407 SW SE HDi 140
Miles takes a first drive
in the new
2009 model year
Peugeot 407 and finds that its
a nice place to be; not perfect
but comfortably acceptable...
WHEN IS NEW NOT ACTUALLY NEW? Having seen the latest television and print
advertising announcing the arrival of the 'new' 2009 Peugeot 407
range, I thought I'd missed a media launch event.
However, all is not what it appears to be. The 'new' 407 range is, in fact,
a revised line-up with additional business user specification SR models with
a choice of a 1.6-litre 110bhp HDi and a new 2.0-litre 140bhp HDi diesel engine.
The 'new' reference also covers the introduction of the HDi 140bhp FAP, low
road tax 150g/km Euro 5-compliant engine to the range along with subtle body
The styling updates for 2009 include a new grille treatment and body-coloured
rubbing strips. The rear bumper now incorporates a diffuser-style number-plate
surround and the interior has also been enhanced: SE and GT models now feature
the latest 'piano black' finish which is applied to the door handle and air
vent surrounds, and also to the centre console.
One of the attractions of the 407 has always been its feline appearance
a look that initiated the latest 'house style' of Peugeot cars and which has
also inspired the appearance of the ranges that followed.
The 407 might be the 'old boy' in a new school of upper-medium models but it
still looks smart even if it is not as practical, space-wise, as most of its
new competitors the younger Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia, Toyota Avensis,
Citroen C5, Honda Accord, Renault Laguna and VW Passat. And, of course, the
'premium' brand Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class are also newer upper-medium
Inside the 407, the rear headroom is limited, the above-waistline styling limits
load space and passenger shoulder room a clear case of 'style over function'.
The driving position is certainly not the best in today's class and the design
and the ergonomics of the instrument display look fussy and outdated. However,
ride comfort is excellent, handling is good enough although fidgety on
occasions over poorer roads and the equipment level is high. So it is
a nice place to work for business users and represents a stylish, well-equipped
purchase for retail used car buyers.
I have just completed a period of typical UK driving using all types of roads
and covering nearly 1,000 miles in a week. The model driven was the 407 SW (estate)
SE HDi 140 priced at £21,950 probably the best selling model in the range
until the new SR versions start to make inroads into business fleets.
All 407 diesel models are now powered by HDi FAP diesel particulate filter engines.
The 2.0-litre HDi 140 engine fitted to my test car develops 140bhp (an increase
of 4bhp over the HDi 136 unit, which remains in the range, for now, coupled
to an automatic transmission). The new 140bhp unit benefits from low fuel consumption
49.5mpg and CO2 emissions reduced to 150g/km. This engine also
complies with anticipated future Euro-5 emission standards. My test car actually
returned 43.5mpg overall, but it is the 150g/km CO2 which is most appealing
to buyers as the road tax is only £120 not at all bad for an estate car
of this size.
Driving through a six-speed manual gearbox, the revised 140bhp engine is much
quieter than the 136bhp unit; it pulls more readily and, as expected, it returns
better driveability in all conditions. However, it does use more fuel.
For the record, SE specification includes 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear
electric windows, folding electric door mirrors, panoramic glass sunroof, automatic
wipers and headlights, opening tailgate window on the SW variant, remote central
locking and alarm, electronic stability programme, front fog lights, trip computer,
multi-media system, dual-zone climate control and leather steering wheel and
Reasons to buy include the stylish looks, a comfortable and well-equipped interior,
a strong diesel engine and low road tax for this class of car. If load space
is critical then you need to know that the 407's load space (430-1,365 litres)
is less than others in this class. Minor irritations: it is difficult to set
an optimum driving position; fussy, not easy to read controls. Overall the 407
SW is a nice place to be; not perfect but comfortably acceptable.
Peugeot 407 SW SE HDi 140 | £21,950
Maximum speed: 129mph | 0-62mph: 9.8 seconds Overall test MPG: 43.5mpg
Power: 140bhp | Torque: 240lb ft | CO2 150g/km | Insurance group 10E