Car Reviews: Peugeot 407 SW SE 2.0 HDi – The AA

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Car Reviews: Peugeot 407 SW SE 2.0 HDi – The AA
Peugeot 407

Car safety


Smooth-riding on-road characteristics Huge sunroof brightens cabin considerably Attractive external styling Smooth power delivery from engines


Folding rear parcel shelf does not feel durable Legroom lacking in rear seats A few squeaks and rattles from interior fittings Boot smaller than most direct competitors

Marrying the front end of a Ferrari and the rear end of a family estate may sound like the worst combination since chalk and cheese, but in the Peugeot 407 SW the two key ingredients work surprisingly well.

For once, the Sport Wagon designation is appropriate rather than being just a marketing gimmick, for this is not a large estate car by modern standards. But what it lacks in out-and-out bulk does allow it to present a more stylish profile than many of its rivals and all of the space that is made available is readily utilised.

Another welcome by-product of the Sport Wagon shape is a keen driving dynamic. The 407 saloon has been rightly praised for its handling and ride. Employing the same advanced suspension set-up, the SW model makes a decent effort to match it.

Inevitably it falls just short, but on a motorway or A-road, the car is perfectly happy ticking off the miles as it wafts quietly along.

Peugeot is making a concerted effort to improve the quality of its interiors. The 407 range gives a clear indication of this and were it not for a few squeaks and rattles from a few poorly-fitted seals and plastic parts, the SW would start to make an impact on similarly-sized ‘premium’ offerings such as the Jaguar X-Type estate and Audi A4 Avant. But for the foreseeable future Peugeot will have to slug it out in the mainstream, where there is no shortage of similarly-priced competition.

The 407 SW can justifiably claim to be easier on the eye than most of them and comes with an acceptable, if not staggering, amount of kit.

Cars from the rampant lion aren’t traditionally renowned for their reliability, but this is another area in which Peugeot is making progress ‘ evidenced by the fact that 2.0 HDi models are the first Peugeot passenger cars with extended service intervals.

Our verdict on the Peugeot 407 SW SE 2.0 HDi

With a proud history of estate cars behind it, Peugeot’s 407 SW is a more modern take on the genre, more suited to light duties such as trips to the shops and weekends away than the serious load-lugging duties of a 405 or 406.


Not immediately apparent as a bargain, the 407 SW offers reasonable value for money. Diesel engines are likely to prove most popular for their considerably enhanced fuel economy, with even the modest 1.6 HDi offering a good level of refinement. All engines are able to cope with heavy loads. Provided some of the more advanced electronics systems aboard do not develop glitches, the 407 SW should prove pretty reliable and insurance and parts costs are good.

Re-sale values are likely to be fairly good for this market sector thanks in part to the standard air conditioning.

Space and practicality

Though on the road the 407 SW looks like a large car, the available cabin space feels fairly modest. That’s partly because the long bonnet takes up such a large proportion of the car’s length. Front seat passengers are well catered for but rear seat passengers suffer from a certain degree of restricted legroom.

The car’s main raison d’etre ‘ the boot ‘ is small by estate car standards at 489 litres but well proportioned with a low loading lip.

Controls and display


Car security

Car safety

Seven airbags (nine on Executive models) come as standard, along with important ‘hidden’ features such as ESP with ABS, emergency brake assist and traction control. A variable speed limiter on some models is another welcome safety feature and operates in conjunction with the cruise control system.

Driver appeal

Peugeot 407

Without doubt, this is one of the best-driving estate cars around. In fact, it handles rather better than some hatchbacks. This is due in no small part to the double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, which delivers plenty of feel and accuracy through the steering wheel without making the ride unduly harsh.

Engines feed power in progressively so that the worst excesses of body roll can be avoided by a competent driver, making progress swift and enjoyable, even in the 1.6 diesel model.

Family car appeal

First car appeal

Quality and image

Despite falling short of true premium status, the 407 SW is well up to the required level to be competitive as far as quality is concerned. Its elongated Sport Wagon profile makes it more immediately attractive than some bulkier rivals, though the likes of the Honda Accord sneak ahead on build quality. Nevertheless, Peugeot estates are generally thought of as worthy, dependable vehicles.


Rear doors have a pronounced ‘D’ shape, so they are light but a little narrow at floor and roof level. The boot is simple to operate via the key fob or manually and the rear glass opens independently. Seats display a high level of flexibility ‘ even the front passenger seat is modular, so can be completely flattened to carry very long loads back from the garden centre or DIY store.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

A six speaker CD player is standard issue, but those with a desire for booming beats can specify a high-performance JBL hi-fi system with 10 speakers and a combined bass box can be chosen from the options list. Even more ardent petrol-heads can indulge in a host of extras and can connect an MP3 player to the system.

Panoramic sunroof makes a huge difference

Colours and trim

Cars are badged S, SE, SV and Executive. S and SE models are intended to be sporty with SV and leather-trimmed Executive models providing a luxury feel. Standard equipment on all models includes digital climate control, ultrasonic alarm and front fog lights but the most surprising and welcome inclusion is the impressive panoramic glass sunroof.

Twelve body colours are available, and buyers can choose freely, as the 407 SW does not seem particularly colour-sensitive.

Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
Peugeot 407
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