I was somewhat dubious regarding what the quality would be like, given some reviews I have read and my experience with Peugeot's in the past. I can say that I need not have worried. The build quality is very good and the car is generally very solidly screwed together.
The handling and comfort is sublime, the seats being supportive and the leather trim is superb. Every conceivable extra is fitted as standard including the excellent satellite navigation. The stereo (250 watts) is also very impressive.
The diesel engine is very refined, reliable and offers strong performance. I can accelerate up steep hills in fifth gear from 40 miles per hour. My v6 Omega with manual transmission needed fourth or even third gear to achieve this. I am also averaging about 51 miles per gallon on a 50 mile journey, half motorway, half A and B roads.
This is a company vehicle, and I had a choice of over 1500 vehicle models. It is still one of the most attractive designs, still probably has the best comfort/handling compromise (I have tried the Toyota Avensis. Good as it is, the Peugeot is more solid and more comfortable. Push your finger into the C pillar on an Avensis!). When I went to a dealer he had sold two 406's that week and like me, the buyers had narrowed their choice down to the Avensis and the 406. Funny that!
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable car to own and drive. Don't discount a vehicle just because it isn't a new design. Next to some new designs the 406 still looks far sleeker.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd October, 2003