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Peugeot 407 3.0 ST Executive

Broadcast dates : 26th September  2004
30th September 2004

With the launch of the 407, it seems as if Peugeot is determined to shed its straight-suit image once and for all.

The new car that set tongues a wagging at the Geneva Auto Salon earlier this year, is a dramatic leap into the future from a stylistic point of view. Many people have commented on its resemblance to classic Ferrari models from years past.

What makes the metamorphosis even more dramatic is that the car it replaced, the 406, was typically Peugeot pin-stripe. The 407 is a family sedan with the profile of a Gran Turismo exotic, more at home on the Cote dí Azure than in gloomy Parisian parking garages.

The model Car Torque reviews today is the top-of-the-line 3.0 ST Executive, available only with an automatic transmission. Other models in the range include 2,0-litre and 2,2-litre versions with a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes.

The three-litre V6 is one of the smoothest on the market, being an up-rated version of the engine that powered the 406. It produces 155 kW @ 6 000 rpm and 290 Newton meters of torque at 3 750 rpm. A good, solid power delivery that doesnít set any records but perfectly suited to the elegant appeal of the 407.

Itís the new gearbox that is the icing on the cake. Developed by Porsche, this Tiptronic system is the epitome of smoothness and also provides real sportiness when the Sport mode is selected.

Performance figures are not dramatic, with a 0-100 km/h time of 9,2 seconds claimed and a top speed of 235 km/h. But itís the effortless manner in which the 407 delivers its performance thatís impressive.

The variable hydraulic steering is similarly communicative and the ride is refined with excellent grip provided by the 215-55 tyres, riding on 17-inch alloy wheels.

The only slight annoyance is a tendency for the car to be over-reactive to bumps and ripples at low speeds, pointing to a slight geometry mismatch at the rear of the car, giving a jiggly effect until the car is up to speed.

Another low-speed criticism is the possibility of scraping that long French nose, due to the lengthy overhang ahead of the front wheels. Care needs to be taken when exiting steep driveways, and over speed bumps.

Safety was high on the 407 design teamís list of priorities. It gained the top five-star rating in the European New Car Programme or N-Cap tests. There are front and side airbags, seat-mounted airbags and curtain airbags, as well as ISOFIX child seat mounts, and safety belt pre-tensioners and load limiters.

Comfort and convenience items include air-conditioning with climate control, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, full leather trim, a remote rear sun blind and high-quality CD shuttle and audio pack.

The R309 990 price includes a five-year-100 000 km maintenance plan and a three-year warranty.

Peugeot 407 3.0 ST Executive
  • Engine: V6, transverse, 2 946 cc
  • Power: 156 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque 290 Nm @ 3 750 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed Automatic "Tiptronic", front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 9,2 seconds
  • Top speed: 233 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 9,8 litres/100 km
  • Price: R309 900

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