What is it?
The new 4007 is not, as you might believe, Peugeot’s first off-roader. Peugeot sold Lion-badged versions of the Mercedes G-Wagen to the French armed forces in the 1980s.
This is the first civilian Peugeot SUV, and the final model to come from PSA's joint venture with Mitsubishi. We’ve already seen the Mitsubishi Outlander and Citroën C-Crosser, so it will come as no surprise to know that the final triplet from this litter is rather similar to the first two.
Only one engine option is available - the same 156bhp 2.2 HDi unit that also features in the C-Crosser, and trim levels are equally simple. We're testing the base SE model, which makes more sense if you can live without leather and 18-inch alloys, coming in at almost £3000 less than the alternative GT spec, yet still offering luxuries like cruise and climate control.
What's it like?
A better, though more expensive, Outlander. The 2.2-litre HDi unit is both more refined and more powerful than Mitsubishi’s VW-sourced 2.0-litre diesel, and is also a reasonable justification for the 4007's high price.
A wide band of torque gives the 4007 good low-end acceleration and mid-range overtaking ability, provided you’re willing to work the six-speed manual gearbox (an automatic isn’t available).
Ride quality is equally suitable for all manner of urban and suburban terrain, benefiting from enough body control to minimise the wallow that characterises some off-roaders, while still eliminating the majority of disturbances in the road’s surface. Even the steering is responsive and well weighted, making the 4007 an unexpectedly absorbing drive.
The interior will satisfy anyone looking for a reasonably upmarket environment with a good price. The surfaces are tactile, and the cabin is spacious and feels solidly put together.
All with the exception of the clever, if flimsy and uncomfortable, pair of seats that fold up out of the flat load bay. The second row of seats can also be folded flat simply by pressing a button in the boot area – plus the split rear boot lid allows for easy access to the vast load bay.
This, together with a reasonable standard specification, gives the 4007 a solid feel and useful versatility that should satisfy most people buying in this market.
Should I buy one?
Only if you have a fascination for chrome grills and bad residuals. Peugeot UK has set a modest sales target of 2000 units for the first twelve months of production, and there is no doubt that they will achieve that thanks to the 4007's likeable dynamics and interior packaging.
Unfortunately for Peugeot, the cheaper Outlander goes on sale in November this year fitted with the same 2.2 HDi engine. At that point, the high-priced 4007 will be rendered closer to a novelty purchase than a reasonable ownership prospect.