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.