Used Peugeot 406 Estate 1996 - 2004 review

Category: Estate car

The Peugeot 406 Estate is a competent, comfortable load-hauler. It's cheap, has a lovely ride and is widely available, too

Peugeot 406 Estate (96 - 04)
  • Peugeot 406 Estate (96 - 04)
  • Peugeot 406 Estate (96 - 04)
Used Peugeot 406 Estate 1996 - 2004 review
Star rating

What's the used Peugeot 406 estate like?

In the mid-1990s, the Peugeot 406 estate was reckoned to give near-executive car levels of refinement. Other family estates have since caught up but, for the money, it remains an impressively comfortable long-haul motorway-mile cruncher.

While it won't reward you like a Mondeo on a back road, it's unruffled over bad surfaces and gives a very composed drive. The four-cylinder petrol engines are pretty gutless, but the diesels are smooth, strong and relaxed. The gearboxes are slick, too.


The Peugeot 406 Estate is a competent, comfortable load-hauler. It's cheap, has a lovely ride and is widely available, too

  • It's refined, has composed handling
  • excellent diesels and decent load space
  • The driver's seat lacks support, and room for passengers in the back is restricted

Inside, it has all the necessities, but the dashboard has a tired, 1990s look to it. Still, it's clear and simple to use and front passengers have enough room to get comfortable.

It's not as roomy in the back as some rivals, but the load bay has masses of space and the rear seat splits and folds for added versatility.

Check you're happy with the driver's seat before you commit. Some find it too unsupportive.

Ownership cost

What used Peugeot 406 estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Peugeot 406 estate?

A 406 estate should be financially painless to buy and own.

The cost of servicing is very reasonable, although maintaining the 3.0 V6 model will set you back a bit more than the rest of the range. Overall, you're looking at the same kind of money - maybe a little less - as a Ford Mondeo or Nissan Primera.

If unexpected repairs crop up, Peugeots are cheap to fix, according to Warranty Direct's data. They're also low on the company's list of frequent offenders, too.

Diesels are dead cheap to run. The 2.0 HDi models get nearly 50 miles from a gallon on the official average, the 2.2 HDi 43.5mpg. That plummets to 25mpg for the 3.0 V6 petrol, with the other petrols giving 33-35mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Peugeot 406 estate should I buy?

A diesel - it has to be. And preferably the revised model that arrived in March 1999. The changes were largely cosmetic, but it also brought more kit and the better HDi diesel engines.

The diesels will set you back more than the petrols to buy, but they're worth it. They bring willing, low-down pull and smooth cruising mixed with excellent fuel economy. Our choice would be the 110bhp 2.0 HDi, but the 2.2-litre unit is excellent, too.

The four-cylinder petrols (1.8-, 2.0- and 2.2-litres) all sound strained, and even the 2.0-litre has to work hard to give decent pull in everyday driving.

The 3.0-litre V6 is a smooth, quick motor, but the running costs make it unsuitable for most people.

LX trim is the most widely available model and it's good enough for us. GLX brings more creature comforts and Executive ramps it up to leather-trimmed bells and whistles. Cars badged 'Family' are seven-seaters, with a useful pair of occasional seats in the boot.

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