2000 Peugeot 406 TS4 2.2 petrol from Denmark
Refined, solid, great-handling Gallic masterpiece
The speedometer dips to 0 and then jumps back to the correct speed; this has happened three times while I've had the car. This is a relatively common fault with the speed sensor on the gearbox on both the Peugeot 406 and the Citroën Xantia, with which it shared its platform.
High oil usage, especially when driven hard. Nearly 1 litre in 4000km. Even when new, this is a particular trait of the 2.2 petrol engine, due to high PCV pressure.
Other than that, nothing apart from the expected wear and tear on a 12-year old car.
A real driver comfort-oriented tourer, with long service intervals (1 year/30,000km) and extremely competent handling.
The 2.2 petrol engine is a bit thirsty by modern standards (8.7l/100km), but it's also smooth, has good torque and makes a great noise.
The gearbox is serviceable, but not the best I've used. Throws are rather long and the synchros can be a bit sluggish on downshifts, especially when cold. Ratios are good for a 5-speed box, with 130km/h corresponding to 3300rpm.
The TS trim level trades a bit of comfort for a stiffer setup that pays dividends in the corners. Only the Mondeo from the same era could match it for price/handling ratio, and it's still among the best today. The high-speed ride is very comfortable and the car gently smooths out bumpy motorway or highway surfaces.
Interior quality is solid and well built, instruments are clear and easily readable, and the multifunction display has the most important information at a glance. Buttons and switchgear have a very plasticky feeling to them, though.
The stock Clarion stereo has great sound and supports an optional CD changer. I've added an AUX input to the CD changer port instead so I can use my MP3 player. The adapter is cheap, and any Peugeot dealer should be able to unlock the CD changer functionality in a couple of minutes.
Seats are comfortable and have a large range of adjustment. Huge amounts of space in the back seat as well; the 406 seats 5 adults no problem.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd September, 2012
The sensor is more of an issue, as it is located around the back of the gearbox, and is virtually impossible to get to (as is the gearbox oil filler).
Do a compression test; I bet you have some valve issues.
Real bad guides can let exhaust into a crankcase like you wouldn't believe. Also faulty valve stem o-ring cause oil consumption.
And a PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) port on an intake that blows, well you have some intake valves out of adjustment, or burned, or about to pull into the head.
Is there a pulsation to the blow?
As for the soft outer body, all Peugeot's have very hardened chassis, so the outer car cell, has to be soft, to absorb collision impact energy...
Compression is like new, checked by an expert Peugeot mechanic. According to him (and 15 years of Peugeot experience) the 2.2 just burns a certain amount of oil, there's no way around it. There are 2.2s with over 350K km that have had more or less the same oil usage for their entire lives.
It is literally impossible to find a Peugeot 2.2 that doesn't burn oil. It's like the Alfa Romeo Twinspark engine, you have to check the oil level once a month, it's expected routine maintenance.
Besides, the oil recommended by Peugeot is quite inexpensive.
I haven't found the bodywork on my car soft, but then again I usually refrain from hitting things :-)