"The Peugeot 407 Coupé is comfortable and competitively priced too… But it's not as good to drive as rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz."
The 407 Coupé is a cut-price alternative to premium four-seat coupes like the Audi A5. It's not as sporty or desirable as its two rivals, but offers a lower driving position and stiffer suspension than the 407 saloon. Although some will enjoy its bold looks and powerful engines, the driving experience is a little disappointing. The steering and suspension just isn't up to scratch. Cars have loads of pulling power at low revs and relatively low fuel costs, and the car's one specification level - Sport - is well equipped.
The Peugeot 407 is a big car - both inside and out. Light steering helps it feel agile at low speeds, but it's difficult to see the front edge of the bonnet, so parking can be tricky. The driving position is set low and is very adjustable, but the over-sized steering wheel feels odd, like a ship's helm. Because the two HDi diesel engines are powerful (with either 163bhp or 240bhp) the car feels nippy around town. Like many coupes it suffers from limited rear and over-the-shoulder visibility. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel is only available with an automatic gearbox, which feels slow to change gears. Grip is good, and there isn’t much body roll, so it's not too bad around corners - just not very entertaining.
The 407 doesn’t offer a particularly smooth ride over the broken surfaces of the UK's roads. That said, the range-topping V6 fares better than the smaller diesel because of its clever electronically controlled shock absorbers. But this is still a car that feels most at home on the motorway. The two rear seats offer lots of legroom for a coupé, but the sloping roofline means tall adults will be craning their necks. As per the 407 saloon, wind and road noise are kept well at bay, although larger tyres mean there's slightly more road rumble, and the pillarless side windows let in a little wind whistle at speed.
Because the coupe is more expensive than the other two models in the 407 range, Peugeot offers a unique set of trims and cabin finishes - including stitched leather on top models. It certainly improves the sense of quality. Safety is excellent too, with seven airbags helping it achieve its five-star Euro NCAP rating. Reliability isn’t so clear-cut: owners report various electrical and mechanical niggles.
Its 400-litre boot capacity is only a fraction smaller than the Renault Laguna Coupe's, although practicality is generally lower down the list of priorities for coupe buyers. As in the saloon, there's precious little cabin storage - on long journeys notepads, CDs and empty food containers often end up strewn across the passenger footwell!
Value for money
Peugeot has chosen to offer only one high-end specification - Sport - which features parking sensors, alloy wheels, satellite navigation, and Xenon headlamps. However, that makes it expensive to buy for what is a non-premium car, and its resale values are poor.
The 163bhp HDi diesel returns an impressive 52.3mpg and emissions of 140g/km, while the automatic-only V6 240bhp HDi diesel achieves 39.2mpg and 189g/km. Road Tax is £110 and £235 respectively, and when you factor in the extra fuel bills and depreciation suffered by the more powerful engine, the smaller diesel makes the most sense in terms of running costs.