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Used Peugeot 406 long-term review

Can you buy a decent car for less than Β£1000? We’re finding out by running a Peugeot 406, our Car of the Year in 1996 – which cost us just Β£450

Words ByAlex Robbins

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Peugeot 406 long-term test

The car Peugeot 406 1.8 LX saloon Run by Used cars team Why it’s here To find out whether bangernomics – the art of buying a banger to use every day – really does work Needs to Prove the benefits – or pitfalls – of buying a used car for a bargain-basement price


Price when new Β£14,440 Price on arrival Β£450 Approx value now Β£450 Mileage on arrival 67,128 Mileage now 67,423 Test fuel economy na Official fuel economy 32.5mpg


6 December 2017 – Second report

It should come as no surprise, really, that a car bought at this price doesn’t exactly arrive showroom-fresh. Our Peugeot 406 was filthy when we picked it up from its previous owner, both inside and out.

But that, of course, is one problem that’s easy to solve. I set about giving the 406 a deep clean one Saturday. After a good wash and polish outside, the interior was treated to a heavy clean courtesy of copious amounts of upholstery cleaner and a steam mop. The thin film of dust that had hitherto caked the dashboard came away to reveal plastics in surprisingly good nick, while the seats changed from their former brown hue to a much more original grey-blue.

The overall result, as I think it’s plain to see, is terrific. Our 406 now shines bright like… well, if not quite a diamond, then certainly not like a car that cost Β£450.

However, while cleaning the car I did discover one problem that was less easy to resolve. A closer inspection of the tyres revealed that while they had plenty of tread left, they were positively ancient, with the date codes on one of them showing that it was made in 1999.

Doubtless, it would be dangerous to continue driving on tyres this old, so we took the decision to spend a bit of money on a new set of boots for the old girl. This brings the total our 406 now owes us up to Β£650, although even that feels like a bit of a bargain for such a straight, tight and usable car.

And usable it is. I’ve already taken the 406 for my commute home and back to the office several times, and that’s a 40-mile round-trip – no small test. Yet the tractable engine, delightfully comfortable ride, smooth controls and fantastic feedback make the drive home and back a joy; indeed, taking the 406 home is proving just as pleasurable as any other test car I have access to. Not half bad, given what it’s cost us.

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