Fleet News

Peugeot 406 Coupe 2.2 HDi SE



THE merits or otherwise of our long term Peugeot 406 HDi Coupe came up for discussion the other day between myself and chief sub-editor Richard Wayte. 'Why,' he asked me, 'would anyone pay more for less?'

And after looking through the price lists, I had to admit he had a point. At £24,995 on-the-road, this model is £4,245 more than the 406 HDi Executive saloon, but has less space and fewer doors.

So what exactly does the coupe driver get for his or her money?

Well, for starters this vehicle is probably the best looking upper-medium car on the roads today. Editor Jonathan Manning summed it up in his last road test as 'Ferrari styling'. Secondly, the coupe driver gets Peugeot's excellent common rail HDi powerplant.

The 2.2-litre unit gives the car a 0-60mph time of 10.6 seconds and a top speed of 129mph, while offering amazing fuel economy of 44.1mpg on the combined cycle.

Thirdly, the 406 coupe offers fleet drivers the lowest tax bill possible of 18% of list price under the new CO2-based benefit-in-kind system which comes into effect in April.

The car emits a lowly 168g/km of CO2 so the 406 coupe driver can live safe in the knowledge that he or she is doing his or her bit for the environment while saving a packet on tax.

In our last test (Fleet News November 22, 2001), the editor stated rather grandly that this car was devoid of options as everything came as standard.

Much as I hate to contradict the boss, he isn't quite right on that score. Metallic paint comes at £250 and it is an option I'd definitely choose. This car is bright red, but it looks rather downmarket without the added sparkle that metallic paint gives. It could mean that at selling time, the car will be worth a lot less.

You also have to cough up £410 for an electric sunroof - another option I'd choose.

So with all this on offer, the benefits of this car become clearer.

What I really don't understand is why CAP Monitor predicts such dismal residual values for this car after three-years/60,000-miles.

At 29%, it makes the 406 coupe an expensive wholelife proposition for the cost-conscious fleet manager. I would have thought the rarity value of these cars and their stunning good looks would have made them a good prospect on the secondhand market, but then again, I am not a residual value expert.

On the gripes front, my son complained that the electric switches on the side of the passenger seat were almost impossible to operate with the door closed and just last night when I had to take him and two 20-year-old mates to the pub, we were squashed in like sardines. You certainly wouldn't want to undertake a long journey, four-up.

Also the windscreen washers mysteriously packed up, just when the weather turned slushy after Christmas and I needed them most. A trip to the garage for such an annoying fault is a major annoyance.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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