1996 Peugeot 406 GLX DT from UK and Ireland


Cheap, but not really that cheerful!


- Anti- roll bar bushes need replacing

- Radio doesn't work

- Passenger electric wing mirror doesn't work

- Temp gauge doesn't move more than a few millimeters (possible thermostat)

- Central locking is loud and the locks are fiddly.

General Comments:

I bought this car as a cheap run around to replace my gorgeous BMW E39 523i, as we are moving house and I need something cheaper to run to and from work. Although the BMW was perfect in almost every way, it is just too expensive to run now that fuel is at an appalling cost.

At a first glance this car is rancid. It looks like the previous owner hasn't bothered to wash or vacuum the interior since they owned it, and therefore needs about 4 hours worth of valeting (a job for me this weekend), and it stinks inside of dog!!!

But for a car which cost me £500 and that has 8 months MOT on it, I'm pleased. OK the driving position is awful and reminds me of sitting at my desk in the office, except it feels more 1970's than anything else. I just can't find enough adjustment to make it feel comfortable, and I find myself driving this thing in a kind of sit-up and beg position.

The steering is responsive, but not weighted enough for my liking, and feels like the tyres are filled with helium. I've used better brakes on a kid's pedal go-cart than on this thing, so I'm gonna book it in to make sure everything is as it should be.

I know I'm slating this old bus, but it does have a certain charm about it. I know I'm going to enjoy cleaning it and bring it back to its former glory, but my problem is that I was spoilt rotten with my BMW, and now I'm struggling to see why I bothered buying a budget, practical car, when I could have spent a bit more money and had another Bmw. Maybe in time my opinion will change, but for now, I'll reserve complete judgment until I've driven it a bit more.

I will post updates as and when necessary.



Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th February, 2010

27th Feb 2010, 12:30

I have a 406 TD, and so does my girlfriend. I have owned many cars in my time, but this 406 of mine is the best. I paid £830 for it 3 years ago, and have taken it from 155k miles to 212k miles, with no unusual expense - tyres etc. only.

It is comfortable, reliable and economical (I get 45mpg, almost however I drive).It has just gone through the m.o.t. test again, only costing me around £100 to get it through. I use an ex Pug. mechanic who is very knowledgeable and cheap, and whom I trust - these cars are brilliant.

I must add that both of our cars are the 2.1 diesel, not the 1.9.

3rd Jun 2010, 13:13

What is the 2.1 like?

Since purchasing the car in March, I have now covered 6k miles with no issues at all. I have had the anti-roll bar bushes sorted, along with thermostat. The radio is also working now, which was an easy fix. I had it serviced a few weeks ago because I'd covered so many miles (1200 a month!) and just couldn't believe how cheap it was!! I'm now running it on V-Power diesel, which has increased the performance and economy no end! I can now achieve 600+ miles per tank of V-Power, which I think is really good.

I would love to replace it, although it's now mechanically sound, but just not sure what is going to be as reliable and economical. I quite fancy an Audi A6 2.5TDi, but these are not as frugal and are apparently problematic!!

Will keep you posted on my progress.


17th Nov 2013, 09:34

I have a 2.1 Peugeot diesel. It's a good car, but sometimes the revs are going up and down for little while, then settle, and sometimes the engine management light comes on and I lose power. I have to restart the car. I just put in Cataclean; maybe it will be fine?

1996 Peugeot 406 SRi 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


An amazing car for a bargain price, but executive turbo is better value


* Timing belt not replaced by previous owner, timing went out by 3 teeth just after I bought it.

* Broken left wing mirror, happened before I bought it.

* Broken front drop link and possible other suspension wear, happened before I bought it.

* Tracking out of alignment due to above problem.

* Exhaust blowing as car is too low for rough ground and gets damaged (have owned another 406 before this and had the same problem).

* Car was rallied and not properly maintained by previous owner, another common problem with performance 406s.

General Comments:

The car is lighter than the executive (the only other 406 with a 2.0 turbo engine) but has almost no kit - front power windows, power mirror and power sunroof only, no air con or leather or CD player. It's as raw an experience as you can get in a car noted for its comfort.

The suspension bangs and rattles more noticeably than in less aggressive models. It reminds me of the Xantia Activa (although nowhere near as noisy). Cornering lacks the amazing stability of the Xantia Activa, but it's still impressively sharp and will keep up with most other front wheel drive cars through the bends. People who say a 406 turbo is not a sporty car don't know what they are talking about. I'm not pretending it's a Prelude, I'm saying it handles really well.

The acceleration is ferocious from around 2,500rpm and the turbo comes in at 3,000rpm. Expect wheelspin in poor conditions and understeer if you push *too* hard. Good quality tyres are recommended. At 150bhp and 173lb/ft this car is vastly more powerful than the hot hatches of its time.

The car could still do with a lot more mid to high range power. It all comes in early. There's nothing from 4500rpm to the redline, only noise. However, the car can reach 60mph in second gear. You can get power easily through tuning and I am led to believe this shares the clutch and gearbox from the V6 which can stand up to about 230bhp?

This is a car designed for coming out of corners quickly, and its ability to do so will surprise the nay-sayers if they ever have a go.

Interior trim is horrible - grey with red jags - what were Peugeot thinking??

Fuel economy is horrible and it's Group 13 insurance. (The 205 GTi is only group 12.) It's not a car you can run on a shoestring budget. Fuel economy does improve on long runs. I make regular 600 mile journeys in it and it costs the earth, but I just cannot bring myself to swap the car for a turbo diesel. It's too much fun on the open road, and there's something about it that puts a smile on my face even when I'm feeling bad. Word of warning - BMW and Merc drivers will try to race you on the motorways, thinking they can beat you.

Be very careful when buying a sporty 406 as irresponsible owners rally them then sell them on without bothering to make repairs or even perform maintenance. If you can find one in good condition it's a car that you will probably want to buy before you've finished the test drive. However, the Executive is just as good in terms of performance and it's much better value for money considering you get air con, leather etc.

The car is the most beautiful saloon on the road. Compare it to the snub-nosed BMWs and bland A4s of its time. The 406 looks like it costs twice what you paid for it.

1/4 mile time is around 16.5-17 seconds by all accounts for any standard 406 turbo. Top speed is 130mph although many owners on 406 and Xantia forums claim they can hit 147mph - this is bull.

I know this is a long review, I just hope it helps.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2006

26th Dec 2006, 06:09

Hi just to say that the sri turbo does come with air con, not just air con, but climate control.

1st Jan 2007, 07:16

My SRi turbo doesn't have air con. The 1996 models were poorly equipped compared to those from 98 onwards.

8th Jul 2010, 14:10


Wow, thanks for the comments chaps. After several years and a lot of experience with tuned 406s (2.2 SRi and 3.0V6 estate), I still miss this old SRi turbo in spite of its flaws - which were mostly due to French lack of electronic reliability, and also a lack of TLC from owners before me. The head gasket blew eventually and I sold the car dirt cheap.

I've got to say that nothing I have owned since (the above-mentioned 406s and a Renault Laguna) have not put the same smile on my face as the old 2.0 turbo model. Yeah the V6 was much, much faster - unbelievably so - but it was the estate model, and the handling was not quite on a par with the saloon (although a few quid on maintenance and buying lower profile tyres would have helped).

The 2.2 is a more refined replacement for the 2.0 turbo unit. It responds very well to tuning and I was pushing 190bhp with a Collins powerchip, full stainless exhaust and induction kit. But this was the mark 2 model (also known as D9 by enthusiasts), and its weight was noticeably greater, which meant the handling leaned more towards understeer than the mark 1 turbo.

My advice for a genuine 406 enthusiast would be the mark 1 (D8) models which I believe were made from 1996-1999 or 2000, since they are about 100kg (?) lighter than the mark 2, and the handling is more entertaining. Get the 2.0 turbo, 2.1 turbo diesel or 3.0 V6 as these all offer exciting power delivery, decent grip and a lively drive. All reasonably powerful 406s will respond well to tuning, providing you keep them in good condition and make sure you change the oil.