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

A colleague of mine took a Peugeot 406 Coupe home on trial a few nights ago. She parked it outside her house as usual, but kept sneaking to the window to steal another look. She was smitten.

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

Specifications

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.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

    Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

    Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

    £18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

    Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

    £35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing