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What we have here is ... deep breath … a Peugeot 407 SW 2.2 HDi 170 Sport RT4 Multimedia.
Or, to put it more plainly, a 407 diesel estate with virtually every optional extra bar the kitchen sink thrown at it.
Launched earlier this year, the Sport trim level slots in one below the range-topping GT specification and is aiming to attract more user-choosers to the range.
And, to be honest, Peugeot needs to spark some interest in the model as sales have fallen away quite severely – down by around 40% last year.
The Sport version is a welcome fillip for the 407, as it’s a range that has been overshadowed by the glut of recent launch activity from Peugeot, with the 207 hatchbacks followed by CC, SW and sporty GTi versions and now the impending 307 replacement – logically called 308.
The 407 still has a couple of years to run until the 408 comes along, so Peugeot will be hoping the sports bodykit, 18-inch alloy wheels and well-specced interior of the Sport XS will see it through until then. But it’s not all cosmetic additions.
Our car also comes with the all-new RT4 system, a cover-all name for an entire multimedia world beneath the dashboard.
It includes a colour screen mounted in the centre console which delivers the satellite navigation mapping and advice, plus a 30-gigabyte hard drive which allows you to download up to 180 hours of music in MP3 format.
And when the vehicle is stationary, it can display photographs or even films.
Also, in light of the focus on health and safety issues, there’s voice recognition software to control the mobile phone and navigation, meaning you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel or divert your eyes away from the road.
It all sounds very clever, and indeed it is most of the time, although our car is suffering from an intermittent fault on the unit and will cut out and then reboot a few seconds later.
I’m no electrical systems specialist, but I reckon there’s a loose connection somewhere behind the dashboard because on the drive in to work the other morning the glitch coincided with going over a speed bump.
The 407 will be off to the local dealer in the next few days to have the problem investigated, and while it’s there we’ll ask them to sort out the windscreen washer jets which have given up the ghost.
Again, it appears to be a poor connection as water drizzles out from where the base of the jet housing sits on the bonnet.
These glitches aside, the 407 is proving an appealing addition to our long-term fleet.
For a start, it looks really smart with its deep black paint, tinted rear windows and styling kit.
Inside, the sporty, techno feel continues with nicely bolstered front seats and large swathes of metallic silver trim on the centre console, helping to relieve the predominantly black cabin trim.
Another item that helps relieve the darkness is the huge panoramic sunroof that stretches along the length of the roof.It’s worth craning your neck from the driver’s seat to take in the huge amount of light it floods into the car.
Handily, there’s also an electric sunblind which can make the cabin feel much cosier when the sun isn’t shining.
It’s also worth pulling this cover back into place when parking the car in sunlight as it can act as a giant greenhouse for the car when it’s hot – we’ve discovered this to our cost on a couple of occasions.
To match the 407’s sporting intentions we’ve opted for the 2.2-litre HDi turbodiesel engine, delivering 170bhp.
It’s not the most powerful diesel on offer – there’s a 3.0-litre V6 unit with 205bhp – but it offers a strong blend of performance and economy.
With 277lb-ft of torque, the 2.2 HDi has more than enough low-down torque to make acceleration pretty effortless – even third gear will pull from low revs with little complaint thanks to the twin turbochargers.
The smaller turbo chimes in first to offer more instantaneous boost and is then followed by the larger unit for greater power once the car is on the move.
Peugeot claims the engine will return an average of 45.5mpg, although so far we haven’t got anywhere near this figure.
Now the engine is properly run in, the car will be undertaking more long-distance work and we expect to see our 35.0mpg figure improve significantly as the motorway miles roll by.
The manufacturer’s view
The 407 SW gives the fleet customer a great lifestyle alternative to more conventional estate cars.
With a panoramic glass roof as standard allowing in masses of natural light, the interior of a 407 SW is a pleasant place to be.
On top of this, there are also environmental benefits with all 407 HDi diesel engine derivatives offering a particulate filter system as standard and the ability to operate on a blend of up to 30% biodiesel without any modification.
Colin Tullock, national fleet sales manager, Peugeot
Price: £22,525 (£24,025 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 165
Company car tax bill (2007) 40% tax-payer: £190 per month
Insurance group: 14E
Combined mpg: 45.5
Test mpg: 35.0
CAP Monitor RV: £7,175/29%
Contract hire rate: £551
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles
Equipment and options
Price (OTR): £22,525
Price as tested: £24,025