Fleet News

Peugeot 406 Coupe 2.2 HDi SE

Peugeot

Review

IT had to happen. In the worst of the winter weather, our Peugeot 406 Coupe's windscreen washers decided to call it a day.

The headlamp washers were still working, so logic decreed that the reservoir hadn't split if the fluid wasn't strong enough to resist freezing in the sub-zero temperatures we had experienced over the few days before.

Next thing to check was the pipes from the reservoir to the jets - but pulling the column lever and checking round the car didn't reveal any puddles.

OK, so it could be the fuses. The handbook showed their location and how to remove the cover. It also had a nice graphic showing the layout and position of each fuse. Great!

This is where things started to go wrong, so bear with me as this turns into a saga. Unclipping the cover revealed ... a layout nothing like the one in the handbook.

Not much of a problem, I thought, just look at all the red (10 amp) fuses and see which one had blown.

But it wasn't obvious. Ah, I thought, I'll whip them out one by one. Peugeot had supplied a little plastic bag with a selection of replacements, so I thought I would be on my way again in no time.

I tried to release the easiest one to get to but even with my average sized fingers there was not enough space around it and I couldn't get enough grip to pull it out. Surely Peugeot supplied a plastic puller? My experience with other marques over the years had led me to expect one.

Well, it wasn't with the spare fuses, nor was it clipped to anywhere on the fusebox. How about the glovebox? No! What about the tool kit? Again, a blank. Oh well, a call to our local dealer, Marshall Peugeot of Peterborough, would surely result in a quick fix.

Wrong! 'We can't do anything for another week,' was the reply, and we were not even given the opportunity to drive the car to them for a quick check there and then - a huge contrast to the service I received from our local Renault dealer when our long-term Laguna's tyre pressure monitoring system was playing up.

The upshot of all this is that the 406 spent a week off the road. Unnecessarily, as it turned out, because Marshall Peugeot found the problem to be ... a blown fuse, which I could have sorted out in seconds had the appropriate puller been available, or equally Marshall's could have done in the same length of time.

I'm sure any fleet manager would not be best pleased if one of his or her vehicles was off the road for that period simply because a dealer didn't think ahead and realise the benefits of all the goodwill that would be generated by a simple, quick check.

That aside, our Coupe is a pleasure to drive - comfortable, extremely refined and economical, combined with stunning looks that never fail to attract admiring glances. The only gripes are those mentioned in previous reports: the flimsy indicator stalk, lack of a rear wiper and poorly-positioned seat adjustment switches.

The 406 is waiting to go back to Marshall Peugeot because the electronic check panel is telling lies. It says the fuel filler cap is open, but it isn't. Once again we had to wait a week, but this time the fault doesn't threaten to take the car off the road. At the same time, Marshall's has said it will check the action of the indicator stalk.

This little episode perhaps proves that, despite the 406 Coupe's looks and dynamic abilities, Peugeot still has some way to go if it wants to compete head-on with the prestige marques for image, residual value or service standards

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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