1996 Peugeot 405 GTX DT 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


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

1996 Peugeot 405 GLX estate 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A cheap runaround


There has always been intermittent electrical problems.

The catalytic part of the exhaust system started blowing at around 78,000 miles, on closer inspection it had blown a lot earlier and had been repaired with exhaust sealer.

The battery died at around 82,000 miles.

The door hinges grind and squeak, even though they have been oiled/greased on numerous occasions, which in turn has split the body on both sides at the rear doors.

The trim around the tailgate has mostly fallen off.

The whole car rattles at 2,700 rpm until I thrash it, which makes it horrible to drive on a motorway (to avoid the rattle I have to drive under 60mph or over 80mph).

The remote key is unreliable, Carry a spare battery for it.

General Comments:

This car handles very nicely, and is quick if you're prepared to rev it WAY up close to the red line, but at low revs its gutless.

The Heating/air con is tops, it warms up quickly on a cold morning, and the air con is great when your stuck in London traffic on a hot day, the only downside to it is when it rains all the windows steam up like no other car I've ever owned (even after De-greasing the windows with methylayted spirits).

The load space of the estate is pretty good, I can fit a two seater sofa inside and my dogs with space to spare.

The cabin feels quite restrictive, with a heavy clutch and cramped pedals, there isn't much "out of view" storage space for things like sunglasses or Cd's.

It's very good on petrol, but that is offset by the spare part prices and frequency of replacements.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th January, 2003