Encore un point de vue Anglo-déçu:
Peugeot 407 Coupe 2.7
By Andrew Frankel
Are you old enough for this car?
I’d like to tell you that the two days I spent in its company left me so invigorated by its youthful enthusiasm that I fairly skipped back to London, stopping only to buy a bottle of hair restorer. In fact, while it did the trick, it was not in the way you might imagine. For this is one of the most middle-of-the-road, tediously worthy machines ever to describe itself as a coupé. This is Pringle-wearing, bowls-playing, pipe-smoking automotive Ovaltine that could make the most jaded, world-weary correspondent feel like a fresh-fledged teenager by comparison.
Of course Peugeot will be outraged by this suggestion, at least in public. Privately I suspect it will be rather pleased, for whatever its protestations, this is a car aimed squarely at the monied and fast-growing Saga generation for whom remembering your children’s names and tying your shoelaces while standing replace meeting the mortgage payments as among the foremost challenges.
Worryingly, I quite liked it at first. It may be based on the 407 saloon, but it’s built more slowly on a separate line to a demonstrably higher standard and its quality comes close to providing a reason for spending almost 30 grand on a Peugeot. The awkward and angular exterior might not be a visual patch on its predecessor, the startlingly beautiful 406 Coupé, but its aluminium and leather cabin offers more civilised and classy surroundings than any French car I can recall.
There will be three engines but as we weren’t allowed to drive the 2.2 litre petrol unit (priced from £21,900) and, for reasons that will shortly become clear, buying the £26,700 3 litre V6 petrol motor is pointless, I shall concentrate my comments on the £29,200-£30,900 2.7 litre diesel variant that will account for half of the 2,500 likely to be sold each year in the UK.
This Ford-developed V6 engine is already found in various Land Rovers and Jaguars, and in the Peugeot it cements its claim to being the most mechanically refined diesel in production. Indeed it is both quieter and smoother than the petrol V6, not to mention more responsive and, in the real world rather than on the specification sheet, quicker too.
And if all you want to do is waft from place to place while making a somewhat questionable style statement, this is the car for you. It is limousine-quiet and rides like one of the better Mercedes.
What it is not, in any sense, is a driver’s car. It is not only hugely heavy but, thanks to the diesel engine and auto-only six-speed box, the vast majority of that weight sits over the front wheels, giving the steering a leaden feel that cannot be disguised by power assistance. And while it grips hard, the chassis feels so inert that driving it fast was a matter of professional obligation, not choice.
You’d need to drive off Eastbourne pier before you got a kick out of driving this one. Think of it as a pleasant place for the elderly to pass the time. It asks nothing of you, so you should not be too surprised that it offers commensurately little in return, a lot like Eastbourne, in fact.
So while I cannot bring myself to condemn it — for it has helped me through the first of my midlife moments — if this is what being middle aged is about I want no part in it. It’s what my father would have described as “a nice car for somebody else”, so I’ll pass, thanks very much. I might limp, creak and crunch, but at least I know I’m alive. Drive one of these and you could never be entirely sure.
Source: The Sunday Times 3 octobre
Black (Sport) Noir Granit 2.2L 160 hp - jusqu’au 29/04/2014
308 T9 Active e-THP 130 (demi V6) Gris Moka - volant toujours du bon côté