Peugeot 406 HDi Car Review | Auto Trader

20 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Peugeot 406 HDi Car Review | Auto Trader
Peugeot 406

Peugeot 406

car review

Ten Point Test

Auto Trader Ten Point Test rating: 82%

Five years after it was replaced by the 407, Peugeot’s 406 still has much to offer.

From good looks and affordable used prices to lashings of standard equipment and plenty of practicality, the 406 has still got what it takes to provide stylish family transport.

1: Looks 10/10

You don’t have to look far to find family cars that look desperately dull, but this isn’t one of them. Indeed, the 406 is perhaps the best-looking family car of the past decade – especially in facelifted form. The Peugeot corporate nose works superbly on the 406, and in profile the rising waist line gives the car a discreet presence without being flash.

While the saloon looks good and the estate even better, one of the most beautiful car designs of recent times must be the 406 coupé. This svelte two-door is a true masterpiece that looks highly desirable from any angle; it’s just a shame that Peugeot never offered an open-topped edition.

2: Looks inside 8/10

The age and specification of the 406 makes quite a difference as far as the interior is concerned. Some early basic cars look pretty spartan, while later high-spec cars appear to come from another planet, as they’re more nicely trimmed, more heavily stocked with toys and there’s a more expensive air as a result.

While the dash looks a little dated now, the overall design is still appealing and the ergonomics are spot on too. Just as importantly, the quality of the materials is good, as is the fit and finish – perhaps surprisingly so.

3: Practicality 10/10

You wouldn’t buy a 406 coupé for the practicality if offers; it’s awkward getting to the rear seats and the boot can hold just 391 litres. The saloon is obviously better in both respects as it has four doors and can accommodate 473 litres in the boot.

It’s the 406 estate though which offers the greatest level of practicality, as its load bay can swallow a useful 1739 litres – which puts it ahead of most rivals. What’s more, there was also a ‘Family’ option offered for 406 estate buyers, which offered seven seats instead of the usual five. Even better, all 406s offer decent amounts of head and leg room for four – or even five (apart from the four-seater coupé) if you all get along well.

4: Ride and Handling 9/10

This is another ace up the 406’s sleeve, as Peugeot has long offered cars that are great to drive. With a reasonably long wheelbase and the suspension settings just right, the 406 offers safe and predictable (rather than genuinely engaging) handling. What’s more impressive though is the ride; cars as comfortable as this usually wallow at each corner like a ship in a gale, but not here.

5: Performance 9/10

If you’re a speed demon and don’t care about the fuel bills, you could buy a 406 that’ll do 144mph plus 0-60mph in little more than eight seconds. However, the 3.0 V6 that offers these figures also drinks unleaded at the rate of 25.9mpg officially – expect closer to 20mpg in the real world.

That’s why you’re better off opting for a turbodiesel, which accounted for two-thirds of the 406’s sales mix. Even the basic 90bhp 2.0HDi can manage 112mph and 0-60mph in 14.5 seconds (it feels quicker though), but opt for the 110bhp 2.0HDi and you’ll get more performance as well as greater economy – 119mph and 0-60mph in 12.5 seconds.

Don’t get too hung up on the figures though; while the 2.0HDi 110 is fast enough in the real world, it’s the way it does it that’s so appealing. With relaxed long-legged gearing in top, you can sit at high speed all day and get out feeling fresh, thanks to excellent levels of refinement.

6: Running costs 7/10

Unless you track down one of the ultra-rare 3.0 V6 petrol models, you shouldn’t have to put too much fuel into any 406. The 2.0HDi tested here is the easiest edition to track down as it’s the most plentiful, and in the real world it’s also the best to live with. With a combined fuel consumption figure of 51.3mpg it’s pretty frugal; the 2.2HDi doesn’t really offer anything more in the real world but its official economy figure is just 44.1mpg.

Other running costs are reasonably manageable, as the turbodiesel 406 needs attention every two years or 12,000 miles – petrol cars will go for two years or 20,000 miles between services. Watch out for potentially steep insurance though; the 110bhp 2.0HDi sits in groups 12 or 14 depending on the trim level, which is quite high for a mainstream family car.

Peugeot 406

7: Reliability 4/10

The 406 has proven to generally be better built than many of Peugeot’s other models, but that’s not saying much as there are still a wide range of problems that can crop up. Among them are radiators which rot and then leak, while handbrakes can fail, rear brake discs can rust or warp and front coil springs can break.

As if this isn’t enough, the 2.1TD engine is expensive to work on and those same models can be afflicted by failed starter motors and speedometers. Whatever the edition you’re looking at you need to check the electrics, which can be temperamental. Also, anti-roll bar bushes wear, air-con can stop working and indicator stalks can break, while the brake servo assistance can fail.

To top it all, rough running and flat spots can crop up, pointing to an ECU software update being needed.

8: Safety 7/10

Once again the 406 scores well here – at least when you bear in mind this is a car which first saw the light of day in 1995. With a three-star EuroNCAP crash test score, the 406 will look after you reasonably well should the worst happen, but it also comes with a fair bit of safety kit too.

Buy a facelifted 406 and you’ll get anti-lock brakes, driver, passenger and side airbags, three-point seatbelts all round plus a steering wheel that’s adjustable for both reach and rake. Top-spec cars also get traction control, but you’ll look in vain for ESP.

9: Equipment 9/10

You can always count on Peugeot to load its cars up with goodies, and it’s no different here. Even the entry-level facelifted cars get remote central locking, electric windows in the front, a CD player and air conditioning. Move up just one level (to the LX) and you also get powered windows for the rear and climate control, while higher-spec 406s also have alloy wheels, a CD autochanger, sat-nav, an electric sunroof and even leather trim.

10: X-Factor 8/10

The 406 may have been around a long time, but there are still plenty of good reasons to buy one. Whether you want a stylish coupé, practical estate or a good-looking family saloon, the 406 can deliver. Even better, you can choose performance levels between mild and (reasonably) wild, while there are also lots of high-spec cars around.

You’ll need to make sure you’re not buying a car that’s riddled with faults though – especially electronic ones that can’t be traced. But find a dependable 406 and you’ll have capable transport for a ridiculously small amount of cash.

Key facts

Model tested: Peugeot 406 2.0HDi 110 GLX

Peugeot 406
Peugeot 406
Peugeot 406
Peugeot 406
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