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2009 Peugeot 407 SW review

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One of the attractions of the 407 has always been its feline appearance, which initiated the latest 'house style' of Peugeot cars that has inspired the appearance of ranges that followed.

The 407 might be the 'old boy' in a new school of upper medium models, but it still looks smart. It is not as practical space-wise as most of its new competitors. The rear headroom is limited, the above waistline styling limits load space and passenger shoulder room so it is 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is certainly not the best in today's class and the design and the ergonomics of the instrument display look fussy and outdated. 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.

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. The interior, where the environment for the business user is so important, has been enhanced.

SE and GT models now feature the new 'piano black' finish which is applied to the door handle and air vent surrounds and to the centre console.

I have just completed a period of typical UK driving using all types of roads covering nearly a 1,000 miles in a week. The model 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.

The 2.0-litre HDi 140 engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox develops a power of 140 bhp - an increase of 4bhp over the HDi 136 unit which remains in the range for now coupled with automatic transmission.

The new 140bhp unit benefits from low fuel consumption of 49.5 mpg and CO2 emissions reduced to 150g/km. This engine complies with anticipated future Euro 5 emission standards.

My test car actually returned 43.5mpg but it is the 150g/km CO2 which is most appealing as the road tax is only £120, not at all bad for an estate car of this size.

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 gear knob. Overall it was a nice place to be, not perfect but acceptable.

Peugeot 407 SW MILESTONES

Peugeot 407 SW SE HDi 140

Price: £21,950

Engine/transmission: 2.0-litre, common-rail direct injection diesel, turbocharger, diesel particulate filter system, 140bhp, 240lb ft of torque from 2,000rpm, 6-speed manual; gearbox

Performance: 129mph, 0-62mph 9.8 seconds, 49.5mpg (43.5mpg actual), CO2 150g/km, VED Band C £120, BIK tax 22%. Insurance group: 10E. Dimensions: 4,763mm long, 1,811mm wide, 1,494mm high, 430-1,365-litres load space

Maximum braked towing weight: 1,600kg

For: Stylish, comfortable, well equipped, strong diesel engine, low road tax for this class of car

Against: Load space less than others in this class, difficult to get an optimum driving position, fussy not easy to read controls.