Great car, wrong engine
Speedo and rev counter needles jumping around like crazy before quitting altogether.
Mileage being added to the odometer when the car was stationary.
Gearbox oil seal failed, contaminating clutch plates.
The 406 was an attractive car which was faultlessly comfortable, nicely made and rode and handled superbly.
Biggest gripe was the almost dangerous lack of performance from the 1.9 TD in this heavy shell. Okay, a diesel saloon is never going to be a sports car, but this is one of the slowest cars I've driven for a long time. The engine is a typical Pug diesel in that it is very quiet and smooth, but it's obviously just overwhelmed by the 406's bulk. In cut and thrust city traffic, or fast B-roads, I often found my right foot welded to the floor and my body rocking back and forth in the vain attempt to coax more acceleration from the car!
The fact that the car is both heavy, and quite seriously underpowered hits fuel consumption quite hard. A low of 32 mpg is fairly atrocious for a diesel car of this performance, and a long-run high of 45, whilst not exactly thirsty, isn't stunning either. My thought was that the consumption did not compensate for the lack of grunt.
The chassis was superb, offering a wonderfully smooth ride. Steering feel was good, and the brakes were powerful and reassuring. Despite its size, the 406 was a joy to punt around twisty roads, with superb body control and sharp turn-in.
Unusually for a Peugeot, the interior was well made, and used decent materials. Driving position was good, and standard equipment also generous. Reliability was okay, but considering I had the car only a short time, there were a lot of niggling problems. The dealers were quite offhand and kept the car for a while.
A good, satisfying car as it was, if it had had the 2.0 petrol or even the 2.1 TD engine under the bonnet it would have been near perfect.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th July, 2001