Minor updates successfully make the 407 a better car

What is it?

The facelifted Peugeot 407, which has received some useful but essentially minor changes. Despite a rash of more modern competitors, Peugeot believes that the 407 remains modern enough to remain competitive.

Visual updates are limited to a neater-looking chrome grille, new bumpers frojnt and rear, a piano-black fascia and enhanced options. The only significant change is a new, Euro 5 compliant version of the 2.0-litre common-rail HDI diesel engine, which now produces 140bhp instead of the previous 136bhp and is usefully more refined that its predecessor.

What’s it like?

The Euro 5 engine might be a tenth or two quicker outright against the stopwatch, but it has a dip in the torque curve around 2000rpm which means it loses the easy flexibility of its predecessor.

Fuel economy and CO2 figures remain very competitive, and although the new 2.0-litre engine can’t match the frugality of the smaller 1.6-litre HDI, it’s still one of the best in the segment and company car tax liablity is impressively light for user-choosers.

As before, the 407 feels supple and quiet over bumps, with excellent body control over rougher road surfaces. The steering is precise and satisfying, too. You wouldn’t describe it as a particularly sporting drive, but it’s more than sufficiently dynamic to be able to hold its head up in this segment.

Should I buy one?

Only if the deal is razor sharp. Cars in this class lose value pretty fast, and as an ageing model in a highly competitive sector the 407 will suffer more than most.

That said, and if the company’s paying, there’s still lots to like about the 407 and its combination of refinement and dynamic ability.

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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A R Chen 14 July 2008

Re: Peugeot 407 2.0 HDi 140

I personally think that buyers in this class and above prefer somewhat conservative but functional interiors. Look at the Audi and VW interiors, and even the latest Mercedes C-Class. I know I like the more conservative or traditionally laid out interiors of these cars than say the radical interior of the previous Ford Focus.

At the end of the day, it is what the majority of the buyers want that probably dictates what you see in the 407 although I wonder why they did not clean up the console while they were at it. Probably costs too much, I reckon.

Interesting to see that the test weight of 1505 kg suggests that Peugeot is doing something to address the weight problem it has been having of late. :-)

RobotBoogie 8 July 2008

Re: Peugeot 407 2.0 HDi 140

I always thought the 407 was an oddly conceived car. You have a fairly radical exterior that is going to appeal to someone with similarly radical tastes then you open the drivers door and find an interior that redefines the word conservative.