“To be known in the industry for our design” that was the thought that stuck in my head when testing the All-New Peugeot RCZ. A coupe that will be known for its unique rear headroom solution, and the chrome roof arches, Peugeot’s new goal is to be known within the car industry as the ultimate Design brand.
The 307CC was a fairly great coupe-cabriolet, it looked good, all be it slightly tubby. It handled well and offered a fairly good all-round package. However, it was getting a tad long in the tooth, and needed replacing to keep up with the market for sleek drop-tops. So enter stage left the all new 308 CC, like Barrack replacing Bush, it's a breath of fresh air, sleeker, looking lighter on its feet, innovative and all about the style and finesse.
The men maybe back…. But are they worth dating?
Rich attends the launch of the 407 Coupe to see why Peugeot are so looking so pleased…..
Well it seems to have become some what of a tradition lately, things getting me out of bed at 4.30am (and the way I'm aging it's gonna be my bladder doing it soon), but in order to get the first up close and personal look and to be able to drive the new 407 Coupe before it went on sale, up at 4.30am and to Chester it was…
On first impression it manages to look aggressive and sporty whilst still maintaining an air of sophistication and elegance. It looks long, wide and low, it's a very sexy looking car from any angle, looking almost shark like in appearance from the front, angular and powerful from the side it has a strong "American muscle car" feel about it and the back well that's just pure Italian with a very Ferrari style design. In fact it has the attributes of all the truly great Coupes and something that made the previous 406 Coupe a great car to own. It's a proper 4 seater will a massive boot, so it's practical as well as uber stylish and I have say considering Peugeot are billing the new 407 Coupe as a Grand Tourer it's just as well.
Inside Peugeot have done a great job, ultra soft leather, classical but still modern instrument panels, switches and dashboard all create a very comfortable pleasant environment to be in, Sat Nav is secreted into the dash and is immensely easy to use and fairly accurate, however there is a fairly big clink in the armour of this otherwise beautiful interior and that is the stereo, not the sound or the quality of the sound, which like everything else inside is superb. But I kid you not when I say it has got to be one of, if not the ugliest, stereos I've ever seen it just doesn't suit the interior at all, however in the greater scheme of things it's very easy to forgive and forget one mistake and it's about the only one Peugeot have made.
But here's the even bigger shock, not only did I love driving the 2.7 V6 HDI Diesel engined coupe, I actually preferred it to the 3L V6 Petrol version, power seemed to be delivered quicker, smoother and there appeared to be more oomph than in the petrol, that said the performance figures show there's no real difference between either engines 0-60 times both coming in at just over 8 seconds, however the diesel will do (combined) 33mpg compared to the V6 petrol's 27.6.
The Coupe will be sold in 3 trim versions, S SE and GT and will be available in 3 engines mated with 2 gearboxes, a 2.2 petrol manual, 3.0 V6 Manual. 3.0 V6 Auto and the 2.7 HDI diesel Auto. Pricing starts with the entry level S 2.2 Manual at £21,900 OTR right up to the top of the range 2.7 HDI GT at £30,900 OTR.
My advice…. buy the diesel and tint down those windows because if your lucky enough to get one of the 2,500 Coupe's Peugeot are making, everyone's gonna know the men are back and they are going to want to date you….a lot
I can't take it away from the big Peugeot that it's a very pretty looking estate, from the front it can look a little strange but the side and rear profiles are great and look very sporty. It is a fairly pricey estate at dead on 21k for the 2.0 HDI Sport SW and although you get a lot of standard equipment for your money, the list isn't as long as it could be with half leather being included but full leather a costly option, however 17in alloys are standard on the Sport trim and really do make the 407 look butcher than a daddy bear in the woods.
What does make the 407 SW so attractive though is the full length panoramic glass roof which makes the cabin feel airy, bright and makes it feel less enclosed when your driving it than any others I tested. Another of its special little touches that actually proves to be very useful is the rear window that opens on it's own and independently of the tailgate, which means that if you just want to throw an overnight bag into the back you can just pop the window and throw it in rather than having to go through all the hassle of opening and closing the whole tailgate.
It's very comfortable to drive and fuel wise you won't have to go without that new pair of Gucci mules to afford to run it as 45mpg is fairly easy to get by driving sensibly. So performance and spec is good although the price tag is higher, one thing I have to say though is that the 407 does suffer with the same cosmetic problem that all the whole Peugeot range suffer from and that is the butt ugly stereo system they insist on putting into an otherwise attractive dash. Yes it sounds great, but by gay god it looks like something from the 60's with huge protruding buttons and a really antiquated look and feel. So would the big pug be my first choice? No but it would be my second after the Skoda, yes it's a 3k price hike and the performance and standard kit aren't as good but I do really like the look and that glass roof gets me every time.
City cars are becoming more and more popular, even Aston Martin has one, (although it seems like they broke into a local Toyota dealership and stole an iQ and are trying to pass off as their own). But what seems to have been forgotten in all the excitement of ‘big car’ manufacturers producing small cars, are the small cars that have been there before the trend began.