Motoring: Looking good for a lot less dosh
The new Peugeot 406 Coupe passes the most important test of any coupe: it feels fast and looks glamourous. John Simister gives the 2.0- litre version the road-test lowdown, and finds a good-value, good-quality ride; peugot 406 coupe
The Peugeot, then, passed the test to which every coupe, by virtue of what it is, must take. A coupe which looks like a frump has missed the point. If you buy a coupe you are paying more for less, in quantitative terms, but you are gaining in style. A coupe should look like an extravagance.
The Peugeot does it well. It didn't matter that this 406 Coupe had the humbler, 2.0-litre engine of the two on offer, rather than the more muscular 3.0-litre V6. The two cars have little more than wheel and tyre size differences to distinguish them otherwise. The shape is subtle, with no sharp edges but enough tension to make it seem to be moving. Now, it would be sad if it proved a pudding to drive, but I'm pleased to report that the Peugeot passes this test, too. I've always liked the way 406s move along.
That said, it doesn't cushion its occupants from bumps quite as well as its saloon sibling. The wider wheels and lower-profile tyres are to blame, but they prove their worth when the road twists. Vigorous grip, crisper steering than the saloon, and a fluid stringing-together of bends proves quite delightful. The experience may be less interactive than you'd get from a BMW 3-series Coupe, say, as the Peugeot is pulled by its front wheels, but ultimately it will corner faster and feel more secure.
The V6, in particular, has rather good brakes as well - large Brembo units which bring this 406 to a halt more smoothly and less snatchily than those of lesser versions. And it is genuinely fast, its 194bhp rising from a deep growl to a refined but slightly beaty blare. The 2.0-litre version can't compete, but is still no visual charlatan.
Unlike some coupes, the 406 is a feasible four-seater thanks to rear seats recessed to give sensible headroom. Leather trim comes only with the Executive version of the V6 (pounds 26,420 against the regular V6's pounds 23,620, which also gets you a few other luxuries), but even so it's a plush, well- wrought cabin. The dashboard is standard apart from some added brightwork, however, and it breaks the beauty spell a bit.
In coupe terms, the 406 is a bargain. It costs about pounds 3,000 more than a 406 saloon, but it's a lot cheaper than a comparable Mercedes-Benz. Maybe there's no such thing as sensible money for coupes. But if there is, the Peugeot is where you'd put it.
Peugeot 406 V6 Coupe
Price: pounds 23,620. Engine: 2,946cc V6, 24 valves, 194bhp at 6,250rpm. Five- speed gearbox, front-wheel drive. Performance: top speed 143mph, 0-60 in 7.5sec. Fuel consumption: 21-26mpg, but still a car of honed perfection.
Simon Read: Frozen in time - the expat British pensioners who deserve a better deal
Bargain Hunter: From The Outsider to 1984, catch a cut-price classic, read it in the rye
Donald MacInnes: My wasted hours in the retail deserts of Dixons-Carphone
Money Insider: Smart alternatives to the pensioner bond
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 SAG Awards: Fake applause track interrupts Reese Witherspoon
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
Day In a Page
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village