We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For It's tastefully styled, has fluent handling, and is quick and practical

Against The interior is uninspiring, it's poorly made and unwieldy around town

Verdict The 406 Coupe is good if you want something different

Go for… 3.0-litre V6 SE

Avoid… Early 2.0-litre petrols

Peugeot 406 Coupe
  • 1. If you hear a clonking from the front corner, the anti-roll bar may need replacing
  • 2. Watch out for leaky radiators with signs of rust and worn hoses
  • 3. The seating is uncomfortable, the switchgear cheap-looking and the dashboard plasticky
  • 4. You can seat two in the back with few dramas. The car has a sizeable boot, too
  • 5. Avoid any car that smokes and be suspicious if the car's history is incomplete
advertisement

Peugeot 406 Coupe full review with expert trade views

The 406 Coupe is a breath of fresh air. To make it, the standard 406 got a makeover from Italian designers Pininfarina and the results were largely successful. It doesn't quite have the charisma of, say a Fiat Coupe, but its clean lines are tasteful and sleek.

Once inside, though, the deisgn is disappointing. The seating is uncomfortable, the switchgear looks cheap and the dashboard is plasticky. The control stalks are spindly, too, and only the chrome surrounds on the dials point to something other than a normal mass-produced saloon.

At least, there's plenty of headroom, and you can seat two in the back with few dramas. It has a sizeable boot, too.

Once you turn the key, things get better. A satisfying, yet friendly thrum at low revs turns into a healthy growl once you get over 4000 revs. The handling is positive and there's plenty of grip around demanding corners, while the smooth suspension easily absorbs lumps and bumps.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Still a looker. Choose colour carefully - especially interior. Diesels still sell very well

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The 3.0-litre V6 is the wise choice - there's little point in the 2.0-litre petrol, which is pretty gutless.

However, if you want to keep costs down, you might opt for the 2.2-litre diesel, although it wasn't available throughout the car's life. It has just enough grunt to keep you amused, although it's not fantastic in town. Like every model in the range, it works best when stretching its legs on an open road.

Overall, it pays to buy the newest model you can. The car was introduced in 1997 with the 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre petrol engines, and had a miled face-lift in 1999, when the 3.0-litre got more power - up from 194bhp to 210bhp.

In 2000 ABS was fitted as standard - a good thing for a car with this much power, and ESP was added to the 3.0 V6. Sat-nav was introduced as standard on 2.0SE model and then in June 2002 the 2.2 diesel arrived.

Later, the black and silver 'specials' were introduced which included half-leather trim, 16-inch alloy wheels and an uprated stereo system.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Struggles especially V6, 2.2HDi though has some real appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Running costs depend on which model you buy. Insurance on the smaller engines falls into group 15, but the V6 is in group 18. The same goes for fuel economy: the 3.0-litre will do 30mpg if you are lucky, and the diesel could well manage 40mpg and over.

Build quality on all models is dodgy. Don't be surprised if you get a few squeaks and creaks and switchgear that works irregularly. If an indicator stalk breaks, don't worry, because Peugeot has constructed more robust replacements. Cambelts on diesels need to changed every 96,000 miles and on petrols every 80,000 miles.

Don't forget this is regarded as a high-performance car and you can expect a few hiccups along the way. It's a Pininfarina-styled car, and their owners have Pininfarina-style driving ambitions - with some possibly nasty damage as a result. That said, many have come from fleets, so you can pick up a well-looked after example inexpensively.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Still a looker. Choose colour carefully - especially interior. Diesels still sell very well

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Avoid anything that smokes and be suspicious of absent history. Rattling engines and electronic glitches point to a world of pain. Pay more, get more, and try to find an ex-fleet car.

If you hear a clonking from the front corner, the anti-roll bar may need replacing. Watch out for leaky radiators with signs of rust and worn hoses.

On 406 models, which share the same platform, there have been a number of recalls. In 1998, there were concerns about road wheel failure and in 1999 some examples had difficulties with the bonnet safety catch.

A year later there were faults with the brake assemblies and in 2001 Peugeot recalled 406s because of issues with the rear suspension fixing bolts and chafing on the brake servo vacuum pipe.

There were a few engine problems in 2002, and water had been discovered in the cooling fan on some examples. In 2003, 406s were recalled because of incorrect wiring on side airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Struggles especially V6, 2.2HDi though has some real appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014