- We like...Specification;ride
- We don't...Small load area
Big car, but the load area's on the small side. Is this easy-riding estate car good enough to appeal, all the same?Deep, slabby doors and heavy-looking flanks. The 407 SW’s a big car, and looks it. But then SW stands for ‘Station Wagon’, a name brought from the US, where it describes estate cars – usually vast ones.
But, here’s the puzzle. Despite the name, and the way that it looks, the 407’s load area is teeny – smaller than a Ford Focus estate’s, which is (of course) a much smaller car. So it dsn’t cut it as a conventional estate. Think of it as a super-big five-door hatchback and you’ll be close to the mark.
What it misses in size it makes up in part with sheer usefulness, though. There are plenty of storage spaces, plus a luggage net and lashing looks and pegs to keep everything in place. There are also charging points for phones, games or laptops throughout the cabin.
Space for five looks generous – but it isn’t. Those in the back get more headroom than they need and generous shoulder room, too. But leg room is tight unless those up front are short and so keep their seats pushed well forward. From the driver’s viewpoint, it’s a great car, though – easy to get comfortable in thanks to the big, rather soft seat that adjusts in every direction, plus steering that ds likewise.
And if you go for the 2.2-litre 170bhp diesel, it makes for a smooth, easy drive. This engine’s quiet once it gets warm and surfs the car along on a big wave of the low-revs power that big diesels field so well. It rides with that lovely ‘lope’ that anyone who’s driven a 306 or 406 will know but which vanished from Peugeots for a generation. Now it’s back and the 407 SW feel s so much for it. It mixes a soft-ish ride with well-sorted body control. You’d push it harder through a bend, if only the steering fed back a little more of what it was up to.
We make the point, because the 170bhp diesel comes only with the ‘Sport’ model. But there’s little in the way the car handles to justify that monicker, nor in the way the car looks inside or out. Think of it instead as a quick, smooth long-distance runner and read it right.
Mind you, if you do go for the Sport you’ll be treated to a winning spec that includes satellite navigation, leather seats, parking sensors, climate controlled air con and a three-quarters length glass roof with electric blind.
Second-hand, this 407’s a bargain. It suffers big early-years falls in value, so a two-year-old costs little more than half-price to buy.
Should you buy one? It’s a handsome car, and Sports models like ours are exceptionally well equipped. Yet, if you’re thinking of it because you need to carry loads, the estate variants of the Ford Mondeo or the new Vauxhall Insignia will do you better for similar money – just because they can carry so much more. They’ll be better to drive, too.
For new and second-hand Peugeot 407 SWs, go to motors.co.uk
- Engines2.2 diesel
- 0-60 mph9.0secs
- Insurance groups14
Motors.co.uk value verdict: