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

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...

    Guru Careers: Research Associate / Asset Management Research Analyst

    £40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...

    Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Financial Services - Central London

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Fin...

    Ashdown Group: Chief Technology Officer (CTO) - Glasgow

    £90000 - £98000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportu...

    Day In a Page

    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
    I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

    I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

    Latest on the Labour leadership contest
    Froome seals second Tour de France victory

    Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

    Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
    Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

    The uses of sarcasm

    'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
    A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

    No vanity, but lots of flair

    A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
    Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

    In praise of foraging

    How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food