1996 Peugeot 405 1.9 turbo diesel


Cheap, reliable, huge. Perfect


Didn't start one day, due to the fact the previous owner hadn't put the earth on the battery properly. Simple fix.

Lots of clonking from the front suspension. I am going to get it checked out - lots of torque steer when accelerating lightly, so something is not right.

Brakes not brilliant, but do the job okay - it is a large car after all.

General Comments:

Starts first time. Idles great. No excessive smoke. Cruises at 80mph @ 3000rpm and returns approx 55mpg. Handles quite well for a large car. Very powerful feeling from 60-90mph.

Mine is the estate, and it's got tons of boot space.

Don't like the seats much, they're quite bucket-like, which is annoying. Might swap them out for older style seats, which are flatter and softer.

Paintwork was a mess due to lack of care from previous owners. No rust as it's galvanised, but lots of scratches. I have painted the car with a roller, and looks much better hehe.

Hoping to keep it another year and see if I can get it to 300k on the clock - will be the highest mileage car I've ever owned. Brilliant!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2011

2nd Jul 2012, 15:42

I had to scrap it at around 250k. I drove through lots of floods and it sounded a bit belty afterwards. Started to need money spending on it. Probably should have maintained it, was a great car. Fond memories...

R.I.P. Olive drab Pug.

1996 Peugeot 405 Quasar 1.9 turbo diesel


A superb, reliable workhorse


Battery went flat, although that was purely because I ran out of diesel and accidentally left the flashers on for hours! So not really the fault of the car...

General Comments:

I bought this car for £295 as a short term measure, after my Renault Laguna didn't so much fail its MOT, as wipe it's rear on the certificate, and it proved to be the best car I've ever owned. I kept expecting it to break down, and yet it ploughed on and on and on, and returned 50+ mpg every time.

The body work was poor (it was 13 years old when I got it), but mechanically it was superb, and never gave me a moment's trouble (other than the self inflicted one with the fuel and battery). Alright, interior wise, it was quite poor. It may have been registered in 1996, but the design was introduced in 1988, and you could tell (much to the amusement of my brother when he saw it), but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one!

I now have an MG ZT-T, but felt a little guilty giving up my car when it had done nothing wrong! I couldn't help but think of 'Boxer' in 'Animal Farm' when I traded it in, knowing full well it would probably be scrapped!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2009

1996 Peugeot 405 GTX DT 1.9 turbo diesel


Rugged all-rounder


Front suspension arm bushes (£36 in parts)

Clutch (£110 in parts)

Glow-plugs (£20 in parts)

1x injector (£25 for a set of 4 fairly knackered but useable ones)

Wheel bearing (£20 in parts)

General Comments:

One of the last true Peugeots, with simple, rugged mechanicals and elegant styling by Pininfarina no less.

I think Peugeot now employs gargoyle sculptors to design their cars (see the grotesque 308).

GTX specification is reasonable, it sat one level below the top of the range 'Executive' towards the end of the 405's life, but isn't as well specified as earlier mid-top range models.

Mine comes with (working) air-conditioning, alloy wheels, electric mirrors, electric windows all-round, fog lights, chrome roof rails (fancy!), etc.

The interior is a bit dated in the way some minor switches are scattered about, but the instruments are crisp and all the important switchgear is easy to find. There is a steering column-mounted remote control for the radio, made necessary by Peugeot mounting the radio at the very bottom of the centre console when the 405's interior was updated in 1993.

Build quality is fine, with no squeaks and very little detached trim. Only the plastic door lock switches are a weak point, with a couple of them working loose.

Its seats are sofa-like, yet still supportive. It's one of the most comfortable cars I've driven, and I rarely feel fatigued after driving it over long distances.

Interior space is very good, but front headroom could be better - the sunroof impinges on headroom quite a bit.

It's quite a small estate car, but the boot is enormous with minimal suspension intrusion and a low loading sill. The rear seats fold flat to create a greater loading area. At 6' 3" I can sleep in the back quite comfortably!

Peugeot and Citroen broke new ground in the early '80s with the smooth and revvy - compared with contemporary diesels - XUD engine. Citroen boasted that you could balance a coin in the engine bay with the engine running! Not bad for a diesel.

It still impresses today, with good mid-range performance and excellent fuel economy - 50MPG (5.6l/100km) is an easily achievable average if you stick between 50 and 70MPH. For a diesel it sounds quite characterful, with little clatter apart from at idle - it sounds a bit like a gruff old overhead valve petrol engine once up to speed, with a bit of turbo whistle.

Peugeot made a big noise about the ride and handling of their cars in the '80s and '90s. 21 years after the 405's launch it's still a satisfying car to drive, with a neutral balance to the slightly roly-poly handling and excellent ride quality. The car doesn't carry quite enough weight to soak up the worst bumps though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th March, 2009