With its supercar-style snout and dramatically raked rear side windows, the SW eschews the traditional boxy look of upper-medium estates and instead ploughs its own design furrow.
So when we took delivery of our car, an SE-spec model with a few niceties from the options list (the Luxury Park added electrically-adjustable leather/cloth seats and parking sensors and we also opted for metallic paint) and the 2.2-litre petrol engine, we were keen to see if it was ‘all mouth and no trousers’.
Pretty soon after KR04 ZNV arrived in our car park back in February, it became clear that the 407 had the credentials to live up to its dramatic looks.
First and foremost, the 2.2-litre petrol engine with 160bhp is a gem, offering the choice between laid back driving for those not in a hurry, and a willingness to rev for those who want to press on a little.
Then there’s the chassis which offers crisp turn-in to corners and a high degree of composure at speed, while not becoming stiff and uncomfortable in the process.
The only downside is economy, and this engine really won’t be the first choice for company car drivers with one eye on their fuel bills. During our six months with the car we averaged 29.2mpg, very close to Peugeot’s claimed combined figure of 31.6mpg, but a world away from what you could expect from one of Peugeot’s excellent HDi diesels.
I’m sure we could have bettered Peugeot’s economy figure if the car had been in the keep of some less lead-footed drivers, but the sporting nature of the engine and chassis meant it was pretty much always driven enthusiastically during its time with us.
Elsewhere, the 407 SW impressed us with its Tardis-like boot. From the outside it doesn’t appear to be that capacious, but underneath all that elegant metal over the rear wheels is a surprisingly spacious boot. Peugeot doesn’t make any bold claims for the 407 SW being a load-lugger, but it can handle pretty much anything up to large furniture with ease.
We will certainly miss the sleek silver sports wagon in our car park and its drivers will miss the enjoyment it delivered behind the wheel. The 407 SW is a fine-looking car with the substance to back up its style. Just go for a diesel version.
Model: Peugeot 407 SW 2.2 SE
Price (OTR): £19,300 (£20,025 as tested)
Final mileage: 10,750
CO2 emissions (g/km): 214
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 22% tax-payer: £108 per month
Insurance group: 14
Combined mpg: 31.6
Test mpg: 29.2
CAP Monitor residual value: £5,050/28%
HSBC contract hire rate: £392
Total expenditure: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles
What the team thought
MARMITE… you love it or hate it. And it was the same with our long term 407SW. I was firmly in the former camp. The SW’s looks were, and still are, so refreshingly different and belie its true load-carrying capabilities.
Neither a hatchback nor full estate, the SW occupies a relatively uncrowded niche with few competitors. Even as a relatively tax-inefficient prospect our 2.2-litre-engined SW was always a cracking drive.
Throw in excellent range-wide driving dynamics and you have a car for the keen driver wanting to stand out from the crowd. My own preference would have been for the much torquier and far more economical 2.0 HDi 136. But crucially, for the buyer/driver, a wide choice of engines is available.