With celebrity reunions all the rage at the moment, I’m sure my neighbours are thinking I’m hosting rehearsals for a Christmas special of the Little and Large Show.
It’s not that they’ve spotted Sid or Eddie creeping into my home with joke books under their arms, but Fleet News’ Peugeot 407 SW long-termer has joined its smallest sibling – my 107 – on the drive.
As you would expect, the city car is dwarfed by the 407. In fact, there have been times when I’ve looked backwards from the 407’s driver’s seat and tried to convince myself that, with the rear seats folded down, the luggage space may just be long enough for the 107 to squeeze into.
And it’s not just space that the SW can offer.
Our model is equipped with the RT4 multi-media system containing the satellite navigation, stereo and a 30GB hard drive for storing music, as well as the climate control, on-board computer and telephone.
It’s an impressive piece of technology but, unfortunately, I don’t find it particularly user-friendly.
It has also switched itself off a couple of times for no apparent reason.
The worth of the 30GB jukebox is also questionable.
Copying music on to it is straightforward enough – you just pop in a CD and navigate your way through a few menus until you reach the “create album” option.
Select this, enter the album name by selecting its letters one by one using the rotary dial, and then wait. And wait. And then wait some more.
It helps if you’re not in a hurry as it takes up to 20 minutes to copy one CD, meaning that to fill the jukebox up to its limit of 180 hours of music would take an inordinately long amount of time.
Fortunately, you can listen to the CD while it is copying to help pass the time, but it is a much better idea to simply connect a portable MP3 player to the stereo via the auxiliary socket in the glovebox.
Driving the 407 is a more enjoyable experience as the combination of the smooth 170bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine and excellent suspension make it a swift and comfortable drive.
I’ve spent some time with the new Ford Mondeo recently and although the Blue Oval offers better handling and a more involving drive, I’d probably choose the 407 ahead of it if my usual route included a lot of motorway driving for its extra comfort.
I am disappointed with the fuel returns – it is averaging 37.3mpg, against the official combined figure of 45.5mpg – but there is little else to grumble about in such an eyecatching estate.
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: 14
Combined mpg: 45.5
Test mpg: 37.0
CAP Monitor RV: £7,175/29%
Contract hire rate: £551
Expenditure to date: Nil