seats there's a satisfyingly 'quality' thud as the door
closes. Upholstered in Lama Grey leather (an absolutely 'must-have' £1,500 option),
the seats (with three stage heating) are set rakishly low and immediately prove
to be as comfortable and supportive as they are plushly sporty. The driver gets
eight-way power adjustment and two memory settings. And, thanks to generous
reach and rake adjustment for the three-spoke steering wheel (beautifully wrapped
in tactile perforated leather), a first class driving position is guaranteed.
Piano black, burnished aluminium and classy chrome highlights set the tone,
along with dials featuring slim chrome bezels and clear and easy-to-read white
graphics on dark-grey faces. There's a two-level pop-up central armrest and
other nice touches include an air-conditioned glovebox. And making the Coupe
an easy car to live with on an everyday basis, there are lots of good-sized
cubbies even the front door pockets are lined and will store a wine bottle.
Comfort isn't the reserve of those sitting up front, either: rear passengers
can settle down in individual sculpted seats offering plenty of room with good
armrests either side. Max headroom in the back is for those no taller than 5'
10" but then that's almost always the case with coupes. The good news
is that rear passengers enjoy a clear view out. And access to the rear cabin
is refreshingly easy, courtesy of front seats that automatically glide fully
forwards when folded and then return faithfully to their original position.
Worth a mention are the frameless door windows because dropping the glass can
make getting in and out in tight spaces much easier.
The boot, a regular-shaped 400-litres, swallows overnight luggage for four adults
and the 60:40 split/fold rear seats rather unusual in a coupe
come in handy as does the ski-hatch. Folded down, they add unexpected, but valuable,
versatility. Externally, there's a natty electronic release button disguised
as the '0' of the 407 bootlid badge. Alternatively, you can stick with the remote.
Look around and you can't miss the impressive fit and finish throughout the
airy cabin. The SatNav, neatly integrated into the central stack, is superb;
its display offers sharp images as well as trip computer and telephone information
and it really is easy to work. While the centre stack looks rather 'busy', all
the important function controls are easy to find and recall. And when you have
to reverse at night you'll appreciate the ability to switch off the auto-dimming
rear view mirror.
up the Coupe's 240 horses and what you notice most in the cabin is… the silence!
If you didn't know better, you wouldn't believe there's a diesel unit
especially a 240bhp 24-valve V6 installed under the bonnet. On the move,
cabin ambience is exactly what you'd expect from a competent 'Grand Tourer'
passengers are agreeably insulated from the world passing by outside.
Cruising at speed is accompanied by the distant, soothing hum of the V6; wind
and road noise are so well-contained that everyone aboard can relax and enjoy
the playlist from the powerful eight-speaker JBL sound system (a £400 option).
From an owner's point of view, loping along the motorways is equally rewarding
because of the chance to achieve the official 50.4mpg.
the big Coupe
requires little effort from
the driver. Its a well
sorted car and handles
more than capably...
engine is one of the nicest diesel units around: the power delivery is impressively
smooth and perfectly suited to the polished six-speed sequential automatic transmission
that offers fully automatic, sequential manual and sport modes. With 338lb ft
of torque delivered from a low 1,600rpm, performance is as punchy as it is flexible.
The only clue that this isn't a petrol unit is the rev-counter's 4,300rpm red-line.
Okay… work it and you can hear it's a V6 you just can't tell that it's
In keeping with its composed GT character it makes sense to let the auto 'box
do all the work for you. From looking at the figures it would be understandable
to see the V6 Coupe as something of a rubber-burning hooligan but you'd
be wrong. That's not to say it doesn't party: standstill to the benchmark 62mph
is done and dusted in 7.9 seconds and it will run all the way up to 151mph.
Another major benefit of the turbodiesel power is, of course, the fuel economy.
Official consumption figures for the 3.0-litre HDi are 28.2, 39.2 and 50.4mpg
respectively for Urban, Combined and Extra-urban. During our week with the car
we recorded an overall average of 34.6mpg.
Driving the big Coupe requires little effort from the driver. It's a well sorted
car and handles more than capably. Traction is good for a powerful front-wheel
drive car in spite of the 338lb ft of torque being sent through the front
wheels, there's no discernible torque steer. And the pretty impressive grip
and stability, coupled with an almost complete absence of roll, makes this 407
Coupe a trustworthy steed whether you're wafting around the lanes taking
in the scenery or pressing on down the motorway. The brakes big, hefty
vented discs at the front are powerful and get on with the job without
attracting your attention: your foot presses; you stop.
When called upon to do so, the Coupe is a vigorous ground coverer. Push the
button on the centre stack to permanently lock the electronically adjustable
dampers in their firmest setting and move the selector lever to the left (into
'manual' mode there's also a Sport mode as well as a Winter setting)
and you can exploit the torque-rich V6's effortless flexibility using light
fore and aft taps on the gear lever to trigger instant and fluent up and down
shifts and maximise control on quicker secondary roads.
However, most of the time the 'Auto' damper setting is perfectly fine for managing
both 'soft' and 'hard' driving styles, particularly with the autobox in its
Sport setting. With transmission and dampers in Auto modes, you'll enjoy a tranquil
and well-controlled ride. Speed humps, however, are best taken at moderate speeds.
For the record, the Coupe's unruffled ride quality was achieved running on 19-inch
alloys wearing low-pro 235/40 Pirelli P Zero tyres.
In town, the steering is pleasantly weighted. A touch on the light side, perhaps,
but combined with good front and side visibility it makes easy work of placing
what is a really quite a long and wide car. Nor is parking a problem, thanks
to the standard-fit rear parking aid that provides both audible and visual feedback;
it's also very accurate, even picking out low kerbs.
So, how did it do? The 407 Coupe in V6 turbodiesel guise is an elegant and comfortable
Grand Tourer that will waft you from A to B in limousine majesty, quietly and
more frugally than many of its more expensive rivals and for less than
£30K. For drivers with no need of a badge to define who they are, it's a welcome
option to the more expensive German brands. MotorBar
Peugeot 407 Coupe Sport V6 HDi 240
Maximum speed: 151mph | 0-62mph: 7.9 seconds | Overall test MPG: 34.6mpg
Power: 240bhp | Torque: 338lb ft | CO2 189g/km | Insurance group 17E/40E