Thursday, December 18, 2008

Peugeot 4007


The 4007 is Peugeot's first SUV - well, sort of. It's actually built for Peugeot (and for Citroen, which is selling it as the C-Crosser) by Mitsubishi. It's basically an Outlander, but with different front-end design, taillights and interior trim, and slightly retuned suspension, brakes and steering.

The 4007's Japanese roots are no bad thing, though, as the Outlander is a fine family vehicle. It has a spacious five-seat cabin with an extra pair of fold-out occasional seats (optional in the Outlander, which is also offered in five-seat-only format) and a useful, if not hardcore, selectable four-wheel-drive system. It's a decent drive, with car-like handling, and should be easy to live with.

Just one engine is offered in the 4007, Peugeot's 156bhp 2.2-litre HDI diesel, a choice not available until the end of 2007 in the Outlander, which currently comes with a Volkswagen-sourced 2.0-litre, 138bhp diesel engine.

Peugeot is pitching two specification levels, SE (climate control, CD/MP3 player, stability control, cruise control, roof bars, 16-inch alloys) and GT (18-inch alloys, leather upholstery, CD autochanger, rear parking sensors, xenon headlamps, tinted rear glass and heated/electrically-adjustable driver's seat). Options include Bluetooth phone kit, metallic paint, colour satellite navigation, and a rear-view camera. Prices start from a very reasonable £22,790.

Reliability and Quality

It's built by Mitsubishi, known for making tough, durable 4x4s despite some glitches in recent years, and has Peugeot's own diesel engine, which should also prove reliable. However, this is an all-new unit with complex electronic systems - not generally a Peugeot strong point.

The 4007 looks well put together so far, though, and like the Outlander, has a plain but nicely-finished cabin. The optional leather upholstery is of a decent quality.

On the road

Here's where the 4007 scores. As high-riding SUVs go, it's one of the more enjoyable to drive, with well-controlled body roll and a responsive suspension system. It does not feel top heavy, thanks to its aluminium roof, and there is the added reassurance of stability control. There's a good view out through the large, oblong windscreen, expansive side windows and wraparound rear windscreen.

In normal driving conditions the 4007 is front-wheel drive but a circular dial in the centre console allows the selection of automatic four-wheel-drive (up to 55% of torque to the rear axle, depending on speed) and a 'lock' mode with a 50:50 front:rear torque split, for when surfaces get slippery. Think of this as an aid for difficult on-road driving conditions or negotiating the odd field or unsurfaced track rather than a system capable of climbing mountains and crossing deserts, but in truth, the 4007 is as intrepid an off-roader as most SUV buyers will ever need. It's capable of towing up to 2000kg.

This PSA 2.2 HDI engine is smoother and quieter than the Volkswagen 2.0 in the Outlander, and with a top speed of 124mph and a 0-60mph time of 9.9 seconds, it's substantially quicker, too. It develops much more torque (285lb ft), and thus gives additional strength mid-range, especially useful for overtaking and towing.

The engine works well with Peugeot's six-speed manual gearbox, but this is a little stiff and it's easy to select the wrong gear. However, it should loosen up with use.

Safety and Security

Six airbags are fitted as standard: two front, two side and two full-length 'curtain' airbags. There are ISOFIX child seat mounting points in all three of the rear seats, and stability and traction control are standard - the former is a must-have in an SUV with a high centre of gravity.

The Outlander has scored a respectable four stars for overall occupant protection in the Euro NCAP crash tests, with particularly good results for side impact protection. It also scored three (out of four) for child occupant protection. The 4007 hasn't been tested yet, but as it shares the same basic structure, it should achieve similar results - though it may do better than the Outlander's two stars for pedestrian protection, with its different front-end design.

Security-wise, the 4007 is kitted out with a rolling-code immobiliser, a Thatcham Category 1 alarm, deadlocks, locking wheel nuts and visible VIN.

Running costs

Depreciation is an unknown quantity here, as Peugeot's not exactly known for its 4x4s, but the 4007 is not expensive in the first place.

It should be little more expensive than a powerful 407 to run. It returns 39.2mpg and 191g/km of carbon dioxide, keeping it out of the highest tax bands. It's also worth noting that this 2.2 HDI diesel engine can run on a 30% biodiesel blend (B30), if you can find this fuel, which gives a small tax-break.

Comfort and equipment

As a five-seater, the 4007 is good and roomy, with plenty of space for adults in the rear, loads of headroom and elbowroom, and a great big boot with one-touch flat-folding seats. The floor is high, but the luggage area is unobstructed, and easily accessed via a two-part tailgate with a lower section that folds out flat. It's hardly a seven-seater, however: the pop-up sixth and seven seats are for children only, as adults will only get in there in desperate situations.

Both SE and GT-badged models are well-equipped, SE having all the necessaries and GT the trimmings (the parking sensors are worth having, though, even if you could live without leather seats). No input socket for an iPod, though.

Even on the GT's 18-inch alloy wheels, the 4007 rides nicely. It's not quite as stiffly-sprung as the Outlander and offers a bit more give over bumps, ruts and rough surfaces.

Used value

Price Range: £23,095 to £25,695

Value for money; fun to drive; good diesel engine; roomy cabin for five people.

Not a real seven-seater; not a proper Peugeot, nor a 'proper' 4x4.

A practical and easy-to-own alternative to a conventional estate car.

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